There are many ways to update old tiles, and this is one of the easiest and less expensive. One can use this same process on clay pots or any other surface that needs updating. The most important thing in painting ceramic tile is to make sure the surface is clean and free of dust.

What do you need to paint ceramic tiles?

  • Electric Sander

  • Dishwashing Soap

  • Water

  • 80, 120, 220 Grit Sandpaper

  • Primer

  • Paint (Flat Latex)

Steps to paint ceramic tiles:

  1. Before starting, use the electric sander to take off any glaze on the surface of the tiles or item you are painting. For best results, use progressively finer grades of sandpaper until the surface is completely smooth with no scratches or pits visible. Be sure to remove all grout surrounding each tile as well. This will help the paint adhere better.

  2. Once the tile has been sanded, wash it with dishwashing soap and water to remove any residue from the sanding process. Rinse well, then allow to completely dry before continuing or painting can begin.

  3. Fill in any holes or cracks with glazing putty. If desired, color glazes can be used as well. However, if you are simply wanting to update the look of your tile or items, this step is not necessary and can be skipped entirely.

  4. Apply a primer coat using a flat latex brush or roller applied evenly across the surface. Be sure that all tiles have been covered equally with the primer.

  5. Once the primer is completely dry, you can begin painting the tiles with any color of your choice. Paint one surface of each tile at a time so that paint doesn't dry before applying it to all tiles or items. If you are painting clay pots or other items, this step can be skipped entirely and they may be painted after all tiles have been completed.

  6. To give your painted project a ceramic-tile effect, you will need to add a glaze over the surface of the paint once it dries completely from the primer and/or paint layers if any were applied. Use a flat brush or roller to apply evenly across the surface. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Allow to dry completely, then apply a second coat if desired.

  7. Once everything is completely dry, re-grout around each tile with a color that compliments the new paint scheme. Allow to dry completely before use.


So, there you have it! You can now update your old tile or other décor items with a fresh new look using the simple steps listed above. Be sure to take your time and follow each step carefully for the best results. Have fun with it!