DIY Tips: Painting Ceramic Tiles For A Bathroom Update

DIY Tips Painting Ceramic Tiles

It’s been one of those weekends with our bathroom makeover where we thought we’d make tons more progress than we actually did. There have been a few setbacks but it’s fair to say that painting ceramic tiles has been a resounding success. I still walk in and think it was such a great move and wonder why it took me so long.

We’re really excited by our mini monochrome bathroom makeover and when it’s finished it will look so much better. Of course it’s a far cry from the full-on future renovation we have planned. Without a downstairs toilet though, it’s the only bathroom we have for guests and so giving it a spruce up has been long overdue.

As we don’t want to spend too much money, we’re trying to improvise with easy and cheap DIY tasks and as much as re-tiling would be amazing, it’s not on our list of priorities right now. Fortunately the already-existing white and black colour scheme has come in handy whilst we work with Carpetright on a monochrome bathroom makeover challenge. The dated ‘pattern’ tiles that run around the room however were bothering us both so we decided to throw caution to the wind and paint them.

Painting ceramic tiles is far easier than I thought it would be but it’s also easy to make a hot mess so here are my easy-to-follow tips so you can do a great job!

  • Clean the area first. No-brainer, right? But as we don’t use the main bathroom that often, and it appears several homeowners before us didn’t bother cleaning at all, the tiles were in a pretty filthy state. I used Mr Muscle Toilet Power Limescale Destroyer. This may seem like an odd choice but it’s AH-MAZING at removing soap scum. Just beware you need to work fast as it’s blue and will dye the grout.
  • Sand if needed. I didn’t sand the tiles to be painted since they have a raised textured pattern but just to give the paint something to grip to it’s always a good idea to sand especially if the tiles you’re painting are high gloss. Use a fine grain paper if you are going to sand as a coarse one will scratch the tiles.
  • Tape around the area to be painted. I’ve had so much experience painting in the three years we’ve lived here that I now paint freehand (much to Pete’s worry) and no longer use masking tape, preferring my steady hand. I would recommend taping off though as you’ll want to try and keep the grout clean to save having to go over that with a grout pen.
  • Pick your paint. You will need a specialist tile paint (one of my lovely friends who shall remain nameless decided to paint her tiles using regular paint years ago just after we left Uni. It wasn’t a good look). We went with Ronseal One Coat Tile Paint Black Satin and it did a great job.
  • Advice. Tile paint may well be oil based. You’ll need to ventilate the room as well as you can and try not to get it anywhere other than the surface as it’s a nightmare to get off. Work carefully but quickly, the paint is very thick and you’ll want to avoid any drip marks. Use a roller if covering a large area or a small brush and use vertical strokes (not horizontal ones). Because of the pattern on our tiles I ended up using two coats to hide the colour and although it will always be obvious there is a pattern underneath, it looks so much better.
  • After. If you have any need to neaten up straight lines, use a small sharp knife just to wick away any straggly edges. You should find the paint is relatively easy to peel off the tiles should you need to.

All that’s left to do is to stand back and admire the new-look tiles! We’re so pleased with ours especially as we didn’t want to re-tile yet and it has already transformed the space. Now we have to crack on with finishing this mini makeover project.

DIY Tips Painting Ceramic Tiles

DIY Tips Painting Ceramic Tiles

Have you painted tiles before? I’d love to know how it turned out. 

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  1. mackenzieglanville
    July 10, 2017 / 8:07 am

    It really looks fab!

    • Lins
      July 16, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      Thank you lovely Xx

  2. July 12, 2017 / 9:05 am

    Wow, that has made such a difference to the overall look! I’ve painted a marble fireplace before, it looked great in the end but I really struggled to get the paint to ‘cling’ to the surface, I should have sanded it shouldn’t I! Such a clever idea for a budget bathroom update #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      July 16, 2017 / 4:53 pm

      Thank you! I do find these things can be trial and error, I was expecting a disaster to be honest so I’m pleased it turned out so well X

  3. July 12, 2017 / 10:10 am

    Wow it looks so much better!! What a difference a can of paint makes. #homeetc xx

    • Lins
      July 16, 2017 / 4:52 pm

      It’s amazing isn’t it? I didn’t think the results would be so effective X

  4. Innocent Charms Chats
    July 12, 2017 / 12:28 pm

    Makes such a difference something so small, envious of your steady hand x

    • Lins
      July 16, 2017 / 4:52 pm

      Ahh thank you, it’s take a lot of patience and practice to get there X

  5. July 13, 2017 / 7:03 am

    Wow, I’m always surprised at what a difference a bit of paint can make! It definitely looks so much better than before and I really like how the black stripe works with the new flooring!

    • Lins
      July 16, 2017 / 4:51 pm

      Thank you Christine! I always love the little changes when we do them and wonder why it took me so long 😉 X

  6. July 13, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    It’s looking really great! I repainted some tiles in our bathroom when we moved in to just change a border I wasn’t happy with and I was so pleased with the results! and sooo much easier than re-tiling . . . ! 🙂 Philippa x #HomeEtc

    • Lins
      July 16, 2017 / 4:50 pm

      Isn’t it just?! We really didn’t want to spend too much money on something short-term so it’s the perfect solution X

  7. July 19, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    Looks great and such a great way of revamping tiles that either are tired or not your choice. I’ve not painted tiles but when we moved here someone had painted the bath… yes exactly! Thanks for hosting #homeetc x

    • Lins
      July 21, 2017 / 6:05 pm

      Oh my…!! Painting the bath?! Well I guess at various points in our existence trends and ideas have probably indicated that anything is possible 🙂 Have a lovely weekend Steph X

  8. Victoria
    April 10, 2021 / 6:30 pm

    This is exactly what we want to do with the lime green and turquoise border tiles we inherited. I’m going to mask off the top and bottom but what about the thin line of grout between the tiles. Is there anything you can do to protect that or do you have to just pray and rely on a steady hand?

    • Lins
      April 19, 2021 / 1:48 pm

      Hi Victoria, yeah if you use a small brush and just go slowly you won’t get anything at all on the grout 🙂 Good luck!!

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