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Old 05-08-2010, 05:28 PM   #1
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Help with 1950s bathroom tile - desperate!

Hi all:

I am trying desperately to paint over my 1950s green tile in my bathroom. Just on the walls, not in the tub. I've read tons of info on it and went to Home Depot where I was told it could be done -- but here's the thing -- I can't sand the tile.

I can't break the gloss!! I've tried 220, 150 and even 60 paper. We went out and bought a hand sander today for the job and nothing no matter how coarse the sandpaper. It's like it's buffing it, but not keying into the tile at all. I've read the paint won't stick without sanding but not even the sander can break through!

Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 05-08-2010, 05:44 PM   #2
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talk to a paint store you have sanded enough if sanding was needed. my guess having never done tile painting is your primer will be key.


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Old 05-08-2010, 06:09 PM   #3
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As posted you have most likely sanded MORE than enough,all you need to do is rough up the surface a little, the 150 would have done that. Now you need a GOOD bonding primer, Fresh Start(BM), Zinsser 123 would be 2 choices, there are plenty more. DO NOT get a Kilz product unless you get the original which would be overkill IMO
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:34 PM   #4
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I must start out by stating that painting tile is not the best option
I'd strongly suggest re-tiling

It is difficult at best to get something to stick (stick for sure, that is) to tile...and if it fails you have a much worse nightmare than merely "looking at that pink and black checkered tile for one more day" ever was

Also often tile is used for reasons which you are now running's durable as all get-out
Paint is only as durable as...well...paint
That being said, if you must "paint" tile, I'd suggest a few options;

A "tile and tub epoxy" would be my first choice
The biggest drawback is the colors tend to be limited
But it tends to work

My second and third choices would be interchangeable as to position (#2 vs #3) depending on your needs and/or desires;

A bonding primer such as Insl-X's "Stix"
Rated for tile (w/o sanding), it'll pretty much stick...but your top coat choice (paint) will still determine durability
Bennies are pretty much any color you want

Or Daich Coating's "SpreadStone" (or "RollerRock")
Technically not rated for tile (though the Daich primer does stick like stink on poop), either has durability beyond compare
They also offer more color choices than T&T Epoxy..but not as much as "paint"
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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You can paint them using the right primer, paint and technique, but I would recommend you use createastain from midwest chemicals, as it is specifically made for ceramic and porcelain tiles and will last a lot longer, they also have a lot of color choices available, they specialize in products for bath tub, tile, counter top and concrete refinishing
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