How to repair chips on ceramic tile

Written by sarai jeremiah
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Ceramic tile often covers bathroom walls, kitchen countertops, and bathroom and kitchen floors. According to "This Old House," ceramic tile is extremely durable and can last a lifetime if installed and cared for properly. Although ceramic tile doesn't damage easily, you can chip your tile by dropping something heavy on it. Instead of replacing a whole tile---a hard and time-consuming task---simply replace the chipped area of your tile.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Oil-based primer sealer
  • High-gloss oil paint
  • Two-part clear waterproof marine epoxy
  • Liquid detergent
  • Warm water
  • Sponge
  • Blow dryer
  • Two old toothbrushes
  • Toothpick or tiny stick

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  1. 1

    Wet your sponge with warm water. Put two drops of liquid detergent on the sponge, and rub it together until it lathers well.

  2. 2

    Wash the chipped area of the tile with the soapy sponge to remove any dirt or particles.

  3. 3

    Rinse the sponge with warm water to remove all of the soap. Wash the tile again with warm water to remove any soap residue.

  4. 4

    Dry the tile for about 15 to 20 minutes using a blow-dryer on the "warm" setting. Get the tile completely dry.

  5. 5

    Put a small amount of oil-based primer sealer on an old toothbrush, and apply it to the chipped part of your tile. Do not get any of the primer sealer on other parts of the tile. Allow the primer sealer to dry for about two hours.

  6. 6

    Put a small amount of oil paint on the second toothbrush, and apply it to the chipped part of your tile. Do not get any of the paint on other parts of the tile. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours.

  7. 7

    Check the paint once it has dried. If the paint has not dried in a dark enough colour to blend in with the rest of the tile, repeat Step 6. Allow the second coat of paint to dry for another 24 hours. If the colours have blended, continue to Step 8.

  8. 8

    Squirt a small amount of the epoxy onto a piece of cardboard. Mix the epoxy thoroughly with a toothpick or tiny stick.

  9. 9

    Apply the epoxy to the chipped area of your tile using the toothpick or tiny stick. Level the epoxy with the rest of your tile. Allow the epoxy to set for at least 24 hours.

Tips and warnings

  • Purchase the primer sealer, oil paint and marine epoxy online or at most home improvement stores. You can also purchase the oil paint at hobby stores and other stores that sell paint.
  • For best results, buy a paint colour in the exact shade of your tile. If you can't find an oil paint in the right colour, have a custom paint colour created at the store where you buy your paint.

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