Asked on Jun 17, 2015

Can my 50's pink tiled bathroom be painted?

by Greta
I have a pink tiled bathroom straight out of the 50's. I can't afford to knock out walls and redo from start. I've heard tiles can be painted. Has anyone got pictures of this, or have you done it. How does it look and does it eventually peel off. All suggestions are welcome!
  28 answers
  • Beth Hagan Beth Hagan on Jun 18, 2015
    yes it can, I used to work for a tile contractor and we used muratic acid to etch, then washed off, let dry then painted. but now a days I'm sure there is something else that you can use. Check with someone at your local lowes or home depot, or a tile place, I bet they have what you would need.
    • Gladys Salazar Gladys Salazar on Jun 18, 2015
      @Beth Hagan hello...mine was yellow, anyways i asked both those places home depot and lowes and they said it could not be painted so ass soon as i had a pluming issue, i had the whole bathroom redone...
  • Debbie Swanson Debbie Swanson on Jun 18, 2015
    I know you can paint over tile. There is a special kind of paint. Ask like Beth said, at Home Depot or Loew's. It's got to be inexpensive as well.
  • Ger Leahy Ger Leahy on Jun 18, 2015
    Bin Primer and paint but painted tiles always remind me of some old toilet in a dodgy pub
  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Jun 18, 2015
    keep the pink, funk it up with a bright complimentary color....go Miami Vice Style.
  • Carol Burkhardt Rask Carol Burkhardt Rask on Jun 18, 2015
    Atleast 8 years ago, I painted a couple coats on my kitchen back splash a tan sort of color. It worked fine. I used semi-gloss latex paint. But not sure about a bathroom. : )
  • Linda Santo Linda Santo on Jun 18, 2015 or Embrace the pink-it will be stunning!
  • Shelley Shelley on Jun 19, 2015
    I would also keep the IMO painting the tiles perfectly will be next to impossible...
  • Tori Bond Tori Bond on Jun 19, 2015
    please keep it and work with it!
  • Marcia Marcia on Jun 19, 2015
    "KEEP the pink",,,!!! Gag..I have the same UUUUUGGGGLY pink tile..only mine is worse...because it's paired with baby blue trim. There is a lot of mid-century design that is excellent..but this is NOT one them! It wouldn't be a good long-term fix, but there are products out there you can use to paint it. I have the stuff in my shower & I have severe doubts about any paint solution holding up there...but am considering just to get rid of the gag-inducing pink. Also, at least here in Phoenix, there is a company that restores/resurfaces old clawfoot tubs; who can do a similar resurfacing on tile. Not cheap--quoted ne $3,000...and I have a TINY 1845 bathroom. Am holding off as I have at least 85 years worth of other projects I need to do on this house...and if I were going to spend $3k on my one TINY bathroom, I'd rather gut it & recongigure to a better layout. If you want to try painting check with your hardware & big box stores..& maybe do a test patch behind a door or something to see how it works/looks. AZ is so dry, I think I woukd have better luck here than if you live somewhere with higher humidity. But if I really hate something, I tend to go scorched esrth. I've also considered just ripping it out & learning to drywall myself--just to get rid of that awful pepto bismol color. Am not a fan of any shade if pink, but this is really ugggly- all my interior walls are plaster & lathe, so not hard, just really messy to rip out.
    • Jana Hardman Jana Hardman on Jan 29, 2018

      There are paints now that were made for plastic, tile included &/or chalk paint! I am thinking about using one of these!

  • Lisa L Lisa L on Jun 19, 2015
    Retro is hot now... People are paying top dollar to re-create the look of the 50's and you've got the real deal ~ embrace it and have some fun in the process! Start by removing the cheesy plastic shelves, etc. For inspiration, peruse some retro bathrooms in books, magazines or online. Go on eBay and find some touches that will enhance the retro flavor of your bath. Be sweetly bold in your use of color. You will be amazed how cute it can become! :-)
  • Julies1949 Julies1949 on Jun 19, 2015
    To answer your question, yes you can paint the tile. You will end up with a wall that is all one color because you paint right over the grout lines. When I bought my condo the tile was Pepto Bismol pink with a blue floor. I painted it. The paint was still in perfect condition when I did a gut reno last year after 8 years of use. You need to use a good primer like Kilz. This is the most important step as it allows the paint to stick to the tile.
  • Ryan Ryan on Jun 19, 2015
    Thanks Jules1949 for NOT saying "keep the pink"!!
    It doesn't look 'pink' in the photos, so I'm taking your word. I personally LOVE the vintage pink/black bathrooms. An early episode of Six Feet Under highlighted the untimely death of a former porn star's pink/black bathroom, complete with vintage vanity tucked in there. Sadly, she left her electric curlers near the tub and her cat knocked it into her bathwater... the show always starts with someones untimely death.
  • Becky P Becky P on Jun 19, 2015
    We are currently renovating a Pink Bathroom to make it something much more modern. I feel your pain. It is very expensive to do this, since the walls are plaster underneath, and crumbly, and messy. Good luck painting them. The tiles did pop off very easily, just leave a mess underneath.
  • Michelle Gebhart-Maxwell Michelle Gebhart-Maxwell on Jun 19, 2015
    yes you can paint it. However I agree with what most are saying. I had the same problem,green tile,pink tub. I painted my walls black,and got a disco ball shower curtain,painted the blinds silver,the woodwork white. Big furry rug,some fun accent pieces,and now my bathroom is everyone's favorite room in the house!!
    • Heather Crews Heather Crews on Feb 28, 2019

