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How to Dye Ceramic Tile

Lisa Wampler

If you want to dye ceramic tile to a custom color for installation on a countertop, floor, shower or other project, you must purchase unglazed tiles, because you dye the ceramic tiles by installing a pigmented glaze. This is the best way to color the tile and to seal it for protection at the same time.

Colored ceramic tiles can serve as great accent pieces.

Many commercial glazes are available for homeowners.

  1. Apply four coats of pigmented glaze to the surface of the tile with a paintbrush. Do not exceed four coats, as the glaze will run during the kiln process. Work to keep the glaze level and streak free. Apply one coat by brushing right to left, and then apply the second coat by going up and down and so on.

  2. Place the tiles into a kiln. If you do not have a kiln, you can visit many different places such as a ceramics supplier, art school and even lumber yards to see if you can commission time with their kiln.

  3. Heat the glaze for a period of no more than four hours at a temperature not to exceed 1789 degrees F. This is called “cone 7” in pottery terms.

  4. Allow the kiln adequate time before removing the ceramic for use.