How to Paint Cork Tiles

Lisa East Hunter

Cork wall tiles are an inexpensive way to add a message center to your home or a display wall in the playroom or a child's room. Unfortunately, cork tiles are also somewhat boring.

If you really like the flexibility and the options that are provided by cork tiles but want something with a little more pizazz, consider painting the tiles. The project outlined here is for a multicolored pattern with stenciling, but you can get as creative as you like and come up with a design that matches your home's interior.

  1. Choose two complimentary colors and one accent color for your cork wall design.

  2. Lay out the tiles as they will be hung on your wall.Turn over each tile and mark on the back which color you will be painting that tile. You can choose to design your cork board in a checker pattern, stripes or one solid color.

  3. Prime the cork tiles with a spray primer. Spray the tiles in a back and forth motion, slightly overlapping each pass. Spray primer is best applied outdoors because the spray does have a tendency to travel and ruin nearby furniture and accessories. Allow the primer to dry completely.

  4. Roll each tile with acrylic paint, using the notes on the back of the tile as a guide. Apply thin, even coats of paint until you achieve the depth of color that you like. Allow each coat to dry before applying an additional coat.

  5. Use a foam brush and a stencil to add accent color to your cork tiles. You can add a stencil design to multiple cork tiles or add a simple stencil, like a monogram, to only the center tile. Choose a design that compliments your home and design style.


If you would like a more finished look for your cork tile wall, add a frame. Most craft stores carry frame kits in varying sizes. Adding a frame around the cork tiles will make it look more professional. Decide on a frame before you begin the project so you can make sure that the size of tiles you put up will match the size of the frame kit you have chosen.