How to Finish Ceramic Tiles with Gloss Paint

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-150
What You'll Need
Tile cleaner
Rubber gloves
Protective mask and garments
Painters tape
Quick dry adhesive
Quick-drying epoxy
Artist brush
Paint primer
High-gloss paint
Water-based clear urethane paint

The passage of time can take its toll on the gloss paint on your ceramic tile counters, leaving you with dull, discolored surfaces. Since it is costly to replace the tiles on your countertop, you should consider repainting your tiles instead of replacing them. To finish your ceramic tiles with gloss paint, here is what you should do.

Step 1 - Clean the Tiles and Prepare the Area

Safety first: the materials you will be using are normally hazardous with prolonged exposure. Be sure to maintain good ventilation in the area where you work. Wear a face mask and rubber gloves.

Wet the area with a small amount of water and a heavy-duty tile cleaner, then clean it briskly to remove grease, dirt, mold, and anything else you find. Ensure all areas are cleaned thoroughly to get rid of bacteria or fungus that would eat up the paint from below. Wash the area thoroughly and let it dry.

Use electric sander to remove the original “shiny” coating of the tile surface. Clean the area thoroughly again, to prevent dust and other small particles from causing ugly bubbles on your paint.

Step 2 - Rework Tile Imperfections

Rework imperfections on the tiles before starting to do the paintwork. Use quick-drying epoxy on tile cracks and caulk on chipped portions of the tiles. Be sure to let the reworked area dry up completely. Re-apply grout to cracked places. Let these applications dry for two days. Secure painter’s tape as edging over areas not intended for painting.

Step 3 - Apply the Acrylic Paint Primer

Apply the acrylic paint primer using the paintbrush. Cover all areas evenly with thin single strokes. Be sure to cover even the recessed portions occupied by grout. Let the paint primer dry overnight. Repeat this process one more time before you apply your gloss paint.

Step 4 - Apply the High Gloss Paint

Apply the high gloss paint the same way as you applied the primer. Use the artist brush to apply contrasting paint into the grout. Use the artist brush to make fine lines or shapes, if you desire, on the tile surface. Make this the fun part as you decide how your tile surface should appear. After applying the high gloss paint, let it dry completely.

Step 5 - Apply Water-based Clear Urethane Paint

Apply the water-based urethane paint using a paintbrush. The urethane paint produces a hard coating on the surface that will make it last for years. Make thin layers, applying several applications to ensure a finer finish. Applying layers of paint on the surface of your tile can also help protect your tile.

Step 6 - Finish

After applying the gloss paint, keep whatever leftover paint you have in a safe place. If you have kids at home, make sure that you store your leftover paint in a place where your kids cannot reach it.