Applying paint to ceramic surfaces is a viable option when deciding to change the color on a wall, floor or countertop. Painting is less labor intensive and less messy than ripping tile and replacing it. Using epoxy-based primers and paints creates a lasting bond with the ceramic surface. Ceramic tile is a durable and long-lasting surface. If you no longer like the color or pattern of your ceramic surface, you can change it by following a simple process.
Things You'll Need
- Trisodium phosphate
- 240-grit sandpaper
- Low-tack masking tape
- Epoxy-based primer
- Low-nap lint-free paint roller
- 400-grit sandpaper
Wash the ceramic surface with trisodium phosphate (TSP) to remove wax, grime and previously used cleaners. Rinse the surface thoroughly with plain water three to four times to remove any TSP residue. Dry the ceramic surface with a rag.
Sand the ceramic surface with 240-grit sandpaper to remove the smooth finish. Roughing the ceramic creates a better bonding surface than a smooth surface.
Wipe the ceramic surface with a damp rag to remove all sanding dust. Dry the surface with a rag.
Tape the edges of ceilings, floors and fixtures with low-tack masking tape to protect them from primer and paint. Lay tarps on floors and fixtures.
Apply epoxy-based primer to wall or floor edges and corners with a paintbrush. Apply a coat of primer with a low-nap, lint-free paint roller to the remainder of the surface. Choose a primer made specifically for shiny surfaces. Allow the primer to dry fully, generally two to three hours.
Sand the primed surface lightly with 400-grit sandpaper to create a smooth surface.
Apply a second coat of primer using the same approach as the first coat. Allow it to dry thoroughly, typically two to three hours.
Apply epoxy-based paint to the walls or floor corners and edges with a paintbrush. Roll on paint to the rest of the wall with a low-nap, lint-free paint roller. Allow the paint to dry completely, usually two to three hours. Apply two more coats of paint using the same method as the first coat. Allow each coat to dry in between applications.
Tips & Warnings
- Work in a well-ventilated room when applying epoxy-based primers and paints.
- Paint the grout lines with an artist paintbrush after the final coat of paint is dry, if desired.
- "Grandpa's 5001 Handyman Secrets"; Dr. Myles H. Bader; 2006
- "Home Decorating With Paint, Tile, Wallcovering: Special Effects and Creative Techniques"; Creative Homeowner Press; 1992
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