painting tile.

painting tile 

 You might be wondering why I ever got the idea that painting tile might be a good idea. Well…The top is my bathroom at it’s absolute best. About 2 weeks ago.  I have been working at remodeling it…on a serious budget.  And when I say serious, I mean, almost nothing.

Bathrooms are gross and stinky.  No matter how much you clean them, they just never seem to be all that pretty and clean.  At least when you have kids.  And just eat away at the cash when you try to give them a makeover.  They need all sorts of special sized containers and shelves, as well as special paints and such.  Geez.

But, we found some ways to freshen and revive this bathroom for cheap!  And when I say cheap…cheap!!

Okay, first up for me was the tile.  It was in great shape and it seemed foolish to pull it down and put up new.  But…I really, really, didn’t like it.  It just wasn’t jiving with what I wanted to see while sitting on the pot.

So..I painted it.
Yes, it worked.
Yes, it was easy.
Yes, it was cheap.
About $25.00! And not even really that because I used the same white paint I used for the sink (which you can see if you click HERE)…

painting tile

Here is a before. The tile is a beigey color…generic.
And frankly, a bit dirty looking.

painted tile

I painted it white white.
And added a border of charcoal on the top 2 rows.

I used the same tile paint to also paint the sink and it worked fantastic! What a great difference! You can head over HERE to see the finished room.

Here are the paints I  used… Rust-Oleum 7860519 Tub And Tile Refinishing 2-Part Kit, White (their special tub and tile 2-part version) and Martha Stewart. ,multi-purpose craft paint in charcoal.


That refinishing paint is stinky!  And has a time limit that is has to be used within.  But man…it works!

I used a basic craft paint for those top 2 rows.  I plan to throw a coat of clear sealer on top of it.  But I also bought several extra containers for touch-ups.  This tile is so low-traffic that I can’t imagine it will need a lot of touch-ups.  So far…it’s holding up ridiculously well!!  I’ll keep you updated though!

Update: 3 years later and this paint is still holding up great! There is a bit of peeling around the sink faucet that I believe I would have avoided if I had removed it to paint rather than simply taping. The tiles have held up absolutely brilliantly!


Pretty darn impressive…right!!
A difference is made already just from painting tile!

Not bad…not bad at all!

Update: to see the finished bathroom remodel click HERE. It’s way cool!

If you like this post, you might also like:

create a lathe floor
paint a sink
upgrade an ugly door.



  1. says

    Love your ideas! So it’s been over 18 months now. How is it all holding up? How about cleaning it? I saw on the sink thing that you clean it as you normally do, but what do you normally do? Specifically?

    I am seriously considering trying this. I have a 70s bathroom that is the pits. It is that awful brownish yellow mustardy thing and the floor is tiled with it as well as the walls and the tub and the toilet. It looks like a mustard factory vomited all over it.

    I simply cannot afford to replace all of that, but painting it… that’s an idea. Since my toilet is basically the same kind of stuff as the tile, I’m betting I could do that too.

    I just want to make sure that all my efforts won’t disappear in a year. This needs to last for a good long while.

    You did a GREAT job!

    • says

      It’s holding up well! One thing I didn’t do that I should have is remove the faucet and then paint. The paint is peeling from around the faucet because it didn’t adhere properly. I’m sure if I had removed the faucet first it wouldn’t be doing that.

      I would do it again, for sure!

  2. ROBIN says

    Great idea! We’d love to do this in our Cafe, but where’d you find this paint? Home Depot and the Rustoleum site only show the tub & tile kits.

  3. willy says

    Wow! you mean I can do away with the old green tlle I have! what about the tile floor to. This is my main bathroom so gets used everyday. What about my old porcelan tub. Would it hold up or that and the tile that is on the wall around the tub? If so I thank you for this!

  4. says

    I painted pink tiles in our bathroom 6 years ago. yes, PINK! I used 1-2-3 primer and then 2 coats of latex paint! still going strong!!!!! way to go! I didn’t know about the specialty paint…good to know for future reference!

  5. says

    Well done! I’m dying to paint the tile in my bathroom, but I’ve been unsure about the whole idea. Yours looks fabulous! Great choice to do the charcoal border.

    • says

      Thank you Erin!! This is year 7 of us living here and I finally gathered up the kahunas to paint it. Finally it came down to taking them down and replacing or figuring out how to make it work. So, it didn’t seem to do harm to try it. That charcoal border gives it a bit of oomph doesn’t it! Have a great week!

  6. says

    Wow…the colors are GREAT!! And only $25?! Oh how I wish I knew about this years ago when I was living with pink and mauve bathroom tiles!

  7. Barb Sledge says

    I painted mine over 5 years ago with Zinnseer fast prime 2 and then a good paint over that, and it still looks easy and cheap to do…I love how you painted yours!! Looks geat!

  8. says

    I love it. I have a new love for painting tile. We have a fireplace that had minature subway tile painted over our house is over 100 years old) and I couldn’t figure out why anyone would paint such a tile, but after heat gunning the paint off, I realized why it was pretty damaged and worn. So I repainted it black and it looks wonderful!

  9. says

    This looks so good… wondering if I could use it on the tile in the shower ?? Or am I pushing it ? LOL I’d sure love to re-tile the shower but can’t afford it.. I’ll have to check out that paint.. Your bathroom looks great..


  10. says

    What? Get out! Okay, I will no longer be put off by crazy colored bathroom tile in older homes. Janel told me I could paint it. Your bathroom looks lovely.

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