How To Paint Tile Step by Step Guide

It’s a big job to upgrade the bathroom or kitchen and is often very costly. Another option is to give the tiles a lick of paint – it can be surprising how a different colour scheme can change a room. This article on how to paint tile walks you through this process to get a beautiful design change.

We cover everything from one-tone paint tiles to achieving a more trendy patterned finish. All you need is the most appropriate colour, stencils, and patience.

Tools and Materials For Painting Tiles

You’re going to need a few things to make sure that the project goes smoothly. These include:

  • Detergent or sugar soap
  • Fungicidal spray
  • Scourer
  • Fine-grade sandpaper
  • Filler
  • Gloves
  • Primer
  • Small paint brush
  • Tile paint or one that’s labelled high-gloss solvent-based paint

Step 1: Clean Your Tiles Thoroughly

It’s important to ensure the tiles are thoroughly cleaned before you pick up the brush to paint them. Grease, dust, and dirt can all prevent the paint from properly adhering to the tiles. Therefore, it’s best to spend time cleaning the tiles with a detergent solution or sugar soap and a scouring pad.

If the goal is to paint the tiles within the kitchen, spend as much time as necessary to be thorough here. These tiles are sure to have high amounts of grease and food residue on them. If you apply the paint without cleaning, you’re going to see those marks once it’s dry.

It doesn’t matter if you’re painting ceramic tiles or something else. Make sure there aren’t any mould stains on the sealant or grout. If there is, you can utilise fungicidal sprays to kill it before you apply the paint.

Also, a steam cleaner is efficient at cleaning the tiles and grout before they get painted. Ensure the tiles are fully dry before you start to paint them. We recommend that you wait a full 24 hours.

Step 2: Sand the Tiles

If you are painting a high-gloss bathroom tile, consider sanding the surfaces first. This ensures that the paint can adhere to the rough grooves on the surface. Clean off any dust before painting tiles.

Step 3: Choose Stencils to Provide a Patterned Finish

It’s possible to achieve trendy patterned finishes on the surfaces you paint. To do that, you should first paint the tile a neutral colour. Then, take a stencil and paint over that. When you’re finished, remove the stencil.

While it seems hard initially, it’s quite simple. You can buy stencils for painting bathroom tile and floor tiles from various locations. Just ensure that you’ve chosen the right size stencil.

painting tile stencil template

You must also choose your colour palette wisely because you wish for results to be great. We think that neutrals work best, but you can also add a brighter shade to make the room pop.

Whether you’re painting floor tiles or those in the bathroom, you’re going to find many options available. Using a smaller brush is essential, and sometimes, a sponge might work great, too.

Step 4. Choose the right Tile Painting Products

We recommend using a high-gloss paint, and you may be able to find specific paint for tiles like the Dulux brand or the Ronseal One Coat Tile Paint. Generally, these high-gloss paint options don’t require a primer, but you should follow the instructions from the manufacturer for the best results.

Sometimes, paint colors for tile can be limited, so it might be better to choose the shade you prefer most first. Using semi-gloss works well for ceramic tile, as well as other tile options. Take your time and use the one that is going to look most appropriate for your home.

Step 5: Prime the Tiles (if needed)

Some paint brands require it, so you’re going to need a small brush because it’s easier to get into the grout. However, a roller might be suitable for large areas, such as in the bathroom and kitchen.

Tiles can be unforgiving when painting them. The brush strokes are sure to show easily, so the surface coatings have to be thin. It’s going to take time for the primer to fully dry. Once that happens, you can lightly sand it.

Remove all the dust and debris from the process, and the paint is going to stick to the tile surfaces much better.

Step 6: Start the Tile Painting Process

You are now going to begin painting your tile. If you choose to use a stencil, you should position it on the wall tile at this time. It must be in the right position so that the results look great.

In almost all cases, you need two coats of paint, which doesn’t include the primer. However, if you’re painting over dark patterns or colors, you may require more than two coats.

You should avoid using heavy brush strokes because those markings are going to show through the paint. Once it’s painted, it could peel after two or more weeks. This is going to require you to remove the old paint and begin again.

Step 7: Add the Patterned Finish If You Want

The next part is a little, but just take your time and figure out the right way for you to do it. Try to go slow and use the stencil on a single tile at a time. Precision is essential here because you want it to look like a professional completed the job when you’re done.

Here are a few professional tips that you can utilize:

  • Use less paint. You should only dip the tip of the brush into the paint so that it’s not overloaded. Then, wipe away the excess. If the stencil bleeds, you’ve got too much paint on it.
  • A sponge might work better than brushes. This prevents too much paint from getting used and is often easier to cover large spaces fast.
  • Practice utilising the stencil on a paper plate or something you can throw away. It could require a few attempts before you master this technique, and you want to know how to do it like a pro before starting on the tiles.
  • When you do begin painting the tiles, proceed with the less visible ones to get better and have more practice. Then, you can do the middle ones when you’re more confident.

Step 8: Let It Dry

You’ve got to have patience with this last task. Really, you’re just letting everything dry for about 24 hours. The manufacturer may recommend timing options, and you should go by what’s listed.

Tips for Painting Bathroom Tiles

  • Remove silicone sealants from the shower, sinks, and bathtub within the bathroom before you begin painting. If it’s impossible to eliminate it, tape it off.
  • Once the bathroom tile is painted, you should not try to re-grout now. This must be done beforehand because abrasive products are going to strip the colour.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaning products once the tiles are dry.

Tips for Painting Kitchen Tiles

  • Ensure that the kitchen tile is cleaned thoroughly before you begin the kitchen painting process. Remove all of the food and grease stains for better results.
  • Use a grout cleaner and microfibre cloths between the tiles to withdraw grease and food that’s between them.
  • Before painting, protect your worktops and other items that can’t be moved with masking tape and dust sheets.


We hope that these tips for painting tiles have helped you feel confident to try a new project. Now, you can add wall tiles to a special part of the room. It’s also possible to upgrade the bathroom tile without having to rip all the old stuff out first.

Your home is going to look beautiful from the moment you finish painting tiles on the floor, in the kitchen, or in the bathroom. Not only have we discussed what you must do, but these tips for painting tiles also focuses on what to avoid. Start your next project now so that things start looking better.


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