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Do It: How to Paint Ceramic Tile Walls

By: Danny Lipford

Rolling paint on a ceramic tile wall.

While you can paint over ceramic tile walls, don’t paint a ceramic tile floor, as it won’t hold up.

To paint over ceramic tile walls:

  1. Sand the surface of the tile with 100-grit sandpaper.
  2. Wipe the tile down to clean it and remove any sanding dust.
  3. Paint over the tile with a bonding primer.
  4. After the primer has dried, paint the walls with epoxy paint.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: Julie asks, “Is it possible to paint the ceramic tile walls in my bathroom?”

Yes, you can successfully paint ceramic tile walls in your bathroom, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to paint the floor. It just won’t hold up.

And you can really update the look of a bathroom, especially if you have some of the old color tiles like pink or avocado, but in this case, the blue tiles here work pretty well. In this bathroom the homeowner’s done a very good job.

But if you decide to paint, here are the steps you need to go through. First of all, use 100-grit sandpaper, and sand the surface of the tiles throughout the bathroom. Then wipe it down to thoroughly clean it.

Follow that with a bonding primer. Paint that over the entire surface. Then apply a coat of epoxy paint, and you’ll see a dramatic difference in your bathroom.

But one thing that’ll be a little different is that, you know, one of the nice things about ceramic is that the grout really accents the look of that tile. Once you paint it, you’ll lose that effect.


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25 Comments on “Do It: How to Paint Ceramic Tile Walls”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    July 12th, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Hi, Faye!
    You can find epoxy paint at your local home center.

  • Faye Garand Says:
    July 12th, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Where do u get epoxy paint?

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    June 18th, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Hi, Darleen,
    Great question! We recommend submitting it to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for an in-depth answer.
    Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly:
    Take care!

  • Darleen Says:
    June 7th, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    I just bought a house and discovered that the shower and wall have been painted (over tile). How do I fix the problem? It looks like regular paint was used. Please share any suggestions!!!

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    April 3rd, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Hi, Onias!
    Sounds like a fun project. But first, more information is needed.
    What kind of kitchen tiles are these?

  • Onias Says:
    April 3rd, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Hi there,l want to paint my kitchen tiles…
    last it possible and how can l easily do it.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    December 17th, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Hi, Elaine,
    Thanks for watching “Today’s Homeowner.” Here’s how we would suggest tackling this project:
    First, lightly sand the surface or wipe it down with liquid sandpaper. Then apply a coat of “stain-blocking“ primer before the top coat.
    Paint prices and selection vary from store to store, so we recommend heading to the home center, sharing Janiya’s preference (and your budget), and someone there should be able to find the perfect match.
    Good luck with this project!

  • Elaine Jackson Says:
    December 15th, 2018 at 8:21 am

    I would like to paint over (light) white panel that’s in my small den. I am trying to turning the den into a bedroom for my granddaughter who’s nine year old and watching your show and other home make over shows often :0)
    Janiya, theme is Paris France. She have asked me to paint the panel ” Fairy Tail Pink” and my goal is to try to make her wish come true. I am sixty-four on a fixed income therefore, whatever you suggest please consider my budget.
    Thank you and have a safe, bless wonderful Christmas!
    Elaine Jackson

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    November 21st, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Hi, CuriousDIYer!
    What a great question! We recommend submitting to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.
    Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly:
    Take care!

  • CuriousDIYer Says:
    November 19th, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Looking to paint over ceramic tile in a bathroom on the non-wet areas (walls away from the shower/tub) I was curious if you have any tips to fill in the grout lines to give the wall a flat appearance? Could you use traditional spackle for this? (to fill in/level off the grout lines)

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    October 22nd, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Absolutely, Jessica. But first, please let the painted tiles dry thoroughly.
    Good luck!

  • Jessica Says:
    October 17th, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    AFTER you paint the ceramic tile, wil a grout pen work properly?? Meaning, can you regain the effect without ruining the paint?

  • Paul Everett Says:
    September 26th, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Home Depot person recommended that I use Behr Marquee, one coat hides all(exterior)paint to paint over tile. What ye say.

  • Kim Says:
    August 25th, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I have a kitchen island that has a tile top as well as my backsplash and countertops. With food preparation done on the countertops and island, can I use this method on them? With using this painting method, will the grout lines still be indented? I would prefer a smooth finish.

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    August 18th, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Hi, Cyndi,
    Please include a photo with your question so we can understand the issue.
    We accept photos at [email protected].
    Thanks so much!

  • Cyndi Says:
    August 18th, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Can you paint the gold frame around the shower ?

  • susan isler Says:
    May 3rd, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    what type of epoxy do I need for the tiles?

  • millie brito Says:
    February 27th, 2018 at 11:41 am

    exactly what type of epoxy was use for what I can see it holds vertical where do I buy it and if you can tell me the name…also I have a inclose patio that has tile can I put the coat over eliminating the grauting and leveling the floor to do the metallic epoxy? thank you/

  • Eleanor ParraBacon Says:
    February 14th, 2018 at 8:37 am

    After I paint my ceramic tile in my bathroom. Is there a sealant to use to help hold the paint better?

  • Tracey Says:
    December 23rd, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    I’m painting tile in a wet bar area and on only 4 tiles the paint “disappeared/separated” as if there was oil or heat behind them.
    I put another coat on hoping the second coat will stick/dry. Any ideas why this happened?

  • Greta Moulijn Says:
    August 18th, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Can I paint the black stone (or pressed paper I’m not sure what the top of my coffeetable is. I ruined it with trying to get stains out from drinks with baking soda and vinegar. I have Now big bleached out spots on the black top.
    Would appreciate an advice from you . Sincerely Greta Moulijn

  • Christopher Says:
    June 27th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Loose the grout effect….why can’t you use a grout pen to redo the grout lines…its that simple!

  • Mae johnson Says:
    June 3rd, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    I have the same need of painting ceramic tile around tub and would like to know exactly what kind of paint to use

  • Michelle Says:
    May 7th, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Will i be able to paint the tiles where the shower is thanks

  • Carlene Blue Says:
    August 13th, 2015 at 8:55 am

    I went to Lowe’s and Menard’s last night to get epoxy paint to paint over my ceramic tiles and they acted like I was crazy. The only epoxy paint they had was for concrete garage floors and they said that would not work on the tiles. What exactly am I looking for in the paint to know I have the right stuff???

    Thank you.

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Do It: How to Paint Ceramic Tile Walls