How to Paint Over That Ugly Bathroom Tile

Jenni Ingram
by Jenni Ingram
7 Materials
1 Day

Below is our bathtub. We had plans to get rid of it as soon as we moved in, but then surprisingly we enjoyed using it! So now we want to keep it, but that 80s look just had to change!

Hmmm, the tile is in good shape, could I just paint the tile?? Well, yes, I could! Let me show you how to paint tile without removing it!

Last week I showed you how I did a bathroom cabinet makeover using paint, and the tub surround also got the same treatment.

For this post I painted ceramic tile with chalk paint. How in the world do you get paint to stick to shiny ceramic tile??? It’s all about that primer! I tried out a new (to me) product called Slick Stick. It makes paint stick to slick things. icon

First, I cleaned the tile using White Lightning; just sprayed and wiped with paper towels. 


Second, I applied Slick Stick. I used a Dixie Belle brush to apply. Once dry, I did a second coat of primer. It’s smelly so work in a well ventilated area. Remember the primer is the real to-how for painting tile! 

I let the primer dry overnight. Once dried, the flat finish was ready to paint!

For my base coat of paint I chose Midnight Sky. It’s an almost but not quite black color. Perfect for my stenciling vision. 

I painted two coats. A 16oz jar of paint covered the tub surround twice with extra to spare. The paint also dries quickly.

Here's where I almost panicked-Black Tile?!

I kept painting because I knew the best was yet to come.

Here's a sneak peak of the finished tile. Be sure to check back next week when I'll show how to stencil it all ( check here)!

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Jenni Ingram
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  • Lori Gillenwater Lori Gillenwater on Jan 09, 2021

    Its absolutely beautiful! But how do you get it to stay that way? Wouldn't the moisture alone lift the paint from the tile, besides having to clean it on a regular basis?

  • Sabine Sabine on May 16, 2021

    Does anyone know how well this will hold up to the moisture in the shower?

  • Julie Julie on Jan 05, 2023

    $173 for Slick Stick in Amazon Canada? Pass! Any alternatives?

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4 of 106 comments
  • Wow! beautiful transformation!

    • Bev49277542 Bev49277542 on Feb 07, 2022

      Love this !!!! I have a old claw foot bathtub in side finish has no shine. Would this technique work on the inside of the tub to give it a new shiny gloss look and how durable would it be this tub is used daily so it would have to 100% be usable and hold up to every day use desperate to keep my tub I vowed to never replace it they simply do not make anything that compares to the old cast-iron bathtubs please help me Bring my Todd back to its original beauty waiting for your help !!!!!!! Ugly duckling


  • Bar52738379 Bar52738379 on Feb 07, 2022

    No, not as described. I have been investigating materials that will paint tile, but I won't use the expensive brands touted.

    • Bar52738379 Bar52738379 on Feb 10, 2022

      I agree! These designer products are trendy, but there are many other products that do the same thing, and maybe better - reputable brands.