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Paint On Tiles - How Can You Paint Bathroom Wall Tiles?

By Edited Dec 14, 2013 1 1

Maybe you have just bought an older house and have limited money for renovating ugly tiles.  So you are looking for ways to update that bathroom without the gut renovation that you really want but can’t do right now.  Is there a way?  Or are you stuck with pink and black tiles or worse?

If you are willing to roll up your sleeves and spend a weekend on this project then you will be amazed at just what you can do with those old bathroom tiles or even the bathtub.  As long as the tiles are still attached well to the wall then you will love this  process.

Renovating Ugly Tiles

You have probably seen porcelain tile paint for kitchens and decals and other applications but these don’t work so well in the bathroom especially around the tub where there is constant water from the shower.  So what do you do?

This is when you get yourself a kit of  Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile Refinishing,  2-part Kit.

This is a an epoxy acrylic finish that is really tough when cured.

Rust-Oleum 7860519 Tub And Tile Refinishing 2-Part Kit, White
Amazon Price: $22.11 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 14, 2013)

Downside To This Product (minor!)

The only downside to this project is that if you are painting the tiles around the bathtub, then you can’t use your shower or tub for at least 3 days to make sure and get a really good cure. 

But look at it this way, if you have someone come in and do that gut renovation

Paint on Tiles

This product works its best when left to cure a minimum of 3 days before blasting it with that shower.  (This is when that gym membership can come in handy, as you can shower there if you don’t have a second bathroom, or get chummy with your neighbours!)

But for under 30 bucks it is worth it!n you really wanted with all the updates then you would go a lot longer than 3 days!

Here are the steps you need to follow for this product to work its best.

Rust-Oleum 7860519 Tub And Tile Refinishing 2-Part Kit, White
Amazon Price: $22.11 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 14, 2013)

Steps to Paint on Tiles for Your Instant Update

Paint on Tiles

Step 1 – Cleaning and more cleaning.  As with many home renovation products most of the time is in the preparation.  Painting the tiles with this product is actually the fastest part, you need to really really clean these tiles, so don’t skimp on this step as the surface has to be prepared to accept this paint. 

Start with a good lime or hard water remover (make sure you are wearing gloves) such as CLR or other products designed to get rid of scale out of kettles, hard water stains, soap scum and things like that.  Make sure and scrub in the grout area too as this will all get painted.

Rinse and then do it again.  Make sure you get any mildew off the tiles or greasy film.

After it is rinsed then take an abrasive cleaner such as comet and give the entire area a good scrub then rinse. (You may get these tiles so clean that you may actually like them now and want to keep them!) The abrasive cleaner helps to prepare the tiles for accepting the paint.

Step 2 – After you have really rinsed these tiles, get yourself some 400 grit sandpaper and sand the entire area well including the grout area.  Then rinse again to get rid of particles. 

Step 3 – Take a tack cloth or slightly damp clean cloth and get rid of any bits that may be on the surface.  You want this surface squeaky clean and free of lint basically.

Let the entire area dry well for at least two hours before using the product.

Step 4 – Have all your supplies ready, if you are planning on using a paint brush make sure it is a good quality one such as a varnishing brush and not a cheap one out of the sale bin because this is when those bristles will fall out and suddenly appear on your tiles!

You can roll this product too as well as spray, you just need to follow directions on the product for using those options as the ratio may differ.  Brushing works well as you don’t see the brush lines afterwards and you don’t have the worries of having to mask an area off for spraying. 

Step 5 – This epoxy comes in two parts.  You simply mix part A with part B in the can, and then get started right away.  Try and paint in one direction as best you can, and wait one hour between coats.  Sometimes you will see tiny air bubbles, don’t worry about them they come out as the product dries. 

Take your time and don’t be in a rush to paint, you want to get into all the areas including the grout lines.  This is the best part after all that cleaning!

It dries fairly fast, but you should wait 3 days before using your shower.  It dries to a glossy shine, and that shine can be brought back with polishing compounds if in the future it dulls.

Don’t use harsh products on these renovated ugly tiles, just some mild detergent then rinse and buff to a shine.

You may have asked yourself “how can you paint bathroom wall tiles?”  Well now you know that there is an actual product that can now save you hundreds if not thousands on a major renovation. 

Even if those tiles are the ugliest things you have ever seen, as long as they are stuck on the wall, then you can turn them into beautiful sleek looking tiles, as if they had been replaced.

It is worth the cleaning, as that really is the hardest part of this project.  So, if you are willing to clean and scrub those tiles, then you can paint bathroom wall tiles and then with a new wall colour on the rest of the bathroom, and some accent accessories, it will look like a new bathroom for a fraction of the price.

This product can also repaint a bathtub if you don’t want to stop with the tiles it is that tough.

So, if those bright pink and black tiles from the 50s and 60s are not your cup of tea then change them with paint!

Perfect for Renovating Ugly Tiles

Rust-Oleum 7860519 Tub And Tile Refinishing 2-Part Kit, White
Amazon Price: $22.11 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 14, 2013)


Jan 15, 2013 5:06pm
Very interesting! I had no idea this could be done. We have been renovating on a budget. Thank goodness the tile is all like new in the bathrooms. But I did paint all of the ugly, scratched, laminate countertops , and they turned out really nice. Interesting and helpful read, gave a thumbs up.
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