By Amy DeYoung
Updated Jan 13, 2023
Painting tile floors completely transforms a room, giving it a total makeover and a different feel. However, buying prepainted tiles and replacing your current tiling can be very expensive. The national average for tile flooring installation is $3,500. In contrast, painting your floors will only cost you the price of the paint and some of your time.
Below, we’re sharing the steps you should take to paint floor tiles and what you need to consider to make this home improvement DIY project successful.
There are two factors to consider before starting your painting project.
A successful painting project starts with a smooth, undamaged canvas. Take the following steps to prepare your tile flooring for painting so that the tiles look beautiful and your paint job lasts:
You can use latex paint, enamel paint, or acrylic latex paint on ceramic tile with good results as long as you apply a high-quality high-adhesion primer to the surface.
Epoxy paint is another good choice because it’s resistant to cleaning solutions and abrasion.
If you’re skipping the primer altogether or want a shabby chic look, purchase chalk paint for this project.
Another great choice is oil-based paints because they typically last longer than latex paint. However, oil-based paints are more challenging to find and take much longer to dry, so the project will take longer if you choose this type of paint.
Be prepared to apply several coats of paint for full coverage, especially if your tiles are a darker paint color. If possible, wait three to seven days before applying the second coat of paint to allow the product plenty of time to cure.
For application, we recommend using a paint roller rather than a paintbrush for a more even paint job. You can also section off the tile with painter’s tape to create crisp lines or unique patterns.
After painting the tiles, seal the tiles with water and grime-resistant sealant. The paint sealant will bond with the coat of paint, forming a hard, gloss-like shell on top of the paint. This shell reduces ongoing wear and tear, prolonging the life of your tiles and their looks.
Painting your floor tiles is ultimately a short-term fix to update a room instead of replacing the old tile entirely. However, several factors can increase the need for touch-ups.
Heavy foot traffic can quickly chip away at your hard work by wearing down the top coat. Shower tiles and tiles on bathroom floors are also more susceptible to moisture damage.
Here are a few tips to help you preserve the paint color and appearance of your tiles:
Painting your tiles is an inexpensive way to upgrade the look of your home. However, the paint won’t last long if you don’t take care of the tiles after they’ve been painted or take the proper steps to clean and prime the floor first. Pay close attention to this tutorial for the best results, and enjoy the look of your new tiles.
Once you’ve got the hang of painting ceramic floor tiles, consider the many other possibilities. Wall tiles, countertop tiles, and kitchen tiles can all be painted with fantastic results.
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