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How To Give Tiresome Porcelain Tiles A New Paint Job

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Is your floor or wall porcelain tile color looking faded, or do you want to ditch the olive green retro look for something you can tolerate? Painting the tile is more cost-effective than replacing the whole floor or wall.  

Two-part tile epoxy paint or latex makes it possible to paint the tiles. However, it is ideal to paint tiles in areas where you don't use water often. Follow these tips to paint your porcelain tiles.

Get Ready to Paint

You need the following supplies:

  • work gloves and eye goggles
  • drop cloths or plastic
  • broom or mini-vac
  • feather duster sponges or washcloths
  • porcelain tile cleaner
  • 120-grit to 220-grit sandpaper
  • orbital sander
  • paint brushes
  • sealing primer
  • polyurethane
  • tile epoxy paint or latex paint

Purchase a tile repair kit to repair chipped or cracked tiles. Sweep or vacuum the surface, using the feather duster in tight spots. Apply some porcelain tile cleaner, let it stand, then wipe it with a damp sponge or rag to rinse. 

Let the tiles completely dry. If the surface is extra dirty, you may prefer to clean it with trisodium phosphate.

Sand the Tiles 

Sanding and priming the surface gets the tiles ready to  accept paint and removes shine. Orbital sanders, which can be rented or repurchased from home improvement stores, speed up sanding.

Raise a window, or open a door to ventilate. Sand the surface, and vacuum or sweep sand dust. Run a damp sponge or rag over the area to ensure you get all the dust, and let it dry.

Prime and Paint

Lay drop cloths or plastic cover areas you don't want touched by paint. If you are painting walls, cover outlets and window trim, or areas without tiles with painter's tape. Keep the humidity low to prevent the paint and primer from drying quickly.

Spread a thin layer of primer on the surface with a paint brush; using even strokes. If you use epoxy paint, it doesn't require primer. Let the primer dry around eight hours. 

Brush on the latex paint moving in one direction in long strokes. If you use epoxy paint, prepare it based on instructions. Let the first coat dry, then add another coat. Add a coat of polyurethane finish in the same manner to protect the surface, let it dry, then lightly sand it with 220-grit sandpaper.

Now, you know how to transform that olive green or retro pink and black into a tolerable color. Consider hiring a company such as DW Painting if you need exterior painting done, or you don't feel comfortable doing the job.