How to Decorate With Paint Over Kitchen Tiles

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Decorate With Paint Over Kitchen Tiles
Paint over kitchen tiles to give an instant facelift. (Beautiful and new kitchen furniture on modern kitchen image by terex from

Painting over tile may seem like an improbable success story, but rest assured, if you follow the proper prep and finishing procedures your decorative paint job will be a sensation. The best thing about painting over kitchen tiles is that you get a whole new kitchen look, with practically unlimited design options, for the cost of a couple of cans of paint. You can paint over the whole tiled area, or just add decorative borders, a mural or feature wall; the choice is yours.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Abrasive tile cleaner
  • Sponge/scourer
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Stencils (optional)
  • Painters tape (optional)
  • Oil-based paint
  • Paintbrushes/rollers
  • Water-based urethane

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  1. 1

    Vacuum the entire area you want to paint. Pay particular attention to floors and corners. Clean the area with abrasive tile cleaner (an abrasive bathroom cleaning agent will do) and a sponge or scourer. The cleaner the surface the better the paint will adhere. Rinse thoroughly with water and let dry.

  2. 2

    Sketch your design on the paper while the tiles are drying. If you just want to paint over in a uniform colour, then a sketch is not necessary. If you want you can use stencils to make a decorative border; mark out straight lines with painter's tape for a simple but effective straight border.

  3. 3

    Paint the tiles with the oil-based paint; water-based tends to peel easier than oil based, according to Ask The Builder expert Tim Carter. If you use a roller go slowly, as the paint can bubble with fast rolling action. Once you are happy with the design let the paint dry overnight.

  4. 4

    Apply two coats of the urethane over the paint job; following the instructions on the urethane can for timing between coats. Oil-based urethane tends to yellow over time, so should be avoided.

Tips and warnings

  • Make your own stencils by cutting out the desired shape from transparencies or thin, stiff plastic.
  • If you have used painter's tape to section off painted areas take it off while the paint is still slightly tacky as this will minimise the risk of the paint chipping off with the tape.
  • Paint and apply urethane in areas with good ventilation; where possible keep windows open to allow air circulation.

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