How to Paint Shower Tile
For this week’s post, I wanted to go back through the archives and breathe new life into a project I did a few years ago in our old house. In this case, how to paint shower tile. This post was a hit back then, but I really feel like it’s still relevant for so many people today. If you have a bathroom you aren’t loving or want to update on a budget, try painting your tile! I know it might sound a little crazy, but it really can do a lot for a space to brighten it up and modernize it. Follow my tutorial below for tips on how to paint your shower tile, and then check out the other update I did to that bathroom way back when: my Stenciled Tile Tutorial, where I stenciled my tile to look like cement tiles!
I painted my shower tile guys! That’s right, not only have I painted my floor tiles to look like cement tiles, but now I painted my shower tiles too! Read on as I share how to paint shower tile! Click here for my Stenciled Tile Tutorial.Will it hold up you ask? Is it waterproof you ask? Well my answer is “I think so haha!” I know that’s not the firm answer you were hoping for, but I gotta keep it 100! I used the same epoxy paint product to paint my shower tiles as I used on my bathroom tile floors…which, btw, are holding up beautifully without even a scratch. This may not be a totally permanent solution for your ugly shower tiles (meaning years & years of hold up), but for now (next couple years), it will do just fine.
So the question is, do you have an ugly shower surround that you’d like to transform? Well, Here is your solution.
How to paint shower tile
Along with all paint projects, prep is key. When it comes to painting your shower tile, prep means clean. Clean (and I mean scrub) your shower tile like theres no tomorrow! Use a product that will break down soap scum and other buildup that may be lingering around. I used a scotch bright pad and comet.
After you’ve cleaned your shower tile thoroughly, sand the tiles with a 100-150 grit sandpaper. This will help get rid of any other build up that you missed and roughen up the tile so that the paint will adhere.
Using blue painters tape, tape all along the bathtub where the grout meets the tub. Make sure to tape over grout. Also tape up the wall that meets the tile and grout. Tape off any bath fixtures and/or windows.
Finally tape off any areas you do not plan to paint with the base color. In my case I chose to paint all my shower tile white except one row of tiles. I taped off my chosen row along the tile lines to create a decortive band. I’ll be painting the band a charcoal gray to match my floor tiles.
Using an angled brush, prime the grout lines and corners with a concrete bonding primer. Then roll on 1 solid coat of primer on all the shower tiles. I used a low profile synthetic roller brush, just like the directions called for on the back of the can.
Use the same angled brush to apply a coat of paint along the grout line corners and any area that meets up with tape. Follow up by rolling on a coat of paint on all the desired shower tiles. Let the paint dry (about 2 hours) and repeat. I rolled on 1 coat of paint then let it dry overnight. I followed up with 2 more coats of paint the next day. Thats 4 coats – 1 primer, and 3 paint! Your tile may take less or more.
Remove the blue painters tape from any decorative areas. In my case, the decorative band was to be painted in charcoal gray. Oops you can where my roller missed the tape a little. Not to worry though…That section is going dark!
After the tile paint has dried over night, Re tape the decorative area, this time overlapping the paint onto the white painted tile. Use the back of your nail to adhere the tape firmly to the tile. This will create a sharp line.
Roll on the other color of paint covering the entire decorative area. I painted 3 coats of the dark paint allowing 2 hours of dry time between each coat of paint.
Remove painters tape from the decorative band.
Using bath and kitchen caulk, seal off the grout line that meets the tub. This will give it an extra layer of waterproofing where water tends to sit. It makes a huge difference…trust me!
Using a foam roller, apply Seal Krete Clear Sealer over the entire tile shower surround. I applied 4 coats, allowing 12 hours dry time between each coat. After all that work, I wanted to be certain it had time to cure properly!
Well That’s another DIY wrap! I’ll keep you posted on how my shower is holding up don’t worry. If you have more then an ugly tile shower surround, AKA and ugly bathtub, use This product to paint your tub. I have never used it, but my friend said it works great. Just follow the instructions carefully. As always, don’t forget to pin the image below and/or bookmark this page to come back to this project for later. Happy painting!
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It looks beautiful! You’d never know it was the same tile!
Isn’t it crazy! Thanks Caroline
Amazing! Did you paint the grout? With the same paint?
Yes i did
Brilliant ✨ LOVE IT‼️
Thank you diane
This look fantastic!
You have inspired me hope to start mine soon. Might even stencile my shower since we’ve already put new floors in. Wish I saw that post sooner.
I’m so glad! That would look amazing
WELL DONE! It looks amazing… and very budget-friendly!!!
Thank you tana
Does this method work with smooth glossy tile? My husband and I bought a house that was built in the 60’s and the guest bathroom has bright turquoise tile and I’d like to use your method rather than spend the money to redo the entire bathroom.
I really don’t see why not. If you are unsure about the product I used, I linked a tile and tub kit that would also work for your tiles at the end of the post!
Hi what product did you recommend for glossy shower tile to paint it?
I linked a different epoxy paint kit at the bottom of my post. Just click on it and you can purchase it right there. Good Luck can’t wait to see
Why didn’t you use the stencil on the dark tiles?
I just wanted a more simple pattern in my shower because I already had so much going on the floor
So excited to try this‼️Thank you so much for sharing?✨
Me too. Make sure to use the tag #remingtonavenuepaintstile for a feature on instagram
How do you clean it? What product do you use? Has any strong products (bleach, or H2O2 ) damage the painted tile?
Hi Sandy, I just clean it with Myers cleaner. Not a super strong cleaner, but my shower doesn’t really get that dirty.
Hi! First time reader. Found this because I’m looking to paint my bathroom tile and yours seems to be an exact match — it’s a 12″ beige travertine tile right? This looks wonderful and gives me so much hope for my bathroom!
Yes it is. Cant wait to see your stenciled tile. Please tag me on instagram and us tag #remingtonavenuepaintstile
Does this still look good? How long ago did you do this?
Yes it is holding up great! Please tag me in a photo when your finished. @remingtonavenue on instagram
Was the epoxy paint smelly? Would I need to wear a mask while painting? The other tub and tile kit paint is suppose to be very smelly so you need to wear a mask while doing it. And supposedly the stench takes about a week or so to go away.
The one I used wasn’t too bad, but the kit you would def need a mask
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