I decided to paint the tile in my bathroom because it was chipped and discolored. This is not our "forever home" so I didn't want to do a full gut job- just a quick update.
For more details and pictures check out the full blog post!
There are about a million tutorials to painting tile, but here's what I did:
- Spackled all the areas where the grout and/or tile was cracked (our grout was only about 1/8 inch thick, had it been thicker I probably would have opted to touch up with actual grout instead of spackle)
- Sand the spackle and paint drips, no need to sand all the tile
- Scrub clean with CLR, wipe with damp towel, dry with a dry towel
- Use a small foam roller to roll on 2 coats of Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 primer (it notes on the container that it's good for slick surfaces). Let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next.
....Tip: On the first coat, I cut in with a brush and then just rolled on the paint, like you would in any other room. For the second coat I loaded up my brush with paint and literally shoved the paint into the grout, then rolled it smooth. Work in small sections and take your time.
- Use a small foam roller to roll on 2 coats of Sherwin Williams Super Paint + Primer. Follow the same process as above: let dry completely between coats, focus on shoving paint into the grout
before and after!
CLR was super handy in making sure the tile was very, very clean before paint. Then Zinsser ALL SURFACE primer was key so that the paint had something to stick to. I went with a good quality paint to add to durability.
the extremely dark and sad "before" ...and what you can't really tell is how cracked and gritty the tile really was.

Stephanie (Sandpaper & Glue)
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  2 questions
  • Martha Edgar Martha Edgar on Sep 30, 2017
    I have a one inch inset tile that I hate around the top of my shower and on the outside of my tub. My question is would this be durable enough for steam?
    Thank you!!!

  • Silvia McKitchen Silvia McKitchen on Jun 07, 2018

    Hi Stephanie, I'm been wanting to paint the tile in my bathroom, but I'm so very hesitant - afraid to mess it up. Your project turned out great and I was wondering how it's holding up after 5 years.


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  • Nancy Spencer Carlson Nancy Spencer Carlson on Nov 21, 2013
    sounds like you did it the right way. We bought a house that has painted tile... and it was peeling! When we sold the house I had to use a steamer to get the paint off. Nice pink tile underneath... Nice job on this.

  • thanks Nancy! I'm so hopeful hold up well- I think using primer based everything will help it stay stuck. I'm going to keep an eye out though and add some polycrylic if needed :)