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What do you do to prep ceramic tile before painting? Also, what kind of paint and/or sealer to apply after prep work?
 

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Stuck in the 70's
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Where exactly is the tile? Are we talking about those gorgeous dated pink or blue bathroom tiles?

The first thing to realize is ceramic tile is popular in bathrooms and kitchens because nothing sticks to it. Unfortunately this includes paint.

If it is on a wall or kitchen back splash it is possible with the proper prep work, proper paint, and a good bonding primer. If you go this route, the guys here may have recommendations, or talk to a real paint store - not the big box stores. Keep in mind it will be a delicate surface and won't hold up well to abrasives or scrubbing.

If it is on the floor, see above. It will also wear off very, very quickly if shoes are worn indoors.

If it is in a shower, absolutely forget it. With the amount of water and scrubbing it will quickly fail and peel, look much worse than it originally did.

Sorry, there is no quick and inexpensive fix for those ugly dated tiles.
 

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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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All true but if you want to try. Make sure the tiles and grout are spotlessly clean of oils, dirt, algae, mildew, etc. and that you have used a cleaner that has left no residue.

You can try roughing the surface a bit with a quality grade sandpaper.

Apply a superbonding latex primer. As mentioned, don't mess with box store crap.

Apply to finish coats of high acrylic content latex paint.

Hope for the best. If you just need it to hold up for a couple of weekend open houses to sell the place you may get lucky. Once the paint starts chipping or peeling it will be spotted even more quickly as painted over tile and you will be worse off than if you had not painted it.

Painted tile ranks right up there with painted wallpaper. They are not nice legacies to leave new owners.

All that said, there are epoxy finishes that are great to put over tile and they will last a long time. They cost as much as new tile though from my experience and I would not trust the DIY packaged kits.
 

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the amount of time and money your going to spend on the high performance paint you will need to get a finish that wont jump off the tiles at the slightest ding or increase in moisture will definitely be the same if not more then tearing the tile off and putting up new tile.


and think if you screw the painting up! all that wasted!
 

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Premium Member
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the amount of time and money your going to spend on the high performance paint you will need to get a finish that wont jump off the tiles at the slightest ding or increase in moisture will definitely be the same if not more then tearing the tile off and putting up new tile.


and think if you screw the painting up! all that wasted!
This^^^^^........Tile is almost impossible to get it to look good after painting. It CAN be done with a bonding primer and topcoats of your choice. The thing is painted tile looks like painted tile, and, by that, I mean it just never looks quite right.
 

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Environmental Health
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Just remember, if you decide to rough it up with sandpaper ... often, ceramic tile has high levels of lead. Just don't want you or your family to get lead poisoned.
 

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Tileguy
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It can be done and it can be done succesfully, but you need the knowledge and right products. We use products for applications like this from Midwest Chemicals.
Okay if you say so.
This is one of those gimmics that have proven to be snakeoil remedies for crappy looking tubs and tile walls. But okay if you say so. It doesn't work, it doesn't last, it doesn't resist cleaning chemicals, it scratches, it pimples, it fish-eyes, it looks rediculous when applied but okay, go for it.:)
 

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Check out stix primer. That stuff will adhere to ceramic tile with no problems. There are also tub an tile epoxy paint which work very well. In either case keep in mind it will simply look like painted tile.
 

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Painting Company, NY
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Okay if you say so.
This is one of those gimmics that have proven to be snakeoil remedies for crappy looking tubs and tile walls. But okay if you say so. It doesn't work, it doesn't last, it doesn't resist cleaning chemicals, it scratches, it pimples, it fish-eyes, it looks rediculous when applied but okay, go for it.:)
Sounds like you havnt had succes with tile or used Midwest Chemicalsthere are also other systems that would work too nowdays practically anything can be painted or stained. Just because your a professional tile installer dose not mean that your a pro in the coatings industry, that would be like me giving advice to you on how to install tile. I know how to and have done it, but I don't specialize in that industry.
 

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Tileguy
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Sounds like you havnt had succes with tile or used Midwest Chemicalsthere are also other systems that would work too nowdays practically anything can be painted or stained.
No not at all.
That process has been around for thirty years or more and in that time I have seen scores of schitty jobs and failures and women in tears over the cost and the waste of money. The most recent being just six months ago done by a company called Surface Doctor.

It doesn't last, it doesn't work.:no:
 
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