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Building & Renovating

Is It Possible to Paint Over Tiles?

No one likes the sight of lackluster tiles. Know what to do with these tips from an interior designer.

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Photography: Dairy Darilag (Main Photo)

Tiles—whether used as flooring or as a charming kitchen backsplash—can add a touch of elegance to a space. Not only do these squares and rectangles give any area a polished look, tiles come in a variety of colors and patterns, too—giving you a chance to be creative with the look of your home.

However, these materials are prone to wear and tear, making chips, cracks, and fading inevitable problems. While chips and cracks will require you to consider installing new ones, lackluster pieces may have an easier solution. “Yes, you can definitely paint over tiles. Make sure that the tiles are in good condition—as much as possible, no chips and cracks. Consider where the tiles are installed as well,” shares interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila.

If your tiles at home are in need of a boost, here are more reminders from Vera to keep in mind:


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If the area doesn’t frequently get wet, you can paint over the tiles. “Shower areas and kitchen counters are big no-nos. Avoid painting on floors and all kinds of countertops as well since the high traffic won’t allow the paint to hold for long,” explains the designer.

While you can experiment by going the DIY route, it’s best to hire a pro. You need to make sure that the surface is clean before getting started. “After cleaning the tiles, it will be sanded so that the paint primer will adhere properly,” says Vera. After sanding, the dust needs to be removed completely.


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If the tiles have chips and cracks, it’s best to have these filled to remove surface damage. “Commonly, epoxy is used for this. The surface can be primed and painted best with epoxy-type paints. You can also work with latex paints,” she adds.

Be aware that painting over tiles can be messy and challenging. “Don’t forget to cover other surfaces like cabinet doors, countertops, and baseboards with old newspaper or plastic. Corners from the floor to the ceiling can be covered with masking tape,” suggests Vera.


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Sticking to solid colors is easier, but you’re free to work with patterns, too. “Painting your tiles in a solid color may sound simple enough, but incorporating a pattern is a bit tricky as it requires more patience and skill. After picking up a stencil and painting over your tiles, make sure you seal the entire area with two coats of polyurethane topcoat,” shares Vera.

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