Sirwin
Sirwin
Paint over old ceramic tiles with Epoxy paint and Urethane clearcoat

My Kitchen Project: Paint Over Ceramic Tiles


Yes, it's possible to save your old ceramic tiles with a fresh coat of paint. Back in 2011, I purchased an older home that, while needing some upgrading, was in very good condition. Over the years, I've remodeled the living and dining rooms, the bathroom and one bedroom, including all new hardwood floors. This year 2024 marks the 100th anniversary since the house was initially built. To celebrate, I decided it was time to give the kitchen a little makeover.

The counters, unlike most other countertops, are made up of ceramic tiling which was installed by the previous owner decades ago. While I like the tiles, their color orange grew outdated over time. Also, a couple had hairline fractures and the grout had stained and darkened. In their present state, they no longer 'brightened up' the kitchen.

There's also a backsplash about 2 feet high. These are natural white but over time, they too lost their color and brightness and some stains had become permanent. The task ahead took a bit of planning. I studied online about which paints that are best to use over tiles and found more than one example.

In the end, I decided to use two different paints, satin enamel and epoxy but before I could do any painting, I had to scratch the tiles with 100 grit sandpaper. The scratches help the paint to adhere. In some areas, I sanded by hand but in most open areas, I used a multi-tool to save time and effort. The image below shows my sink countertop (orange) and white backsplash tiles.

Painting over ceramic tiles sink countertop

Using the satin enamel paint, I applied two coats to the countertop and three coats to the backsplash. You can see in the image below why I had to apply multiple coats to get an even finish. This picture shows just one coat of satin enamel paint. We're gonna need more paint!

paint over ceramic tiles sink

With the orange tiled countertops painted with two coats of satin enamel, I then applied two coats of epoxy paint (Not the backspash!). Both paints are low odor, fast drying paints. I could apply another coat in about an hour's time. Once the countertop was nice and dry, I then applied two coats of Urethane clearcoat. This provides an anti-scratch, anti-stain, waterproof protective coating and also adds a nice shine and feel. Adding to the upgrade, I changed the sink faucet just the week before with a fancy pull-down.

paint over ceramic tiles sink final

I used brushes to paint corners and tight spots and then used a small roller to paint over the main open areas. I have four countertops in total in my kitchen. Here are before and after shots of my 'middle' countertop...

paint over ceramic tiles middle countertop 1

paint over ceramic tiles middle countertop 2

Below is the finished look of my stove area countertops and backsplash.

paint over ceramic tiles stove countertop

To recap, I painted the backsplash with 3 coats of satin enamel while the countertops got 2 coats with an extra two coats of epoxy paint on top of that along with two coats of Urethane clearcoat. I do have the option of adding a clearcoat to the backsplash but after seeing what I have now, there is a slight contrast between the shine of the counters and the backsplash. I like the way it looks so I'll leave things the way they are for now.

Next job on tap is to paint the wood trim around the doors and windows, to be followed by the walls and then finally, the cupboards. You can see in the image above that the cupboards a light yellow while the wall is more light orange. I want to keep these colors in the kitchen but the plan is to switch the two colors. The cupboards will have the light orange while the walls will have the light yellow.

After all that is said and done, I'll be tackling the old floor which is made up of old vinyl tiles. I have my work cut out for me. So if you have tiles in your kitchen or bathroom, there's no need to remove them (can be very messy), just paint over them whichever color you prefer. Just remember to scratch them good with (100 grit) sandpaper first. I also recommend that if you repaint tiles in the bathroom, to add clearcoat after painting to make your tiles waterproof. Satin enamel is ok for backsplash but I recommend epoxy paint for countertops and bathroom tiling.

Peace and love to everyone!

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SweptOverNiagara
SweptOverNiagara

Name's Joe and I live in Ontario, Canada. I like writing on a wide variety of topics. I enjoy keeping track of markets, investing and commodities and the crypto sector. Also do some coding for web browsers.


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