How to Glaze Bathroom Tile

What You'll Need
Tile cleaner
Greaser solvent
Silicone digester
Epoxy primer
Acid paste
Masking tape
Urethane-acrylic resin
Urethane coating
Silicone caulk and caulk gun
Gloves
Paintbrushes
Dry, absorbent drying cloth or towel

If you are a homeowner who wants to refresh the look of your bathroom, tile glazing may be the answer you are looking for. Tile glazing offers new color options and a clean, bright finish without having to replace the tile completely. By following the steps below, you may find it to be more doable than you had thought.

Step 1 - Pre-Application Cleaning

Use tile cleaner and grease solvent to remove any dirt, grime, grease, or other residue that may have collected on your tile. First apply tile cleaner. When finished, wipe the surface dry and apply the degreaser. Finally, allow the floor to dry again.

Step 2 - Remove Silicone

silicone seeping out of caulking gun

To remove silicone caulking between tiles and other surfaces such as the bathtub, cabinets, walls, showers, etc., use a silicone digester. You can tell if the caulking is silicone if it feels pliable and rubbery when you press into it with your fingernail. Apply the digester to the silicone. When the silicone has softened and dissolved, remove it with a putty knife or stiff brush. Remove the loosened silicone from the tile with a brush or broom.

Step 3 - Etch Tile

For porcelain tile, etch all surfaces with acid paste. Avoid getting the paste on your hands by wearing gloves. Be sure to carefully cover the entire tile surface with the acid.

Step 4 - Mask

If you plan to use a paint brush to apply primer and glaze, use masking tape to mask all edges such as walls, plumbing, etc., where primer and glaze may inadvertently overlap and color areas you don't want painted. If you plan to use spray primer or spray glaze, use newspapers to increase the area that will be masked.

Step 5 - Apply Epoxy Primer

When your tile surfaces are clean and dry, begin applying epoxy primer. Use either spray primer or a paintbrush. If applying with a sprayer, hold the nozzle 20" to 24" back from the surface you're spraying. Be sure to cover the surface evenly, including hard-to-reach corners. When finished applying check the surface to be sure you have not missed any spots.

Step 6 - Apply Color

cans of paint with brushes resting on top

After checking your primer and finding that it's dry, you can begin applying resin that adds color. Again, apply with care, so that you get an even distribution of color, including corners. Be careful to avoid spraying the resin on surfaces that aren't masked. Follow manufacturer’s directions for drying time.

Step 7 - Apply the Sealer

Once your resin is completely dry, apply the polyurethane coating (sealer). This will give a shiny, glazed appearance. To avoid spots that might not have this glazed appearance, check all surfaces to be sure they have been covered with the sealer. Allow the sealer to dry, according to product directions.