How to paint glazed tiles

Written by jack rella
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There are a number of reasons you may want to repaint tiles that are glazed. One of the big reasons is that styles change and tile can be expensive to replace. So, when a colour or a style becomes dated, it's time to get rid of that particular colour or design. While it is possible to paint over glazed tiles in a bathroom shower or around a toilet, it would be better to hire a professional service to paint glazed tiles in areas that get wet regularly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Abrasive tile cleaner
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Electric sander (optional)
  • Rlean rags
  • Masking tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Oil-based primer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint roller
  • Oil-based paint
  • Paint thinner

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  1. 1

    Clean the tile that you are planning on painting with a heavy-duty, mildly abrasive tile cleaner. This cleaner will not only get the tile really clean, but it will also begin to take the shine and gloss off of the tile so the new paint will be able to stick to it better.

  2. 2

    Repair or replace any broken tile or bad grout. Once you have started the painting process, you can't repair anything like this without repainting the entire area.

  3. 3

    Sand the entire surface using 220-grit sandpaper. An electric sander will make this process much faster. Sand all of the tile, including hard-to-reach corners. Sanding thoroughly will provide you with a better end result.

  4. 4

    Clean the wall using a damp rag. This is to get all of the dust from the sanding off of the wall. Allow the wall to dry completely.

  5. 5

    Mask off any areas and edges that you do not want to get paint on. Use a drop cloth to avoid spills on other surfaces.

  6. 6

    Use a high adhesion, oil-based primer on a paintbrush to prime the tile. Begin with the paintbrush in the corners and at the edges of the tile.

  7. 7

    Switch to a 1/8-inch paint roller to finish the job of priming the tile. Allow this to dry and apply another coat, following the same steps.

  8. 8

    Use a clean brush to paint the tile with a semi-gloss or high-gloss oil-based paint. Again, start in the corners and on the edges with the brush.

  9. 9

    Use a clean roller to apply a thin coat of paint to the entire area. Make sure that the coat is thin, because while one thick coat may take less time, the quality of the finish will suffer. Allow the paint to dry completely and then repeat Steps 8 and 9 until you are satisfied with the result. Normally, three or four coats will be enough.

Tips and warnings

  • While some people recommend latex paint, oil-based will result in a stronger finish on tile. This is especially true if the tile gets a lot of use.
  • When you are painting or priming the tile, do not leave any lines or drips because these will show up on the finished product.
  • Use paint thinner to clean up any messes right away or they could be there forever.

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