How to Paint Bathroom Floor Tiles

Painting tiles is a cost-effective and flexible way to upgrade your bathroom without the expense and disruption associated with full renovation. Plus, painting allows for unlimited design possibilities thanks to its variety of colors!

However, paint is not permanent and prolonged exposure to moisture or foot traffic will accelerate its degradation over time. Therefore, it’s essential that tile surfaces be prepared thoroughly prior to painting with only paint designed specifically for tile use!


If your tile needs updating but you don’t have the budget or timeframe for full re-tiling, painting may be an economical solution to give it a fresh new look. Just be sure to prepare the surface properly to ensure the paint adheres.

Clean the tiles carefully before removing existing sealants with commercial sealer remover or warm water and vinegar mixtures, such as sealer remover. Rinse and dry thoroughly afterwards. Sand the floor lightly for maximum paint adhesion using 120-grit sandpaper or sanding blocks until you achieve a rough surface before rinsing and drying again.

Now you can apply a layer of primer to prepare the tiles for paint. There are various kinds of primer available, including epoxy and urethane options suitable for ceramic or porcelain tile as well as natural stone and unglazed quarry tile masonry primer. Select the best option according to manufacturer recommendations for drying times between coats.


Color can add a welcome splash of brightness, but for optimal results it is crucial that the paint chosen be tailored specifically to tile use. Generally this would involve choosing specialist tile paint, or, in cases involving unglazed quarry or natural stone tiles, water- and grime-resistant acrylic latex designed specifically for interior masonry applications.

Once the primer has fully set, proceed with applying your chosen hue. This process should follow a similar framework to painting walls; using foam rollers for coating large areas while brushes handle edges and corners.

Once the paint has had time to fully set, you can add an antimicrobial sealant for added protection from dirt, grime and general wear and tear. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions here as well, including any recommended dry times before you can begin using your bathroom again.


If your bathroom tiles are looking outdated, but your budget or timeline cannot accommodate re-tiling them completely, painting may offer an effective solution. Be sure to seal them after applying paint in order to prevent moisture from chipping away at it before long.

Ceramic, porcelain and unglazed quarry tile can withstand acrylic latex floor and wall paint ($10 to $30 per gallon), or epoxy paint formulated for interior masonry and stucco ($20 to $35 per gallon). The latter type cures into a harder coating that provides greater heat and moisture resistance than regular latex paints.

Before applying sealant, use a mild cleanser and sponge to thoroughly clean the tile surface. Next, sand it using 120-grit sandpaper so the primer will better adhere to it, before rinsing and drying with a tack cloth to complete this step. Now it is time for sealant.


Stencils are an ideal way to apply patterns on painted tile surfaces, whether that means quilt-like ones like those found in Remington Avenue powder rooms or more geometric ones like those found in Brown Acres kitchens. After applying your base coat paint, let it fully dry before stenciling over it with stencils.

To prevent bleeding, always blot excess paint onto a paper towel before rolling it onto your stencil. Don’t hesitate to use smaller stencil brushes for hard-to-reach areas or corners in your design.

Once all the full tiles have been stenciled, move on to any intricate edges or tricky areas that need special attention. Modify your stencil to fit each edge as necessary and tape it down if necessary.

Angela sealed her floor using Minwax Polycrylic (she recommends water-based sealants over polyurethanes as it won’t yellow over time) in four coats, waiting two hours between each application. A small paint brush was also handy to touch up any smudges or drips that occurred.

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