If you’re looking to create contrast through monochromatic floor tile ideas or flirting with bold tile trends, paint may seem like a simple solution. After all, it’s a sound choice when elevating any other surface in your home. However, designers warn that while painted tiles may look good temporarily, there is a risk that your efforts will not stand the test of time.  The good news, however, is that armed with the expert paint ideas here, you can preserve your painted tiles and enjoy a professional finish that lasts. 

Can you paint a tile floor? 

‘Painting tile can be a great way to improve a space; I’ve done it a slew of times,’ says Lauren Byington, the co-founder of Warren & Lauren (opens in new tab). The designer adds that are many reasons why you may want to turn to paint including if you want to paint over tile with a new color, color match (in an effort to restore tile), stencil tile, or simply clean grout then paint it as a refresh.  ‘Professionals may disagree on whether painting tile is a good idea, but, done right, I attest that it is a fantastic option,’ Lauren says. ‘I’ve had personal success painting tile by prepping with a good primer, painting over tile and grout completely, then epoxy-sealing the project.’

Can I change the color of my floor tiles without replacing them?

Yes, as Lauren Byington, the co-founder of Warren & Lauren explains, overhauling your tiles with paint ‘can be a fairly quick process and it costs less than re-tiling a space’.  ‘Additionally, with the exception of application and dry time, painting tile doesn’t put your bathroom or kitchen out of use for a long period of time, and it’s a relatively clean process,’ the designer adds. 

How can I update my floor tiles without removing them?

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your entryway, kitchen, or bathroom floor tile ideas, it’s more than possible to paint a tile floor, but what does the method involve? Here’s what you need to know. 

1. Clean the tiles thoroughly 

It’s crucial to clean tiles before painting, so never skip this step. Use a tile cleaner and an abrasive sponge to clean them thoroughly, or try wire wool. Concentrate on the grout, too, as this also needs to be clean. If the tiles are throughly clean before you start, the paint will adhere better to them for a good finish and long-lasting results.

2. Use epoxy for prolonged longevity

‘Many professionals recommend a primer, even contending that the success of your tile-painting project hinges on a good primer. However, it won’t make a paint that won’t do the job become durable or long-lasting,’ Lauren says. ‘For long-lasting effects, epoxy over your project.’  Before using epoxy, the designer recommends vetting your paint choices to decide on the strength of the epoxy. ‘If painting tile completely, I strongly suggest going with professional-grade epoxy that you can tint accordingly. If stenciling, go with a latex that you will later seal with clear epoxy.’

3. Invest in the correct paint

While using epoxy is important, choosing durable paint is equally influential in improving the lifespan of your painted tiles. Hubert Miles from Home Inspection Insider (opens in new tab) urges you to check that your paint is formulated for tiles, especially if you’re working with your shower room or kitchen tile ideas where they will endure a high level of foot traffic. 

How long does tile paint last?

Depending on floor prep and foot traffic, tile paint can last six months to two years. However, as certified master inspector Hubert Miles suggests, you can touch up your floor with the same paint to maintain a ‘fresh painted’ look always.