Painting Tiles to Add to Your Decor

Last Updated on March 21, 2023 by Ellen Christian

Many people have tile backdrops in the bathroom and kitchen and painting tiles can be a great way to add to your decor. Tiles protect the walls from spatters and water but they can get a little boring when they’re all the same color. I’ve seen some really pretty decorated tiles that can be added to your tile backdrop when you’re installing it but I’ve wondered if it’s possible to paint on an existing tile.

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Painting Tiles to Add to Your Decor Without Remodeling

Painting Tiles

I don’t really want to remove a tile to install a different one because I’ve afraid of what kind of damage would be done to the tiles. While I’m sure a professional could manage it, I like to take care of small upgrades and repairs on my own like when I learned how to change your kitchen faucet and how to install a sensor light switch.

Painting Tiles to Add to Your Decor Without Remodeling

Painting tile backsplash

One of the easiest tile projects you can try is to paint your tile backsplash or a smaller area as a border. These tiles are generally small in size so you can get away with a simple design.  Of course, you can use the same process to simply paint all of the tiles a new color. Just follow these simple steps.

  • Using newspaper and painters’ tape, protect the area around the tile you’ll be painting. Clear off the counter and give yourself as much room as possible.
  • Clean the backsplash to remove any dirt or grime.
  • Sand the tile carefully with a 220 grit sandpaper to remove the gloss from the tile. Make sure that you remove all of the dust from the area when you’re done.

Painting Tiles to Add to Your Decor Without Remodeling


  • Apply a coat of prime to the tile. A stainblocker works best to keep the surface protected.
  • Sand it again lightly once the primer is dry to give it a surface for the paint to adhere to.
  • Paint with a new base coat. The number of coats you need to use will depend on the color you’re trying to cover. You’ll want to use a high gloss enamel paint. If you’re painting a large area, you can use a roller. Just be sure to check and make sure the grout has been covered as well.
  • Allow it to dry completely and then paint the design you want if you want an added design. A stencil will help if you’re new to painting. Use an oil based paint for the design. If it’s in an area that will get wet like near a sink or bathroom, you’ll want to seal it with a clear gloss to protect it.

Painting Tiles to Add to Your Decor Without Remodeling

The kind of paint you use will really depend on the area you’re painting. You’ll want to use a high gloss latex paint in an area that you’ll need to clean regularly because it’s easier to keep clean.

If you’re painting a floor, you will want to use a two-part epoxy paint which will harden much more than a latex paint will.

Painting Tiles to Add to Your Decor Without Remodeling

Painting tile countertops

Removing an old countertop and replacing it can be quite expensive. If you have a tile countertop and want to update your look, consider painting it a new color to give your kitchen a new feel. Bright Green Door does an awesome job explaining the process to you, and I love her finished look.

Can ceramic tile floors be painted?

Anything can be painted. The question really is should they be painted. If you have tile in a heavily trafficked area or one that is regularly exposed to dirt or wear, it will need to be painted more often. While you painting tiles on the floor is possible, chances are it will not hold up to wear very well. It may be easier to replace it with vinyl sheet flooring as we did. Cleaning vinyl sheet flooring is so much easier.

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