grey-tiles

Image via Colporter.co.uk

Today’s guest post is a fab tutorial on how to paint bathroom tiles! I’ve done this in a kitchen before and it is a brilliant, easy way to transform the look and feel of a room. If you are thinking of giving it a go, check out these 7 steps to make sure you get the best result.

If you’re stuck with bathroom tile a shade of pink that was produced only in the 1970s, you might want to consider painting those tiles, see ABL for more on this. The process takes a bit of work, but it is certainly easier than ripping down the old tiles and installing new ones. You’ll have to follow the steps closely and carefully, but when you’re finished, you’ll love your new bathroom.

There are a couple of things to note before you get started. Because you’ll be using a number of cleaners and chemicals, be sure the area is well ventilated. You’ll also want to invest in a disposable respirator mask, some rubber gloves, and eye protection.

Make sure that the grout between the tiles is in decent condition and not cracked badly or missing entirely. If the grout is in really bad shape, you might consider re-grouting the tile before painting. Also keep in mind that the grout will be the same color as the tile once you’re done painting.

  1. Remove the caulk. Remove all of the caulk from around the edges of the tile you’re going to be painting, including the corners of the tub and shower walls if you’re painting a shower. A regular flathead screwdriver should work fine for this task, but hardware stores carry plastic caulk removal tools if you are worried about scratches.
  2. Clean the entire area. Clean the entire area first with diluted bleach water, then rinse. Then clean with an abrasive cleaner like Comet and rinse. Next, clean with a hard-water remover such as Lime-A-Way and rinse.
  3. Sand. Gently sand down all of the tiles with a 400/600 wet-dry sandpaper to remove any leftover grout or dirt. When complete, wipe down the entire surface with acetone to remove any excess sand. Let dry for an hour.
  4. Tape off the area to be painted. Using blue painter’s tape, carefully tape off the area you want to paint. If it’s just the entire tile surface, a simple box will do. If you want to get more creative, consider making patterns and designs of smaller shapes.
  5. Prime the surface. Using a special primer that’s designed to bond with ceramic tile, prime the tile surface with a high-quality paintbrush for the tight spots and a foam roller for the larger spots. Allow the primer to dry for at least 3 hours.
  6. Mix and paint. For showers and other high-humidity areas, you’ll need a two-part epoxy paint that needs to be mixed together. Wearing your respirator mask, pour the activator into the base. Paint just like you primed, using a high-quality brush to cut in and then a foam roller to avoid lint sticking to the wall. Apply the paint in thin layers. Use a new paint tray for each coat, as the activator in the epoxy may “reactivate” what appears to be dried paint. Allow 24 hours to dry.
  7. Peel off the painter’s tape. Step back and marvel at the transformation!

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