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c39c39 02-11-2004 08:08 PM

ceramic tile painting
Can you paint ceramic tile successfully? I do not like the color of it, (it is floor tile) and I thought if I could prime it, paint it and then top coat it with something, would it hold up? This is in a downstairs bathroom. I thought of a primer, basecoat and then some faux glaze finish and then polyurethane. Would appreciate any advice and if you think it is a bad idea (as my husband does) just tell flat out it isn't the way to go. THANK YOU.

Teetorbilt 02-12-2004 05:38 PM

You can get away with painting wall tile for a while but floor tile is a completely different matter. I would say 'don't do it'.

Nathan 02-12-2004 10:45 PM


ProWallGuy 02-13-2004 08:04 AM

Sorry guys, I have to disagree.

Scuff the tiles real good with 80-120 grit sandpaper, or steel wool. Clean it with TSP and rinse thoroughly. Give it 2 coats of Pratt & Lambert Palgard Epoxy.

Its a two component paint, mix the 2 parts, preferably with the mechanical shaker at the paint store, and use after standing for one hour.

Brush in the edges with a natural bristle brush, and use a 3/8" nap to roll out the body.

This stuff smells real strong, but is durable as they come. Will withstand high traffic, and standing water, chemicals, etc.

Buy a throwaway brush and nap, they won't be able to be cleaned out when done.

All cleanup must be done with laquer thinner. Allow at least 16 hours between coats, and before using after final coat.

If you would like to use something a little more user friendly, and a little less toxic, use Pratt & Lambert Tech-Gard Waterborne Epoxy. Allow at least 8 hours between coats, and 24 hours before use. Clean up is with soap and water.

I have never used the waterborne version myself, but have heard alot of good things about it.

Between the two, the Palgard has 50% solids by volume, compared to 37% solids for the waterborne, and dries at 2.0 mils thick, telling me the palgard will be more durable and probably last longer.

I have used the palgard for commercial applications, shower stalls at rec centers, bathroom floors in offices, etc., and havent seen a failure yet.

Neither require a primer if the surface is prepped accordingly.

My 2 cents

Unregistered 02-14-2004 12:38 PM


Are there any limits on what type of tiles this can be done to?

glazed or unglazed, tumbled, or whatever?

ProWallGuy 02-15-2004 05:47 PM

I haven't read the specs on the products in a while, but no, I don't think there is a limitation for any tiles. It is epoxy, and bonds like epoxy, and hardens like epoxy. But I would check the specs before applying anything.

Unregistered 02-16-2004 03:59 PM

painting ceramic tile
Thanks for all the info, at least it gives me some idea what can and cannot
be done. I really appreciate all the advice and help.

lsheldon 01-03-2007 12:11 AM

Dear ProWallGuy,

What a great reply! I was going to post a question about painting wall tile and you've answered it already, in great detail.

One more question, though: what do you do about the grout lines? Is there a product that you have to paint on to cover the grout, then peel it off when the paint is dry? Or do they make really thin tape to cover the grout lines?

And, okay, another question: we have really low ceilings, so moisture is a very big problem. No exhaust fan, but a window in the shower (don't ask - old house!), which we leave open while showering, along with the door to the bathroom. And we wipe down the showers walls every single time we use it. Will this epoxy work in such an application? Thanks again!

Bud Cline 01-03-2007 09:53 PM


You are responding to a post that is three years old.

My experience with painting over ceramic tile is quite different than ProWallGuy's. I have never seen an epoxy tile-cover-up-job that didn't fail.:(

lsheldon 01-04-2007 02:24 AM

Oh. I didn't even notice the date. Not such a good idea then? Oh well, guess I'm stuck with a color I hate. Thanks anyway.

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