Asked on Feb 15, 2019

How do I paint plastic bathroom tile?

Kelly O.
by Kelly O.

I'm redoing my master bath in a beach/nautical theme. I have a 24 year old mobile home in excellent condition. The bathroom has burgandy tiles around the sink and tub. It's cheap plastic but glued VERY well, which means no getting it off without replacing or patching some drywall. I googled painting it but can't find the right info anywhere. I would like to paint it a navy blue. There is a very narrow band of white grout that I plan to go over with a fine brush and white paint. Anyone ever try this, good or bad?

  8 answers
  • Gk Gk on Feb 15, 2019

    Hello Kelly! This bot of information was taken from a Home Depot Community Question site:

    The first thing you are going to want to do is clean the wall with Tri-sodium Phosphate (TSP). This will both clean the surface and degloss it. This step is particularly important if this is a backsplash in a kitchen because grease and grim splatter can really effect the outcome of the paint job.

    After that, you will want to make sure the surface is dry. Drying it with a lint free rag or shop towels would be the best.

    Then, lightly sand the surface by hand with 180 grit sandpaper or sanding sponge. Once you have slightly roughened up the surface, run a tack cloth over the surface so you don't have sanding dust trapped under your paint.

    Next, prime the surface with an oil based primer. Then, once the primer has dried (drying times vary depending on the specific primer you use) paint the surface in your color of choice in either an oil based or latex based paint.

    As far as what kind of applicator to use, use what makes you comfortable. Some people prefer to brush, some roll and some a combination of both.

    More info:

  • William William on Feb 15, 2019

    Same as painting ceramic tile.

  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 15, 2019

    there are paints formulated for painting on plastic

  • Robin Robin on Feb 16, 2019

    Just my opinion but —— go ahead and invest the time and energy to remove the tiles and repair the wall. I think you will be happier in the end.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Feb 16, 2019

    I agree with Robin. As long as your new tiles are at least as tall as the existing tiles, then it should be easy to apply new tiles with a minimum of effort. Some drywall damage behind the tiles won't matter since it will be covered. Large damage can be filled with drywall joint compound to make it smooth.

    Application of the new tile is easy if you buy a tube of Power Grab. Put a bead around the back of the tile (stay away from edges by ~ 3/8". Put a small spacer on the counter (thickness of a couple of cereal boxes or so). Press the tile to the wall, then proceed to the end. The next day you can grout. Buy grout that comes in a caulking gun to fill top, bottom, and gaps between tiles. Use a grout sponge to wipe off excess.

  • Sophie Grace Sophie Grace on Feb 16, 2019

    I have a fifties built home with plastic tile in the bathroom and the kitchen I have painted the tile in both kitchen and bathroom at least 20 years ago and the paint is still on them they are cleaned often I use windex to clean them .I used Behr eggshell paint with primer in it. just make sure the tile is clean before you paint

    • Daniela Angert Rhody Daniela Angert Rhody on Dec 28, 2019

      Thank you! I have the same thing in my house! The entire kitchen is tan and brown plastic tile and I want to paint it all white and Auqua. I dont mind the tile so much just the color. Thank you so much

  • Hi Kelly! I can tell you how to paint tile on your bathroom walls with Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint! :)

    It is super easy to paint with Dixie Belle:

    Step one: Clean with White Lightning

    Step two: Apply two coats of Slick Stick

    Step three: Paint one to two coats of Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint

    Step four: Use Gator Hide for a water-resistant finish

    Here is a great YouTube video explaining how to do this

    If you ever need help or have any questions you can feel free to call us at 813-909-1962 during business hours. We have a full staff here eager to help you!

    We have an awesome group on FB that gives you all kinds of help if you are interested. click here to join:

  • Pat Meiners Pat Meiners on Feb 18, 2019

    My plastic tiles were painted MANY years ago, can't remember what I used, but it has worked fine. They are still very secure to the wall. I think most KILZ type primer products would work. I didn't know they used plastic tiles in the 90s. Yours do not look like most I have seen & they are shinier. The edges of mine are very thin, they taper & yours appears to be completely flat & the tile the same depth, not tapering. Mine fit tightly together so there is no grout.