How to Paint Ceramic Tile
LESLIE: Gwen in California’s up next and she finds The Money Pit on KSRO and you’ve got a painting question. How can we help?
GWEN: Hello. Yes, I bought a house and it has seafoam green ceramic tile around the fireplace, which just doesn’t work for me. And I was wondering if ceramic tile can be painted maybe black or white or some other, more appropriate color. Have you had any experience with that?
LESLIE: Absolutely you can paint it. It’s all a matter of making sure that you get proper adhesion. And the first thing you need to do is make sure that those tiles are all really, really clean. And around the fireplace you’re probably getting a buildup of smoke and it might just have some dirt and dust on it. So try to clean that really well and a good way to clean it is with water and ammonia; a mixture of the two. And that’ll get rid of any sort of dirt that might be on there. And once that’s on there, once everything’s really clean, make sure you rinse it well with plain water and let it dry.
And then you have to make sure you prime it with something that’s really going to stick really well and Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer from Zinsser – it’s an oil-based primer – it’s going to stick really well to the ceramic tile, which is important because you want to make sure that that other paint sticks to it. But it’s important to remember that even though you’re painting with something that’s going to stick well, if you sort of rub on the tile abrasively you might scratch it off anyway. So you have to be really cautious, once it’s painted, that you treat it carefully. You know, don’t scrub it; don’t scratch at it. Because you know, it could be prone to showing damage.
And then once you put the primer on make sure you use – I think an oil-based paint would be good because it’ll give you a nice sheen and it’ll stick really well. And that should do the trick.
GWEN: Just any oil-based or is there a tile oil-based paint or just any oil-based ceramic – I mean, whatever, high gloss would work?
LESLIE: Oh, yeah. I think any sort of oil-based paint that you would find. Behr makes fantastic paint that offers excellent coverage. And just make sure you get an oil-based that will really stick well because it gives you good adhesion; it gives you nice sheen.
GWEN: Alright. Alright, well thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Gwen. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.