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How to paint your ceramic floor tiles – what to do and not to do!

Painting ceramic floor tiles can be the perfect way to update old tile on a budget! 

It can take some research and a few substantial hours of work, but the results can be so worth it! 

I painted my tile floors last year, and it was an easy quick fix to updating my entryway, but now it’s due for a touch-up. 

Today, I’m doing another coat of paint to freshen things up and re-seal the paint to prevent scratching.

Going through the process of painting tiles for the first time has taught me a few things including some do’s and don’ts. 

I’ve taken what I’ve learned and updated my process. I’ll share some of my updates so you don’t make the same mistakes.

First, I’ll answer some commonly asked questions. 

Does painting tile floors last?

It really depends! I am repainting mine because I didn’t add enough sealant and it started chipping.

Paint chipping is almost inevitable with painting tiles, but with the right products and process, you can make it last longer! My entryway is one of the high-traffic areas in our home.

The added foot traffic breaks down the sealant sooner then it would in a low-traffic area. So touch ups are pretty much essential once a year.

So if maybe you’re considering painting wall tiles in your home or even ceramic tile that doesn’t get much regular traffic, you may get much more life out of your painted tile.

What kind of paint do you use on ceramic tiles?

The paints you’ll need for this paint job include first a primer, a base coat, and a sealant. Any enamel paint will work well as long as you don’t skip the important step of sealing your ceramic tile floor.

You can can always buy a kit, like we did. My favorite is Rust-Oleum® HOME Kits. We bought our at the home depot, but they’re also sold at most home improvement stores.

Is painting kitchen tiles a good idea?

You can really paint tile anywhere in your home! Painted ceramic is more vulnerable to scratching, so more primer coats might be the way to go for painting the kitchen floor.

I also image painting a large area will take more time, especially considering having to “touch-up” each year afterwards.

It’s a big commitment to have to repaint your entire floor each year. You’ll have to weight out what your time is worth as this is not a “one and done” project.

How can I cover my tile floors cheaply?

Painting your tiles might be the best way to cover your tiles on a budget. It is a project that is more accessible to do on your own, which always saves money when you don’t have to pay a professional.

 I’m considering painting my bathroom floors to give them a fresh new look, without having to rip everything out. I really want to do a check board pattern on the bathroom tile, but even peel and stick tile will cost more than simply painting them.

You can also do your research to find the cheapest paint and supplies that still give quality results if the tile paint kit is more than you’d like to spend.

Is tiling over tiles a good idea?

Tiling over ceramic tile is definitely an option to cover up your tile. It is more expensive and more labor-intensive than painting over your tiles. 

The floors also need to be level and not be warped from time. The floor also needs to be cleaned and not have any awkwardly placed tiles that would be hard to replicate. 

You also have to keep in mind how thick the new tiles will be and how much height it will add to your existing tile. This can make stepping up into your room pretty awkward.

If you are up for the task, it is possible! But it might not be a good idea if you are looking for an easier, cost-effective way to update your tile.  

What is the best paint for floor tiles?

For ceramic tile paint, there are a few options to choose from. Some of the best floor paints are from Benjamin Moore and Rust-Oleum. Benjamin Moore has a Floor and  patio paint that is extremely durable and works for both interior and exterior floors. 

Rust-Oleum has floor paint that works perfectly for tile floors and comes in many paint colors. Each kit is tint-able and you can choose between matte and semi-gloss top coats.

Choosing the right paint is important and will determine how long your painted surface will last. That, and of course if it’s in one of the high traffic areas of your home.

Painting Tile Floors: Pros and Cons:

Painting tile floors can have some awesome benefits and really spruce up your place, but it doesn’t come without some negatives.

One benefit is that it is a perfect quick fix and it saves money! It can be really satisfying to finish painting and like what you see. Though, it is not as long-lasting and durable as replacing tile would be. 

Painting your ceramic floors can also show more dust and dirt than before painting it. I also learned from previous experience that you have to have the right process to make it last.

Last year, we didn’t wait long enough for the sealant to cure before we used heavy traffic in the area. This caused it to not have as much of a clean finish and it shortened its lifespan.

This time, we’ll be extra careful to make sure the sealant cures before walking on the floor too much! 

How long will my painted tile floor last?

From my experience, to get the best results, it really depends on your process and the product you use. Using the best floor tile paint is very important.

High quality is not something you want to skip on when it comes to tile paint. Epoxy is best, but enamel paints can work just as well. If you have to choose between latex or oil-based paints, use oil-based. They will hold up longer.

With any painting project, chipping is bound to happen. I find that between the primer adhering to the tile well and using enough sealant, your results will last longer.

And of course the type of paint does matter! You will also have to do necessary touch-ups either once a year or as needed.

Will dirt show on my painted floor?

Yes, solid color and painting over the grout lines can make dirt show more clearly on your painted floor. 

Finding the right color that’s a bit darker can hide some of the dirt and dust that can builds up. 

Are painted floors a long-term solution?

The short answer is no, it is not really a long-term solution. It can look amazing, but painting floor tiles wont last forever.

It may be your best budget-friendly option, and if you don’t mind the inevitable scuff marks and the yearly touch ups, then I say go for it!

How expensive is painting your tile floor?

