How to paint bathroom floor tile

Updated February 21, 2017

Painting bathroom floor tile can instantly refresh ugly or dated tile. Painting tile requires less work than replacing the tiles, and can be a lot less expensive. Homeowners who choose to paint their bathroom floor tile should learn more about painting tile.

Clean the tile and grout with a household cleaner that removes oils, grease and dirt. Many types of cleaners work to remove these items from the bathroom floor tile. Use a soft cloth or a sponge with an abrasive pad to clean the tile and grout.

Remove mould from the tiles with bleach and a soft cloth. If you have mould on your floor, mix 237 ml (1 cup) of bleach in a 4.5 litre (1 gallon) of water and clean the entire floor so it is free of mould.

Inspect the tiles and grout for damage. If there is any damage to the tile or grout you need to repair it before painting the tile.

Sand the tiles with fine grit sandpaper and an electric hand sander. Sand the tile until the glossy finish is roughed up.

Clean the sanding dust from the tile with a vacuum. Once you have vacuumed the tiles, wipe the floor with a damp cloth.

Prime the tiles with a primer designed for high-gloss surfaces. Apply two coats of the primer, following the manufacturer directions. Allow the primer to dry completely.

Sand the primed tiles lightly by hand with fine-grit sandpaper. Once you finish sanding, wipe the tiles with damp cloth to remove the dust.

Apply several coats of satin finish oil based floor paint with a paint brush or roller. Many thin coats of paint are more likely to stay in place than one or two heavy coats of paint. Allow the paint to dry for 48 hours.

Apply two coats of polyurethane to the floor with a foam paint roller. This helps to protect the paint on the floor.


Painted tile in high moisture areas may not last as long as painted tiles in areas that are less likely to receive high amounts of moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Household cleaner
  • Soft cloths
  • Sponge with abrasive pad (optional)
  • 237 ml (1 cup) bleach
  • 4.5 litres (1 gallon) water
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Hand sander
  • Vacuum
  • Primer designed for glossy surfaces
  • Satin finish oil based floor paint
  • Paintbrush or roller
  • Polyurethane
  • Foam paint roller
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About the Author

Cadence Johansen is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about travel, marriage, family relationships, caregiver support, home improvement and money. Johansen has been writing professionally since 2008. She holds a master's degree in family studies from Utah State University.