Painting Bathroom Tile

I’m a big fan of painting tile as a quick fix. We painted our mudroom/kitchen floors and our laundry room floors not long after we moved in almost a year ago and they’ve held up surprisingly well! Occasionally we’ll get a scratch or a ding that’s bad enough to warrant pulling out the oil-based paint…

I’m a big fan of painting tile as a quick fix. We painted our mudroom/kitchen floors and our laundry room floors not long after we moved in almost a year ago and they’ve held up surprisingly well! Occasionally we’ll get a scratch or a ding that’s bad enough to warrant pulling out the oil-based paint for a touch up, but that’s only happened a couple of times. I used Glidden Porch and Floor paint in gloss for the kitchen and mudroom and I like that one best. I usually just get it color matched.

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When I fixed up the studio space last month, I decided the bathroom needed a mini overhaul at the same time. I wanted to just dress it up as much as we could for as little as we could. (My favorite kind of project!).

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The space had lots of ceramic tile that had seen better days by the time we bought the house. It looked pretty dingy. With all my good tile-painting luck under my belt I decided we’d paint the bathroom tiles black!

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Heather showered in the girls bathroom for a couple days while we let the shower tile in here really dry out. Then we primed it with my favorite shellac-based tile, which says on the label that it will stick to masonry and tile. We just rolled in on with a mini-roller.

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Here’s where I wished I hadn’t cheaped out. I had a gallon of this flat black rustoleum in the house so we just used that instead of going to get my tried and true Glidden Porch and Floor. I have a feeling that a lot of the problem was this oil-based enamel is a flat sheen, and I think the gloss makes a big difference in durability.

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So far it’s holding up beautifully, but I felt more confident about the Glidden for some reason. I’ll let you know how it wears, but after maybe a month or two, we haven’t had any problems with the paint on the floors or in the shower.

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Stay tuned for the room reveal tomorrow! We did a fun, cheap treatment on the walls to spice it up in here! And we changed the lights, the vanity, the mirror, and the cabinet fronts, all for just a few dollars! :)

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29 thoughts on “Painting Bathroom Tile

  1. okay, i'm convinced that I need to paint our tiled bathrooms now that it is coming from you!!

    no reason I should continue to suffer with dingy tile floors until we can afford a remodel.

    any tips on how well you clean it before painting?

  2. This post couldn't have come at a better time. I am literally planning on painting my bathroom floor tile a glossy black, but wasn't sure how to approach it. So thank you, thank you!

  3. Dying to do this. The en suite off of our master is that terrible 90's faux terracotta. Doesn't exactly go with our 1880's New England home. Although I am due with baby #2 in 3 weeks so this may have to wait. :)

  4. I'm also a fan of a quick fix! I painted a small amount of tile in my bathroom (just above the sink), just until we renovate. I used a kit from rustoleum that has held up really well – it helped me modernize the bathroom without spending much at all (along with painting the oak cabinetry).

    I didn't know I could just paint it, so this is good to know for next time!! I would have loved to have had more options for colours. The black you chose is STUNNING!

  5. Planning on painting the tiles around our fireplace this week and both paint stores I was just at had NO idea what I should use. Thank you so much for this!

    And, I LOVE the black. Looks great.

  6. While I love the idea of a quick fix, painted bathroom tile has not been a good experience for me as a homeowner. The house we purchased had glossy 1950's tiles that had been painted. Within a month of us living here, they began peeling and were also impossible to clean! By that I mean the painted grout lines always looks unclean and moldy no matter what cleaning supplies I used. Additionally, even Method glass cleaner that accidentally landed on the tile, stained the tile. So, we have had to renovate two perfectly good bathrooms in order to rid ourselves of the painted tile (I love decorating, so not a terrible thing, but extra money). That being said, I think that the type of tile Jenny painted may hold up better, and probably the paint choice helps too. I have no idea what kind of paint was used with ours, but it looked great the day we moved in. Best of luck!

  7. Jenny, do you ever run out if fresh ideas? I really love how you are able to upgrade almost anything with a colorful, classy spin that the rest of us can then have a go at

  8. This is right on time for me! The old bathroom tile in the house we bought was previously painted. Now the paint is chipping and peeling. Since a full reno is not in the budget just yet, I was considering removing the chipped paint and repainting everything until we're ready to tackle that bigger project. Do you know anything about repainting already painted tile???? I need all the help I can get!

  9. Question…we have some horrific maroon marble (yes marble comes in maroon). Do you think this might work on marble? Hoping this might buy me some time to figure out what I want to do with this space long term. It's so ugly my daughter won't use her bathroom! ��

  10. I love the idea of painting tile. I have a tile kitchen counter that has previously been painted but it is worn and the old tile is showing through in places (scratches or just little dots) and the counter never looks clean. Any ideas about how I might repaint the counter?

  11. I really like how it looked after the grey primer. Do you think you could have stopped there or did or need a top coat of some kind?

  12. I want to paint the tile around my fireplace. It’s builder grade tile. It’s wood burning but we don’t burn wood any more : (

  13. We painted our front and back foyer floors to cover ugly tile. It worked perfectly and gets lots of dirty feet traffic. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

  14. How well does this method stand up to dogs (one that thinks the bathroom is his own personal kennel…) and kids?

  15. Hi! Would you still use these same products today? I read another post that specifically recommended using the rustoleum Kit. Did you feel like the fumes were really bad? Thanks!!

    1. I actually recently repainted these with the rustoleum kit and it was SO FUMEY!! But the paint is holding up really well!

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