Floor paint isn’t very expensive considering what re-tiling will cost you. Benjamin Moore floor and deck paint costs about $60 for a gallon. You’ll still need to purchase a commercial cleaner, a primer with the best adhesion (this makes a difference), and a sealant.

The good news is you can go with tile paint kit, which will include everything you need (minus the supplies). A kit runs around $70.The rest depends on the size of the space you want to paint, and of course all the supplies.

*This post contains affiliate links where I earn a small commission. Thanks for supporting the brands that support tis brand of mine!

Before you get started on painting your floors, you’ll need all of these painting supplies!

You’ll need: 

  • Cleaner
  • protective gear
  • Painter’s tape
  • Floor safe paint (I recommend enamel, epoxy paint, or latex paint)
  • top coat
  • Paint brush
  • Paint tray
  • foam roller
  • Extension pole for paint roller

Step-by-step guide

In this guide I’ll take you through each step of painting your ceramic tile floors.

Step one: Wash your tile floor

Once you’ve got your supplies, you should make sure you do a through surface prep! Start with sweeping and vacuuming the entire surface of your floors to get all the dirt and grime up, and then take some floor cleaner to the tile.

Be sure to scrub the floors well to ensure your primer adheres to your tile. It is also best to work in small sections so that you can thoroughly clean your floor and not miss any spots.

Step Two: Prep your tile for paint

Now, you have to make sure that your painting job will be neat and tidy, with clean-cut lines!

This is best done with painter’s tape on edges and areas that are at risk of paint smudging or messiness. This could include walls, doors, cupboards, or any other place you don’t want paint! 

Step Three: Mix paint well and cut in the paint with a brush

Once you’ve got the area taped off, keep up the clean edges by cutting in with a brush.

This means painting the edges of where the tape touches so that your roller does not cross the tape lines.

This is also the perfect time to paint some hard-to-reach areas before you use a roller! 

Step Four: Use your roller to paint your tile

The next step is to break out your roller and paint tray! For thorough coverage, work in small sections and start in the far end of the room.

Then, you can work your way towards your exit without stepping on the paint and risking a clean finish! As you roll, pay close attention and press further into the grout line.

After your first coat of paint, wait 3 hours before adding another coat. It’s important to be sure the entire space has fully dried before doing another. After your second coat has dried 6 hours, you can add your clear coat of sealant.

Step Five: Dust floor and apply sealant 

So your paint is dry, whats next? Now you are ready for a sealant! Well, almost. For this part, make sure you are wearing clean socks and not shoes or anything that would mess up your clean painting job.

Dust your floor to make sure it is clean, because anything on your floors now will stay locked in under the sealant.

Mx your topcoat per the directions, and start applying it to the floor using a roller. Be very gentle during this step, as the paint is more vulnerable and can scratch easily.

Use a thinner roller, such as a ¼ inch roller so that it doesn’t absorb too much of the sealant. Once your first coat is done, wait 24 hours and apply a second coat. Thinner coats are always better.

After the second coat is complete, wait another 24 hours before you walk on it! Wait another 72 hours before putting any furniture in the area so that you can be sure that it won’t cause any scratching or chipping.

Painting tile is just like staining over an existing stain… it can be done, but not unless you follow very specific steps. Remember, if the tile flooring you’ve painted generally gets a lot of wear, It takes a full week for the sealant to cure, so be extra careful until then.

Entryway with black painted tiles and a gray rug.

Grab all the supplies you’ll need here to tackle this project!

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Want to read more about updating your home on a budget? Check out my post below!

How to make chalk paint: Three of my favorite no-fail recipes!

Chalk paint is the perfect way to add some personality to a wall or other surface in your home! Today I’m going to share how to make your own, awesome-looking chalkpaint.

I’m also going to talk about three different ways to make it with three totally different key ingredients. So let’s dive in…

Thanks so much for reading along!

Chat soon,



  1. I must be the only one but I pained and sealed the floor and dirt, scuff marks from shoes, everything sticks to the re-painted tiles – Franky its a disaster. I followed the directions read all the comments and advise and all rubber soled shoes leave black marks constantly, every step. The sealant seems to always be sticky and never really cures. At least that’s my experience, but nobody else seems to have the same problem. Tried doing a section without sealant, it was a little better but nit much.

    1. That’s exactly my experience – the paint just seems to stay soft and not harden. What did you end up doing?

    2. I’m having that exact same problem…all shoes leaving a shoe mark. Have you found anything that works to prevent this?

    3. I’m sorry thats been your experience. I haven’t experienced that. I went with black paint so you don’t notice the scuff marks. I also touch it up once a year and re-seal it and it looks brand new. I live in a climate that isn’t very humid so my paint/sealant cured in a few days. We try and avoid the area for a good three days to let it cure after it’s been sealed.

  2. Loving this idea, looks great. Living in Florida, I want to paint the Lanai tiles. What would be the best time to do it? it is really hot most of the year.

    1. Hi! I would just try for a couple straight days that aren’t going to be as humid. That way it has time to cure without to much moisture in the air.

  3. hi!
    im about to try this. in the beginning of this there is mention of primer, but in the details there is no mention of primer. to prime or not to prime? if so- Recommendations?

    1. It depends if you’re using a kit or going at it with your own mix of products. You can clean the floor, use a primer, paint, and then seal. I went with a specific floor paint kit which didn’t need a primer.

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