How to Paint Marble Tile

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To paint marble tile you must employ specific preparation and application strategies to avoid a finish that will chip and peel. Because paint doesn't stick well to marble tile, you must abrade the surface to promote adhesion. In addition, instead of applying a standard acrylic latex floor paint, you should coat the surface with a specific type of primer and paint to obtain a durable finish capable of standing up to a large amount of duress.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Coarse plastic brush
  • Palm sander
  • 200-grit sandpaper
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Oil-based primer
  • Roller frame
  • Roller extension pole
  • 2 polyester roller covers
  • Oil-based paint
  • 2- to 3-inch oil-based paintbrush
  • Mineral spirits
  • Scrub the marble tile with soap. Rinse the surface thoroughly and allow it to dry before continuing.

  • Abrade the marble tile by sanding it. Load a palm sander with 200-grit sandpaper, and sand the tile in a circular, clockwise motion.

  • Cover areas you do not want painted with painter's tape.

  • Screw the roller frame into the extension pole, and slip a polyester roller cover onto the frame.

  • Apply a coat of oil-based primer to the marble tile, using the roller.

  • Allow the primer to dry for two hours.

  • Apply a coat of oil-based paint to the primed marble tile, using the roller loaded with a fresh, clean polyester roller cover.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean all painting tools with mineral spirits.
  • Prime and paint any areas inaccessible to the roller, using a 2- to 3-inch oil-based paintbrush.
  • If you are painting marble tile on a fireplace, you do not need to use a roller extension pole.
  • Soap can interfere with primer adhesion. Be sure to rinse the marble tile thoroughly.
  • Never coat marble tile with acrylic latex floor paint, or the finish will peel.
  • Do not paint over marble tile until it has been primed with an oil-based primer.
  • Do not attempt to primer over marble tile that hasn't been abraded with sandpaper.
  • Photo Credit marble tiles image by javarman from Fotolia.com
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