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FAF Blog

Paint Ceramic Tiles

By Stacey Kosha, (401 words) Posted in Tile Flooring on May 19, 2009
There are (17) comments permalink

I recently received an email from a customer of mine asking if it was possible to paint ceramic tiles. In actuality, most ceramic tiles can be painted and the results can be beautiful. In this blog, I will address when ceramic tiles can be painted and how to paint ceramic tiles.

When to Paint

When deciding if your ceramic tiles can be painted, there are some factors to consider. You should not paint ceramic tiles that are prone to frequent wetting. For example, ceramic tiles in bathtubs, showers, or on a bathroom floors that receive a lot of water are not prime candidates for painting. Areas where ceramic tiles are not as prone to moisture, such as living rooms and most kitchens, work well when painted.

How to Paint

One of the most important things to remember when painting ceramic tiles is that the tiles must be clean (free of dirt, wax, and grease) and completely dry. When cleaning ceramic tiles before painting, I recommend that you use a scrub brush and an approved ceramic tile cleaner to thoroughly remove dirt and other contaminates. This is necessary for the paint to properly stick to the ceramic tile.

When choosing paint, there are a few options that work well for painting ceramic. Oil–based paints were popular for years and work very well, though laws on VOCs are making oil–based paints hard to come across. You also have to consider difficult cleanup as brushes and rollers must be cleaned with paint thinner or mineral spirits after using oil–based paint.

Water–based paints with a urethane resin also work well when painting ceramic tiles. This is because urethane creates a sticky paint that adheres very well to surfaces.

You can choose to paint the tile and the grout or just the tile, though this requires much more skill and precision to protect the grout from paint and to create clean paint lines. You can either use a paint brush or a roller with a low nap to paint your ceramic tiles.

Once painted, the paint should be allowed to fully cure, which normally takes two days. Once cured, the ceramic tile paint needs to be protected with several layers of a clear floor finish. Water–based urethanes work great for this.

Painting ceramic tiles is an easy and inexpensive way to refresh your floor covering. If you plan to paint your ceramic tiles and need more help, be sure to visit our FindAnyFloor Forums, where tile experts are ready and willing to help.

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Comments (17)

BrownEyed Girl posted on: May 26, 2009

HAHA - Im an idiot. I painted my ceramic tiles by MY POOL. I was sick of the color of my tiles by the poolside so I decided to change it all by myself. I am now installing a new flooring options in the backyard - Flagstone flooring. Its a really pretty type of stone flooring option and I heard it really waterproof. Any suggestions? Do I have to seal or reseal? How can I maintain This type of flooring? (reminder: its outside by my pool) thanks. I also want to make sure no calcium build up happens... could I use CLR outside on the white calcium deposits? Anyone have some advice. Share! Thanks! Flagstone flooring - looks amazing so far too!

Michael - FAF Tile Pro posted on: June 6, 2009

Thanks for your question. I would seal the flagstone with a penetrating sealer suitable for stone. I recommend using Custom Building Products SurfaceGard Penetrating Sealer which helps keep stains from setting in and has a 20-year guarantee. This can be purchased at Home Depot or through many tile distributers. I would recommend visiting the stone flooring care guide on our website. Here is the link: http://www.findanyfloor.com/stone/StoneFloorCare.xhtml.

I stress using chemicals sparingly on stone. You should be able to keep it clean by occasionally pressure washing your flagstone but if you are having trouble areas you could try scrubbing in a very mild solution of sufamic acid crystals and water. This is also made by Custom Building Products under the brand name TileLab. If you do opt for the acidic approach keep in mind the possibility for etching so do a test spot first in a hidden area. Be sure to follow the safety and application instructions on the package.

Michael posted on: June 6, 2009

Additionally, please do not use CLR. I took this excerpt from their directions...Do not use CLR on natural stone, marble, terrazzo, colored grout...

Maria posted on: June 18, 2009

Very cool post!

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Painting ceramics can be nice to decorate in you house because of the arts. However, this job is not that easy and cost too expensive. - Reputation Advocate

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