Should you Paint Tile Walls?

Interior Painting | June 29, 2021

While many surfaces can be painted with proper preparation and the right tools, tile presents a significant challenge. Tile is a difficult material to paint as its surface is often glazed to a high sheen, repelling dirt, smudges, dust, oil, and more. This repellent nature makes tile extremely difficult to paint as it often will not stick to the surface. While painting a tile wall is often faster and cheaper than replacing tile, it typically does not yield the same level of quality results. If you are wondering if you should paint tile walls, there are many considerations to keep in mind. As leading providers of quality interior painting solutions, the team at Dunbar Painting understands the challenges of painting tile walls. That is why our team has provided some information on this topic to help homeowners make an informed decision for their project.

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Why you Should Not Paint Tile Walls

In most instances, it is not worth painting a tile wall. Tile surfaces are not designed to be painted, so most types of paint will have difficulty sticking and drying. This often leads to uneven coverage and peeling over time, creating an unappealing appearance. This paint will then need to be removed, consuming time without producing results. If you wish to change the appearance of your tile wall, consider hiring a professional tile installer to replace your existing tile with tiles of a different colour or texture.

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The Process for Painting a Tile Wall

If you must paint a tile wall, several precautions and steps must be taken to ensure optimal results:

Choose the Right Surface

Paint works best on vertical tile surfaces such as low-moisture walls or backsplashes. Tile walls in bathrooms or other areas with high amounts of moisture should not be painted.

Clean the Tile

Ensure that the tile is thoroughly cleaned, degreased, and dry before applying primer.

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Scuff/Abrade the Surface of the Tile

Glossy surfaces tend to shed paint more easily than other surfaces. Sanding the tiles down to abrade the surface will help the primer and paint adhere better and last longer.

Use High-Quality Paint and Primer

Acrylic-latex paint should not be used when painting tile. Use a quality primer that can stick to tile and grout as this can protect the grout from efflorescence. Once the primer is dry, apply a paint that is highly resistant to moisture and cleaning. To ensure optimal results for your tile wall or backsplash, consider hiring a professional painter.

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To learn more about painting tile walls or to inquire about our painting services, reach out to Dunbar Painting. Our professional painters will be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have.