Home » Can You Paint Ceramic Tile? (Painting Guide & Tips)

Can You Paint Ceramic Tile? (Painting Guide & Tips)

Ceramic tile is the most popular type of tile and is used on many surfaces, such as floors, countertops, and even showers!

Unfortunately, a lot of tile in older houses is outdated, and replacing the tile can be very expensive. So, can you paint ceramic tiles? Keep reading to find out!

Can You Paint Ceramic Tile?

The short answer is yes! You can definitely paint ceramic tiles. Any type of tile can be painted except glazed quarry tiles. Painting tile is a great way to upgrade your living space without spending a lot of money!

However, there are some things you should consider before you commit to the project.

Can I Paint Ceramic Tile Anywhere In My Home?

Yes! You can paint tile anywhere in your home. However, there are a few places that may not be the best solution. For instance, it is not recommended to paint shower or sink tiles because these are high-moisture places, and excess moisture will make your paint chip quicker.

Painting other bathroom tiles are perfectly ok, though, even tiles on the wall above your bathtub! Although bathroom tiles are still exposed to moisture, it is not near as much as your shower tiles would be exposed.

Tile floors, tile backsplashes, and tile countertops are also great places to paint your ceramic tile!

Is Painted Ceramic Tile Durable?

If done properly, painted ceramic tile will hold up very well. However, you should take extra care if painting tile floors in high-traffic areas! These areas are more likely to have cracks and chips due to the constant foot traffic over them.

To ensure your paint holds up, it is recommended to be extra thorough in the painting process, especially when it comes to cleaning and sanding your tile.

You should also make sure you choose the best paint for your project if you want your paint to last a long time.

What Type Of Paint Is Best For Painting Ceramic Tile?

Ideally, you should go for enamel paint. Enamel paints are made to be used on ceramic and will ensure the longevity of your painted tiles.

You can also use high-quality floor tile paint, such as Rust-Oleum floor coating. Latex paint should not be used for your tile projects because it will not adhere to the surface properly and will start to wear very quickly.

Alternatively, you can use a two-part epoxy resin. You can buy epoxy resin, colored or uncolored, and color it yourself with a pigment powder.

If you want to be bold and creative with your project, you can also add things like glitter, flakes, and other things to epoxy.

If you decide to go this route, be sure you learn how to mix and apply epoxy properly, as epoxy can be tricky to work with.

How To Paint Ceramic Tile

How To Paint Ceramic Tile

So, you decided to paint your ceramic tile; now you just need to know how! Here is a step-by-step process to help you paint your tile, so it lasts!

Step 1: Clean, Clean, Clean

The first step to painting anything is to clean it! However, tile can be trickier to clean since grout is prone to dirt and debris buildup. I recommend using TSP (trisodium phosphate cleaner) and a thick bristled scrub brush to clean your tile.

TSP is a heavy-duty cleaner that breaks down dirt and grease, as well as other oils. It comes in powder form that you add to water to dilute it. Just add half a cup per gallon of water. Make sure you wear protective clothing and gloves to protect your skin.

Scrub your floors thoroughly, making sure you really get into the grout to clean all the grime; you may have to clean the tile multiple times. Make sure you allow your floors to dry before continuing.

Step 2: Sand Away

Next, you want to sand the tile. Sanding is a step you don’t want to skip since ceramic tile has a smooth finish that won’t allow primer and paint to adhere to properly.

To sand, use a medium-grit sanding block or electric sanders. If you are painting a large tiled surface, I recommend an electric sander, so your hands don’t cramp up and tire out.

After sanding, be sure to wipe the surface with a rag and water to clean up all the dust and allow your tile to dry. Dust on the surface will make little bumps appear in your paint, and you will have to start over.

Step 3: Prime Time

Prime Time

Once you have prepped your tile, it’s time to apply a primer. I recommend a high-adhesion primer. These are a little more expensive but worth the extra money, especially when painting floor tiles.

Priming properly will prevent your tile paint from chipping prematurely, which looks unappealing.

You apply your primer with a roller, just like you would paint it. Check the label to see how many coats you need for your project and how much time you will need to allow for drying.

Step 4: Time To Paint

Now, it is time to paint! You can use a roller or paintbrush. However, I recommend a roller because it is quicker, easier, and allows better coverage. Your floor may require two coats for good coverage, but if you used a good primer, you might only need one.

Start in one corner and work your way to an exit, so you don’t trap yourself in the room.

Step 5: Seal The Deal

This step is completely optional, but it is recommended if you are painting floors in a high-traffic area or you decided to paint your tile shower or tile in another high-moisture area anyway.

Make sure you choose a high-quality polyurethane sealer and apply a light coat over the paint after it dries completely.


Painting your ceramic tile is a great way to upgrade your living space without having to spend an arm and a leg. If done correctly, your painted tile will last a long time, even in high-traffic areas! We hope you found this article helpful!

Have you recently completed a tile painting project? How did it turn out? We would love to hear about your experience in the comments!

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