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How to Paint Over Existing Tiles

When you’re ready to remodel your bathroom, if you need to save money, you do not have to remove the old tiles. With the right tools and a good foundation of knowledge, you can paint over them. Below are a few good tips that will help you paint over the existing tiles.


Selecting paint and supplies

  1. Compare different types of paint suggested for tiles or ceramic tiles and the recommendation on how to apply them.
  2. If it’s needed, choose the correct primer; many types of latex paint require a primer base. An oil-based paint may not need a primer coat. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions. One of the best types of enamel paint for tiles is the epoxy-type; It is tough and durable and you can buy it in aerosol cans.
  3. Buy the paint and the tools needed; do not forget to get painter’s tape, rags, gloves and mask. Decide whether you will use spray cans or a spray gun or if you’re just going to use foam paint brushes and rollers.

Surface preparation

  1. Clean the bathroom tiles with a mixture of vinegar and ammonia to remove accumulated soap debris. Rinse thoroughly and allowe to dry. Repeat the cleaning and rinsing if the tiles have lots of soap scum. For difficult residues, you can buy disodium phosphate in a paint shop but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  2. Sand the tiles slightly, just enough to make it slightly rough. This will help the primer and paint adhere to the tile. Vacuum and clean to remove excess dust from sanding.
  3. Fill the joints with caulk around the tub and clean if necessary.
  4. Remove any fixture that may be screwed into the tiles; Remove the shower head and faucet handles, if possible. If you cannot remove them, cover them well with a plastic bag.
  5. Protect the surrounding area with masking tape; be especially careful to protect the surrounding walls and any recessed areas.

Painting tiles

  1. Primer the borders along the edges where the tiles meet the wall and ceiling. Also do around appliances. Use at least two coats of primer for the borders.
  2. Spray the tile with the can of spray paint or spray gun. Practice spraying a piece of cardboard first. The secret is to start spraying paint an inch or 2 (2.5 to 5 cm) before it hits the tile, and finish spraying an inch or 2 (2.5 to 5 cm) beyond the tile. Paints with gentle movements, using several light coats; Do not use too much paint or it will run.
  3. Use a disposable foam roller if you’re going to paint by hand. The foam tends to leave very few marks and a roller is better than a brush. If you need to use a brush for small areas, you use a foam brush otherwise you’ll get streaks.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time between coats. When you have finished painting, do not use the shower or bath for at least 48 hours, depending on the humidity in your home.
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