Painting Bathroom Tiles

Bidisha Mukherjee Dec 11, 2018
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One of the easiest ways to lend an interesting look to your bathroom and uplift the ambiance in its entirety, is to paint the tiles in a different color or texture. Don't want to hire professional help for the same, but not sure how to go about it by yourself? Here are detailed instructions to your rescue!
Replacing old, dull, and boring tiles in the bathroom can be a costly affair, and a time-consuming one at that, too. A simpler and much more affordable alternative to this is to paint them instead.
Painting the tiles is an excellent way to remodel and restore your old bathroom; which doesn't even burn a hole in your pocket and if you are doing it by yourself, it cuts down on unnecessary expenses, like labor costs, as well.
If you are looking at basic remodeling, painting, and the works, then you could start right away. But if your problem areas include crumbling grout or cracking tiles, then they need to be prioritized and solved first, before you go ahead with the painting.
Painting tiles is not exactly rocket science, and can be accomplished in four simple and easy steps.

Clean the Tiles

This preps the surface to be painted. If you find mold or mildew growing on the tiles or in gaps between them, you should clean them up first with the help of a good bleaching agent.
Also, make sure that you clean and get rid of the dirt, grime, and soap scum (if any) on the tile surface. Use a cleaning agent or a tile and grout cleansing solution, and a non-abrasive scrubbing pad and scrub the tiles thoroughly. Use calcium deposit remover to get rid of calcium residue off the tiles.
Cleaning the grout present between two or more tiles is a tricky task. Use an old toothbrush to reach areas that would otherwise be out of reach. Let the tiles dry up completely.

Sand the Tiles

Sanding is a must before you start painting ceramic bathroom tiles, or any other tiles for that matter. This removes the gloss from the surface and also ensures that the applied paint adheres well to the surface.
A 220 grit sandpaper is just right for the kind of finish you are looking for. Use a hand-held orbital sander as sanding all the tiles with your hand will be a tough and tiring task. It will make the surface coarse but will prevent unwanted scratches that would otherwise be visible once the tiles have been painted.
Once the entire surface that is to be painted has been sanded well, wipe off all the dust and debris thoroughly with a soft, damp cloth. Make sure you protect yourself with a mask and glasses during the entire process to prevent the inhalation of harmful tile dust.

Apply the Primer

The application of a primer prepares a solid and reliable base for the paint. Use a high quality primer on the tiles, preferably oil-based. Apply it on the surface with a brush that has synthetic bristles. Start applying it at the corners first and then proceed towards the flat surface.
Do not overload the brush with too much primer paint as it will leave behind paint lines on the tiles once it dries. Use vertical strokes to paint each tile individually. The drying time is mentioned by the manufacturer on the label of the can and is usually 24 hours. Allow the first coat of the primer to dry and resume with the second one.

Apply the Paint

Once the second coat of primer dries, sand the primer-coated surface again to remove any lumps left behind by the primer so that it can hold the paint well. Select a good quality oil-based paint. Opt for paints that are specifically suitable for the kitchen and bathroom.
This is because these paints are formulated in such a way that they can resist moisture and prevent growth of mold and mildew. Oil based paints require a longer time for application as well as drying. However, the finish of this paint is of very high quality and will last for a long period of time.
Instead of using one heavy coat, it is advised that you use multiple thin coats. Make sure you apply each coat only after the previous coat dries completely.
Make sure the color of the paint that you choose complements the interiors and accessories in your bathroom. It is advised that you do not paint those areas of the bathroom that get wet repeatedly, like the shower area or the bathtub as the paint could peel off within a week.
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