      That’s my kind of bathroom!!! Love it!! I also have what my daughter called old lady skin color pink when we first moved in ( she was 2) bathroom tile that had already been repainted ( horribly but white) andit started pealing off in spots so I don’t know what to do know but maybe I’ll make a disco ball bathroom too!!

      One of my bathrooms is old lady skin color pink and the other half bath is wall to wall tile to the chair mark of poop brown tile that will take so much force to get out of there!! Uggghhh!! I’ve owned this house for almost 8 years ... I have gotta redo these bathrooms!!!

  • Cindy Holton Cindy Holton on Jun 19, 2015
    You need to hire somebody that knows how to do it but it can be done. I hope you have a next your bathroom and while that one is getting painted
  • Eileen Eileen on Jun 19, 2015
    Greta, I think your ladylike pink bath doesnt look that bad at all. Tile in a bathroom serves a very good purpose. Keeps moisture from your drywall or plaster. Id leave it there , however get ride of the brown row ,and put a white border around the middle. Get rid of the brown assessories in the shower, use white. also white on top wall, use white for window shade...that rustic shade is a no-no. Get a white vanity. Cant see your floor??? Pink and white...a very clean look. That being said, its the dark color that looks bad.
  • Linda Santo Linda Santo on Jun 19, 2015
    Pink with blue is not all that wonderful, even if I do like pink bathrooms. I would chip off the blue bullnose (trim tile) and replace with black. Cheap fix and wonderful.
  • Marjorie Truscello Marjorie Truscello on Jun 19, 2015
    I had green tiles from the 70's and I did paint them. I first started with Zinsers Primer because it will cover shiny surfaces such as tile without sanding just a good cleaning. I top coated the tiles with two coats of an oil base paint. The paint did not peel and it lasted ten years, I even painted the tile in the bath/shower area. We finally remodeled the bath four years ago only because our tub, toilet and sink were green.
  • Alecia Hartman Alecia Hartman on Jun 20, 2015
    I feel your pain, I had the pink tile too, plus a grey tub, shower, sink and toilet to go with it 😞. I am in the process of redoing it now. We bought a sink and toilet. I painted the shower, tub, tile and floor. I used Rustoleum Tub and Tile for the shower, tub and tile surround and a one part epoxy on the floor. (I would say to use the Rustoleum for what you're doing. It seems to adhere better). It's not finished but I will attach photos.
  • Linda Santo Linda Santo on Jun 21, 2015
    Oops, sorry. Someone who replied said they had a pink and blue bathroom. Pink and blue would make even retro-me crazy!
  • LYNDA LYNDA on Jun 22, 2015
    I did mine, you need a special primer and then paint. I went to Benjamen Moore for instructions. Never chipped.
  • Judith Seidel Capasso Judith Seidel Capasso on Feb 02, 2017


  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 19, 2023

    Hi Greta, yes it can. Hope this helps you out.

  • Marty Ayers Marty Ayers on Apr 25, 2023

    I see them repaint/refinish over ceramic tile in bathrooms on the DIY shows all the time. For best results you should have a professional do the job because the preparation has to be right to have the new finish last and look right

  • Rebecca w Rebecca w on Mar 04, 2024

    I too have these pink tiles in my half bath. I decided to offer it with a light grey print wall paper and some grey towels. Looks amazing !!

  • Betsy Betsy on Mar 05, 2024

    Hi Greta: You certainly can paint your tiles, but just know that preparation is the key to a good job. Check this site for info: How to Paint Bathroom Tile the Right Way (

    Good luck

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 06, 2024

    Yes, there are several kits to paint tile. I would recommend 2 people and you will want a fan to pull exhaust out. Follow directions exactly.