To paint ceramic tile, clean the surface of the tile thoroughly, sand the tile to create a rougher finish, apply a bonding primer and then paint the tile with latex or epoxy paint. Since different types of tile and finishes can cause the results to vary, test this process on a hidden portion of the tile before tackling the entire wall or floor.
Paint always adheres to ceramic tile more easily when the surface is clean and rough. Remove any oil, grease or other contaminants before beginning.
- Prepare the surface of the tile Clean, degrease and sand the tile prior to painting it. This eliminates contaminants and makes it easier for the paint to stick. Experts recommend using an electric sander rather than hand sanding to speed up the process. Use caulk or epoxy filler to repair any broken or chipped tiles. Allow several days for these products to dry before coating them with paint.
- Apply a bonding primer A bonding primer creates a firm union between the surface of the tile and the paint that goes over it. Always use a primer that is intended specifically for use on ceramic tile to avoid complications.
- Paint the tile The best paint for ceramic tile is either latex or epoxy. Use a semi- or high-gloss paint for the best results; otherwise, the tile might look too dull. Use a solid color for the entire surface of the tile or paint patterns on the tile using stencils. Provide protection for the new surface by applying several coats of water-based urethane sealer. The sealer prevents wear in higher traffic areas so the tiles maintain their good looks for several years.