Can You Paint Ceramic Floor Tile?

Tile floors add beauty and value to any home, but are they durable? Replacing them can be expensive and time consuming; painting tile can appear to be an appealing solution – but does it actually work?

Start by giving the tiles a thorough scrub with trisodium phosphate cleaner (TSP). Next, lightly sand them for added brightness.


Ceramic tile provides a resilient, long-term flooring surface for any room in any setting, offering a clean and modern aesthetic. While not as soft as wood or stone, it’s more resistant to scratches and chipping than most other options; however, over time it may become stained or damaged and require repainting if left unsealed with sealers/polyurethane coats applied over it.

Prior to painting floor tiles, it is essential that they be sanded. This increases friction on their surface and ensures that primer and paint adhere effectively.

If you need to regrout or cut out an area before painting, do it before doing any painting. Paint can easily get onto grout lines; if you regrout after having painted it will damage its appearance and possibly crack or chip it. In addition, cutting around an area with a tile nipper will be much simpler in such circumstances.


If you want your painted tiles to last for as long as possible, primer is key. This step should not be neglected, particularly if the floors aren’t new and flawless.

Home improvement stores stock an assortment of tile primers, but for optimal results you will also require painter’s tape and floor cleaner. While this step may require extra fiddling, it will help ensure clean lines when painting your tiles without bleeding into adjacent baseboards or transitions.

No matter the color you want to achieve, there are various kinds of tile paint to select from depending on what shade it will create. Some are latex-based while others use acrylic as their foundation. Whichever option you decide upon, be sure to stir well prior to use; additionally you will require something such as a foam roller to spread it on. Doing this will create a thick coating which is better equipped to withstand impacts, abrasion and water damage than standard tiles.


Refreshing ceramic tile flooring with paint can be an enjoyable and effective project, though painted tiles will only remain attractive for so long before they start degrading due to wear and tear. A polyurethane sealer may help extend their longevity; otherwise they’ll wear away over time.

Make your paint job last by priming tile properly with high-adhesion primer before painting begins. After it dries according to manufacturer specifications, painting can begin.

Latex and acrylic latex paints work well on ceramic tile surfaces, as will enamel paint. Oil-based alkyd paints also excel at covering ceramic tiles without much moisture (e.g. kitchen floors). When stenciling with oil paint or freehand painting with stencils or freehanding in oil paint, be sure to tape off all baseboards and transitions around the tile; this step is finicky but will result in clean painted lines that do not overlap into trim or walls.


If you want your painted tile floor to look even nicer and be more water and grime resistant, adding a protective coat may be the way forward. Polyurethane coating or sealer work well here; wax might also suffice as an option.

If your floors are glazed, they likely require polishing prior to applying a topcoat. While this process can be time-consuming and complex, polishing creates a glossy surface that resists dirt and scratches more effectively.

Now it’s time to paint your floors! Latex, oil-based and enamel paints all work great when applied using high-adhesion primer on ceramic tiles. Simply roll on an even coat with a roller before allowing it to fully dry before walking on or moving back furniture in. While it takes patience to complete this task properly, once completed you will be left with a beautiful new floor that will stand the test of time!

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