Does tile paint work?

Does tile paint work?  I googled it a lot but eventually I had to try it for myself.

I had an 80’s bathroom.  Think pale brown tile with pink flowers, “champagne” bathtub and sink and plastic wood effect bath panel and you have the exact mental image.  In the three years I worked with it (it wasn’t that bad, and you get used to it too) I wondered if I could paint the tile out as an interim measure, but I wasn’t brave enough.  In the little loo, however, there were six identical tiles on the windowsill.  In the little loo makeover I wasn’t going to replace six tiles, so I painted them.  How did it turn out?

Very well, actually.  I was surprised.

In the loo makeover everything to about chest height went white, except the floor, and then there is wallpaper above that.  I couldn’t leave the six pale brown and pink flower tiles on the windowsill.

I considered tile stickers like this, but the reviews I uncovered were that they looked like exactly what they are: cardboard squares. So I mused on it a while.

Then I saw an advert on the wall in B&Q where they’d painted tile and it looked really good, so I looked a the tile paint and found this:


As you know, I had good results with Ronseal in the loo (nope, post not sponsored by them in any way, it just worked for me).  So I thought I’d give it a go.

It worked.

I used my usual technique from Virginia over at LiveLoveDIY and used a brush to get the paint on and a small emulsion roller to smooth it out and get rid of the brush strokes.  Mine looked like this as a result:


I think it’s worth noting that I used white and, of course, the grout is white.  I think if you are considering painting tile and you’re not sure, plain white is an easier choice than anything else as you don’t have to worry about painting the grout while you’re painting the tile, or re-painting the grout when you’re done (which would not be my preferred option).

I only had six tiles, so this wasn’t actually much of a gamble.  £13 on a tin of paint was worth a go, and I have most of that tin left. That said, you can get some amazing results with tile paint if you’re brave enough and put enough prep work in.  Look at this from YoungHouseLove:


Or this from Remington Avenue Blogspot… though for this one t would be good to see how that looks after a couple of years of being walked on to make sure it holds up:

Just a note: Be a bit careful about using some of the instructional videos.  For example this one from B&Q says to use just a paintbrush.  That would leave brushstrokes and show the tile had been painted, so I would only use a little roller to do this (though the prep advice is good).  Ashley over at Domestic Imperfection agrees with me about the necessity of a roller – and her tiles have lasted really well. 

Here’s Ashley’s transformation – pop over to Domestic Imperfection for her instructions:




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