How to tile paint

How to tile paint

Tile paint is an easy and cost-effective way to freshen up a tired bathroom or kitchen splashback, without spending big. You can paint tiles in any colour you like and it’s an achievable DIY task, as long as you prepare right. To ensure a professional finish, follow these simple steps and be rewarded with a flawless finish.

STEP BY STEP 

Step 1. Fill any divots or little cracks in your grout with new grout or poly filler, then wait to dry.

Step 2. Give the tiles a super-good scrub – this is so important for a quality paint finish.

Step 3. Sand your tiles, then clean until all of the dust is completely cleaned off and allow to dry.

Step 4. Now you’re ready for the undercoat. Starting with a brush, coat your grout lines first, making sure you can’t see any brush marks.

Step 5. Come in with your roller in a zig-zag motion making sure you’re getting lots of coverage. Leave to dry.

Step 6. Quickly sand the tiles again with 240 grit wet and dry sandpaper to make sure there’s no lint whatsoever in between coats. Wipe the tiles again to make sure all surfaces are completely clean. Now you’re ready to tile paint.

DOWNLOAD Cherie’s free ebook: tips for painting tiles


Step 7.
Lightly coat your roller and tap the end so any excess comes off. Apply to the grout lines first then follow with your mini foam roller, doing a zig-zag pattern to get good coverage and adhesion on the tiles.

Step 7. Then apply in a top to bottom direction. Don’t press too hard on the roller or you’ll get paint marks that will show up under your final coat. Wait six hours for the first coat to dry.

Step 8. Repeat the process; give the tiles a very light sand again, then wipe with a clean cloth.

Step 9. Apply your final coat. The manufacturers say to allow six hours to dry though overnight is recommended. You can use your bathroom or kitchen the next day but the tile paint does take a one week to fully cure so be super-careful with hard knocks because they’ll damage your tile paint.

And that’s it, brand-new space without breaking the bank. Feeling inspired? Check out some of Cherie’s amazing renovations using tile paint and don’t forget to download your free How To Tile Paint eBook which goes into more detail about the process, including how to accurately measure your space so you know how much paint you’ll need to buy, and tips to help you maintain the painted tiles for years to come.

The post was originally published in 2016 and updated for comprehensiveness.

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27 Comments

  1. Hello Cherie, i have a lovely 1970 model house in Jacobs Well Qld, im going to be renovating two bathrooms Shortly, just in case you wanted to feature on your show or offer any tips.Donna Doleman

  2. Hi Cherie,
    I have tiles that have raised profiles as part of the design. Like an embossing, if you will. How would I go about sanding them? Also do you need to put a finish on after the final coat? And could you use tile paint on the floor at all? Or in wet areas, like the shower floor?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Leilani,

      You cant sand embossed tiles. People tile paint over them so the embossed print becomes less noticeable. I recommend you use White Knight Tile & Laminate Primer (the undercoat) then 2 coats of White Knight Tile Paint straight over the top of the primer. See my step by step instructions here: http://www.renovatingforprofit.com.au/free-ebook/ In terms of the tile paint, you can’t use the Taubmans brand on your floors as it will delaminate. There are other companies out there that sell floor tile paint but you’ll really need to do your homework on the product to make sure it will last the wear and tear you get on floors with foot traffic. Happy painting! C x

    1. Hi Patty,

      Its ok to still have the shine on the tiles if you are tile painting. Just make sure you’re using White Knight Tile & Laminate Primer as the undercoat before applying your 2 to 3 coats of tile paint. C x

    1. Hi Fiona, You can resurface your old bathroom or laundry tiled floors by 2 ways: Professional tile resurfacing or with specialist floor tile paints. You can call in professional tile resurfacers who will typically charge approx $200 to $300 per square metre and will warrant your floors for anywhere between 2 to 5 years (depending on the company). Alternatively, you can DIY floor tile paint. There are a couple of floor tile painting kits in the paint section at Bunnings which you may want to check out but don’t expect any floor tile paints to last the distance – a couple of years at best. Keep in mind, you cant use normal tile paint on your floors, its only for your walls. Happy painting! C x

      1. Yes I have used Taubmans Cookie Jar many times before and its a great colour. Thank you Samantha. C x

  3. Hi – the tile paint on the wall tiles looks fantastic. Have you tried tile paint on floor tiles? Thanks – fiona.

    1. Hi Fiona, I’m not a fan of tile paint on floors. It just doesn’t last, even if you go DIY paints or the professional resurfacing option. Its a good option if you’re only after a temporary fix for a year or 2. C x

    1. Hi Brittany, tile paint is designed for bathrooms. Please follow my step by step guide on how to tile paint which you’ll find under Ebooks on my website. Good surface preparation is key when using this product. C x

    2. Hi Brittany – tile paint is designed for bathrooms so as long as you follow the product instructions, you’ll be fine. Make sure you download my free Tiling Paint Ebook to help guide you. You’ll find it on my website under Ebooks. Good luck! C x

  4. Hi Cherie, are there any Tile paint products that can be used on a kitchen splashback- that has a gas Stove top?
    Thank you

    1. I always use White Knight tile paint but I know you need to have certain clearances away from your gas cook top so the heat doesn’t delaminate your paint. Best to call them on 13 16 86 to discuss your situation. C x

  5. Hi Cherie,

    What would be the best way to repair cracks and holes on the tile before you apply the paint? What fillers specifically would you recommend?
    Also, I can no longer find White Knight tile primer anywhere for some reason so is there any other alternate paint you would recommend for tile painting?

    1. Hi Joon – White Knight Tile paint is still in all of the hardware stores so definately pop back into any Bunnings store and you’ll be sure to find it. Cracked tiles and holes are definately an issue for potential water damage. You can fill them with silicone or a putty that is water resistant but you really should look at replacing those tiles. Hope this helps. C x

      1. Thanks Cherie! I can only see white knight tile paint being available in Bunnings website but primer is no longer available. I will pop back into Bunnings tomorrow but in case this is no longer available, can I skip this primer step or is there any other branded primer you could recommend? Also, what are your thoughts on the Dulux Renovation tile paints?

      2. Actually, ignore me. I just searched it on Bunnings website and now it’s available. When I checked it last night, it wasn’t even searchable.
        Oh, by the way, you mentioned that we should use both 240 grit and 600 grit sand papers. Do we really need to use both?

        Thanks for your help!

  6. Hi Cherie, I may have missed in commentary, I’m looking for a smooth high gloss finish. Would an airless spray gun be better than roller?

    1. Hi Ian, you can’t use a spray gun for tile paint as its too thick & will clog your gun. Cherie uses the Monarch microfibre rollers which give you a flawless finish if you apply the product correctly. Cherie Crew x

  7. Cherie

    Can you tell me what silicon/sealant you use? I have read that silicon goes yellow if applied to painted tiles using White Knight paint. I am putting in a new shower screen so the installer will be sealing the frame and I want to check which product works best on painted tiles.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Megan, I am not an expert in silicon however I think that Bostik may make a silicone that specifically never yellows. Best thing to do would be to go to your local Bunnings store & speak with a team member in the paint section & get them to clarify this for you. Tile paint won’t stick to silicone so you need to tile paint first, then silicone the edges. Cherie Crew x

  8. Hello Cherie

    Your tIle paint video was great , Wondering if there is anything similar to spruce up the tired floor tiles ?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Ron, glad you loved the video. Cherie has used White Knight Primer & Tile Paint for the tiles which can be found at any Bunnings store. Cherie Crew x

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