Refinishing bathroom ceramic tile is not as hard as it looks, but careful consideration should ensure that the process is done correctly. Understand that bathroom ceramic tiles are not suited for painting applications and need to be sanded before refinishing. This will ensure that the paint will adhere to the surface and prevent the occurrence of shedding, peeling, or cracking paint. You also need to pre-treat the surface with acrylic latex primer to guarantee a beautiful finish.
Step 1 – Clean the Ceramic Tiles Thoroughly
Wash the ceramic tiles with trisodium phosphate or any commercially available cleaner that is suited for bathroom ceramic tiles. This will help remove any traces of soap, dirt, and grease from the tile surface. Rinse the tiles after treating them with the cleanser. Wet rags can be used in the rinsing process. Let dry for at least three hours.
Step 2 – Scour the Ceramic Tiles
Use 180-grit sandpaper to chafe the surface of the ceramic tile. This will help the primer adhere firmly to the surface of the tile. Sand the surface until coarse or slightly rough to the touch. Take time to carefully sand the body, as this will be detrimental to the project's success. Never apply primer to bathroom ceramic tile surfaces until the whole area has been sanded. This will help prevent peeling and flaking.
Step 3 – Protect the Surrounding Area
Use newspaper, painter’s tape, or drop cloth pieces to protect nearby areas before applying primer and paint. This will better facilitate the cleaning process after the project and protect other bathroom furnishings and fixtures from paint and primer stains.
Step 4 – Apply Acrylic Latex Primer
Use a roller brush to apply an even coat of acrylic latex primer to the tiles. Use a latex paintbrush to get rid of roller marks on the tile surface. Use soft strokes until the latex primer creates a smooth, even surface. Wait for at least two to four hours for the primer to dry.
Step 5 – Apply Latex Paint
Use a separate roller brush to apply a coat of latex paint over the entire tiled surface. Similar to applying primer, use a paintbrush to smooth the coat of paint over the tiles. Let the paint dry for two to three hours before applying a second coat. It would be best to use two to three thin coats to ensure maximum coverage. Let the paint dry completely.
You can choose from a wide variety of paint colors that will match the overall theme and design of your bathroom. Remember to consider using epoxy paint when refinishing ceramic tiles in the shower to create a permanent waterproof finish. Using acrylic floor paint is highly recommended when refinishing ceramic tile floors, as floor paint is more durable and resistant to skid marks caused by heavy foot traffic.