How To Paint Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile can be primed and painted, which is a great alternative to having to re-tile your bathroom just because you don't like the color. However, the following instructions are for ceramic tile that is not in your shower.  Constant water hitting a painted surface will result in paint failure.  If you need to paint ceramic tile that is in your shower area you will need to consult a paint store in order to get the correct epoxy that will stand up to water flow.

Materials Needed


Paint, brush & roller, painter's tape, sandpaper, cleaning solution, primer (as needed), tray.




  1. Thoroughly clean the surface to remove dirt, oil, grease, and other material that may interfere with adhesion.  Wash the surface with a strong detergent, such as Tri-Sodium Phosphate or Formula 409. Then rinse the surface.
  2. If the tile has a high gloss, lightly scuff sand with 180-220 grit sandpaper.  Rinse to remove the sanding dust.
  3. A specialty primer is needed to adhere to ceramic tile.  Do not use a regular wall primer.  We recommend either Stix made by Insl-X or XIM bonding primer.  Brush, roll or spray on the primer and let dry for at least 4 hours.  The primer may be sanded to achieve a smooth finish.
  4. Apply two coats of good quality paint in either a full gloss or satin sheen, waiting at least 4 hours between coats.


Remember to read all of the directions for the specific product you are using.  Drying times and re-coat times may be different than listed above.

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