How to Paint Bathroom Plastic Shower Tiles

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.

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.

Protect trim and walls with painter's tape.

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.

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.

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

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

Things You'll 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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About the Author

Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.