How to Paint Ceramic Tile Walls

Rolling paint on a ceramic tile wall.

While you can paint over ceramic tile walls, don’t paint a ceramic tile floor, as it won’t hold up.

To paint over ceramic tile walls:

  • Sand the surface of the tile with 100-grit sandpaper.
  • Wipe the tile down to clean it and remove any sanding dust.
  • Paint over the tile with a bonding primer.
  • After the primer has dried, paint the walls with epoxy paint.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Danny Lipford: Julie asks, “Is it possible to paint the ceramic tile walls in my bathroom?”

Yes, you can successfully paint ceramic tile walls in your bathroom, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to paint the floor. It just won’t hold up.

And you can really update the look of a bathroom, especially if you have some of the old color tiles like pink or avocado, but in this case, the blue tiles here work pretty well. In this bathroom the homeowner’s done a very good job.

But if you decide to paint, here are the steps you need to go through. First of all, use 100-grit sandpaper, and sand the surface of the tiles throughout the bathroom. Then wipe it down to thoroughly clean it.

Follow that with a bonding primer. Paint that over the entire surface. Then apply a coat of epoxy paint, and you’ll see a dramatic difference in your bathroom.

But one thing that’ll be a little different is that, you know, one of the nice things about ceramic is that the grout really accents the look of that tile. Once you paint it, you’ll lose that effect.

31 COMMENTS

  1. I went to Lowe’s and Menard’s last night to get epoxy paint to paint over my ceramic tiles and they acted like I was crazy. The only epoxy paint they had was for concrete garage floors and they said that would not work on the tiles. What exactly am I looking for in the paint to know I have the right stuff???

    Thank you.

  2. I have the same need of painting ceramic tile around tub and would like to know exactly what kind of paint to use

  3. Can I paint the black stone (or pressed paper I’m not sure what the top of my coffeetable is. I ruined it with trying to get stains out from drinks with baking soda and vinegar. I have Now big bleached out spots on the black top.
    Would appreciate an advice from you . Sincerely Greta Moulijn

  4. I’m painting tile in a wet bar area and on only 4 tiles the paint “disappeared/separated” as if there was oil or heat behind them.
    I put another coat on hoping the second coat will stick/dry. Any ideas why this happened?

  5. exactly what type of epoxy was use for what I can see it holds vertical where do I buy it and if you can tell me the name…also I have a inclose patio that has tile can I put the coat over eliminating the grauting and leveling the floor to do the metallic epoxy? thank you/

  6. I have a kitchen island that has a tile top as well as my backsplash and countertops. With food preparation done on the countertops and island, can I use this method on them? With using this painting method, will the grout lines still be indented? I would prefer a smooth finish.

  7. AFTER you paint the ceramic tile, wil a grout pen work properly?? Meaning, can you regain the effect without ruining the paint?

  8. Looking to paint over ceramic tile in a bathroom on the non-wet areas (walls away from the shower/tub) I was curious if you have any tips to fill in the grout lines to give the wall a flat appearance? Could you use traditional spackle for this? (to fill in/level off the grout lines)

  9. I would like to paint over (light) white panel that’s in my small den. I am trying to turning the den into a bedroom for my granddaughter who’s nine year old and watching your show and other home make over shows often :0)
    Janiya, theme is Paris France. She have asked me to paint the panel ” Fairy Tail Pink” and my goal is to try to make her wish come true. I am sixty-four on a fixed income therefore, whatever you suggest please consider my budget.
    Thank you and have a safe, bless wonderful Christmas!
    Elaine Jackson

    • Hi, Elaine,
      Thanks for watching “Today’s Homeowner.” Here’s how we would suggest tackling this project:
      First, lightly sand the surface or wipe it down with liquid sandpaper. Then apply a coat of “stain-blocking“ primer before the top coat.
      Paint prices and selection vary from store to store, so we recommend heading to the home center, sharing Janiya’s preference (and your budget), and someone there should be able to find the perfect match.
      Good luck with this project!

    • Hi, Onias!
      Sounds like a fun project. But first, more information is needed.
      What kind of kitchen tiles are these?

  10. I just bought a house and discovered that the shower and wall have been painted (over tile). How do I fix the problem? It looks like regular paint was used. Please share any suggestions!!!

    • Hi, Teri,
      Yes! But you’ll need specialty paint such as Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile paint.
      Good luck with your project. 🙂

  11. I want to paint the background , which is yellow, on 4×4 tiles that are installed as a border around a sink & shower. This is in a guest bathroom which is not used often. The tile have a palm tree in the center. Can you give me any tips & products
    To use?

    • Hi, Holly,
      Need more information about this topic? Connect one-on-one with a home improvement pro immediately through JustAnswer, a Today’s Homeowner partner: http://justanswer.9pctbx.net/c/2342074/565926/9320
      Good luck with that ceramic tile wall.
      Sounds like an awesome project! 🙂

  12. I want to stencil my ceramic tiles on my kitchen backsplash. But I only want to stencil tiles in a zig zag pattern. Every video I have watched shows painting the whole area. I really don’t want to do that. So what kind of prep can I do to only stencil certain tiles? What type of paint should I use to stick to my tiles?
    Hope this makes sense.

    • Hi, Christine!
      We’re always looking for homeowners to call into our radio show and ask questions directly to Danny and Joe. We’ve reviewed your question and shared it with our radio producer, Marc, for consideration.
      Need immediate help? Connect one-on-one with a home improvement pro immediately through JustAnswer, a Today’s Homeowner partner: http://justanswer.9pctbx.net/c/2342074/565926/9320
      Take care. 🙂

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