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MEMBER POST: Paint Positive - Should I paint that? Painting Tile

MEMBER POST: Paint Positive - Should I paint that? Painting Tile

MEMBER POST: Paint Positive - Should I paint that? Painting Tile

The process of removing and installing new tile during a home remodel, renovation, or revamp, can be downright grueling. Tile is the kind of stuff that’s built to last, and making a change to it involves a lot of time and effort. No one wants to spend hours chipping away at existing tile and leveling out the surface underneath just to embark on the delicate and difficult venture of carefully installing the new stuff. There is another option, however, and it might sound a little crazy, but it could save you not only time but a fair amount of money. Paint it!


Now, painting tile isn’t the same as just throwing a coat of paint on your walls. If you don’t follow the steps properly and take the time to prepare the tile well, your paint could end up peeling off in just a few months. Additionally, it’s not necessarily smart to paint all tile. Paint on tile that is in areas where it will deal with a lot of moisture, like showers or backsplashes, will probably not hold up for the long term. Excessive moisture on painted tile can cause chipping and peeling in a shorter amount of time than otherwise. Additionally, painting tile flooring in high traffic areas can result in early wearing out of the paint, like fading and scuffing. If, however, you think that you might want to explore painting your existing tile rather than trying to replace it, read on for some tips on how it’s done.


The first step, as it is with painting anything, is to clean, clean, clean the surface. This is particularly important in tile that has had ample opportunity to build up grime, like in your bathroom for instance. It’s important to scrub away any buildup on the tile, but additionally to make sure that the grout is clean before you paint. Using TSP, trisodium phosphate, is a very effective method of removing difficult-to-clean dirt from surfaces but, as always, make sure that you wear proper protective gear because TSP is a harsh chemical on skin and mucous membranes and the fumes are harmful to breathe.


Once the tile is clean, you need to repair any imperfections in chipped or cracked tile with a two-part epoxy. Just make sure that any fills or repairs are level with the surrounding tile so that it maintains a uniform appearance after you paint it. Then you will want to sand the tile to create a slightly rough surface for the primer to bond to. Use a very fine grit sandpaper, 400 grit or higher, as the point of this is not to completely remove the glaze but to scuff it just enough for it to hold the paint. Of course, once you have sanded the surface, you will want to clean it again to remove any dust or grit left behind.



The next step is to paint on a coat of primer. You will want to choose an epoxy bonding primer that is meant for bonding to hard, glossy surfaces. The choice of primer is incredibly important because if your primer does not bond to the tile, it will begin to peel away in no time at all. After the primer, of course, comes the actual paint. A high-gloss latex paint is the best way to go for tiled surfaces. Likely, two coats of paint will do the best job for your project.


One last step! Some experts say that just paint and primer are enough to have a durable paint job on your tiles. However, the best way to seal your paint is with two or three coats of a clear, water-based, urethane sealer. This final step helps to ensure that your paint will last longer and stand up to more wear and tear.


Obviously painting tile is a little more involved than your average paint job, and it might not be the right solution for everyone or every space, but it is definitely an option when you’re looking to make a change. If you’re interested in starting a new paint project but don’t feel up to the task yourself, the experts at PaintPositive know just how to help you. Contact us today for a free quote on painting just about anything inside or outside your home or business!

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