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How to Paint Porcelain Tile

If that old porcelain tile on your kitchen wall is discolored and dull, or just out of style, but is otherwise in fine shape, why not just paint over it? Painting over porcelain or ceramic (the process is the same) does require a little more preparation than painting a regular plaster wall, but it can be done. It's important to seal the paint with polyurethane at the end. Don't try to paint porcelain tiles in a bathroom, as the high moisture in the area is likely to make the paint come loose.

Step 1

Go over the whole tiled area with your belt sander. Don't try to take off the whole surface of the porcelain tile (you won't be able to), but just dull the shine.

Step 2

Put on your rubber gloves. Mix one cup of trisodium phosphate in a gallon of warm water in a bucket. Thoroughly clean the tile with the TSP solution and a scrub brush. Use a sponge to rinse the whole area. Let it dry completely.

Step 3

Apply a coat of sealing primer with your paintbrush, using straight, even strokes and avoiding drips. Let it dry for eight hours.

Step 4

Apply a coat of flat paint in the same manner, keeping it thin and even. Let it dry to the touch; then apply a second coat. Apply a third coat if necessary. Let the final coat cure for eight hours.

Step 5

Brush on a coat of polyurethane in the same way as you did the paint. Let it dry to the touch; then gently buff it with your 220-grit sandpaper, just enough to remove the shine. Apply another coat, and repeat the process. Add a third coat if the area is on a floor.

Things You Will Need

  • Belt sander with 80-grit sandpaper
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket
  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) powder
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush
  • Sponge
  • Sealing primer
  • Paint brushes
  • Flat paint
  • Polyurethane gloss
  • 220-grit sandpaper

Warning

  • Ventilate the room when applying paint.

Photo Credits

  • Liquidlibrary/liquidlibrary/Getty Images