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How to Paint Ceramic Tile Crafts

Painting ceramic tiles is something the whole family can do together. Such art projects can be used with other ceramic tiles in a back splash in your kitchen, as a paperweight, to decorate wooden furniture, or with other crafts. Additionally, if your bathroom or kitchen tile is ugly or outdated, you can update it to show off your personality and match other decor. Certain painting techniques will ensure long-lasting artwork on ceramic tile.

Prepare the tile for the paint---paint will not stick to the slippery surface unless it is prepped. Clean the tile with a commercial tile cleaner that is mildly abrasive.

Sand the tile with 220-grit sandpaper. It's faster to do this with an orbital sander, but it can be done by hand. After sanding the area to be painted, dust it off and apply the primer.

Use a high-quality oil-based primer that has adhesive. This will ensure that your design sticks to the tile.

Use a paintbrush or a short-napped paint roller to apply the primer. Follow the directions regarding the drying time, then apply a second coat.

Take a fresh piece of 220-grit sandpaper and lightly go over the area you have primed. This will remove any bumps and burrs and ensure a smooth surface for your paint.

Select oil-based paints for your tile craft. This paint is durable and won't easily nick. It takes longer to dry but is better suited for this type craft.

Paint your tile a solid colour or get creative and paint some designs to match the other decor in your home. If you are painting a design, use a stencil or draw the design on the tile with a lead pencil first. Allow the art to dry thoroughly between coats. Make sure the top coats of paint are semigloss or high gloss; this will help protect your artwork.

Clean the drips and the mess with paint thinner and a supply of clean rags.

Things You'll Need

  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Paintbrushes
  • Short-napped paint roller
  • Oil-based primer
  • Oil-based paints
  • Lead pencil (optional)
  • Stencils (optional)
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About the Author

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.