How to Paint Bathroom Plastic Shower Tiles

Written by richard kalinowski
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How to Paint Bathroom Plastic Shower Tiles
With a little prep work, you can paint over plastic shower tiles. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Plastic tiles are less expensive than ceramic tiles while still providing a similar aesthetic and easily cleanable surface. These affordable, practical tiles are a great solution for bathroom redesign on a budget. Of course, the colour of the tiles is important when redecorating a bathroom space. If you don't find the right-coloured plastic shower tiles for your budget and decorating motif, rest assured you can paint over these tiles for a dynamic look. Plastic tiles aren't as easy to paint as household wood or drywall surfaces, but the project isn't overly complex when you use the right materials.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Rag
  • Painter's tape
  • Bonding primer
  • Heavy-nap roller
  • Synthetic-bristled paintbrush
  • High-gloss, oil-based paint
  • Foam brush
  • Foam roller

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  1. 1

    Clean old bathroom shower tiles with trisodium phosphate and a rag. If you're painting brand new tiles, you don't need to clean them. An older surface could be covered in thin layers of oily residue or dirt.

  2. 2

    Protect trim and walls with painter's tape.

  3. 3

    Brush bonding primer onto the tiles using a heavy-nap roller. Bonding primer is specially formulated to adhere to slick surfaces like glass, ceramic and plastic. A heavy-nap roller usually applies enough primer to cover both the tile and any recessed grouting. If you notice exposed grout, however, touch-up the primer with a synthetic-bristled brush. Wait 24 hours for the primer to cure.

  4. 4

    Paint the plastic shower tile surface using high-gloss, oil-based paint. Oil-based paints last longer in moist environments, like bathrooms. If you want to paint the grout a different colour than the tile, use a foam roller for the tiling and a foam brush for the grout. If you are painting the plastic tiles and grouting the same colour, use a heavy-nap roller.

  5. 5

    Apply a second coat after two hours if the first coat doesn't provide full coverage.

  6. 6

    Remove the painter's tape once the final coat has dried for 24 hours.

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