The Types Of Tile That You Should Avoid Painting

When you want to refresh a room or area of your home, sometimes all you need is a fresh coat of paint to give it a completely new vibe. It's a great way to make a noticeable update without spending thousands of dollars. We all know that walls and cabinets are paintable, but many people don't realize that tiles can also be painted. However, not all tiles can be easily painted since they don't all have the same type of surface.

Some of the different types of tile include ceramic, porcelain, granite, marble, quarry, limestone, and glass. Even if you've never had any of these in your home, it's easy to visualize their varied textures. In terms of surface, some are glossy while others are polished or soft-polished. Then you have the matte surface tiles and lappato surface tiles. The surface determines how well the tile will hold paint.

Luckily, you can paint on most tiled surfaces, but painting on marble or glass tile is discouraged. Other sources say that glass and marble can be painted, but only if you're willing to do the extra prep work and use a specific type of paint.

Marble and glass tile must be cleaned and sanded before being painted

In most situations, it's not recommended to paint on marble or glass tile because paint doesn't stick to those surfaces very well since both have a glossy finish. These surfaces are intended to be durable, which is what makes them resistant to paint. Once again, it all comes down to the surface texture, but what if you could change the surface of the marble tile? What if you can remove that glazed texture?

Although that shiny, smooth appearance is what many people love about marble tile, if your priority is to change the color, you can do so by sanding the surface with sandpaper. Once the surface is roughened up and cleaned, you can paint it with chalk paint or a high-gloss, oil-based paint, like epoxy paint. But if you choose the high-gloss paint, you'll need to apply an oil-based primer before adding the paint.

As for glass tile, Painting Assist asserts that it can be painted "with the right preparation and materials." Just as with marble tile, glass tile must be sanded and cleaned before painting it. You also need to apply a high-quality primer, followed by a semi-glass paint and clear sealer.

What about shower tiles?

It's one thing to say that "most" tiles can be painted without any issues, but when you factor in moisture exposure, things get a little tricky. Case in point? Shower tiles. Obviously, they get wet often and sometimes stay wet, especially if multiple people are using the same shower at different times of the day. If your bathroom tiles have an old pattern or color that you're not a fan of, it's natural to think of ways to update them without replacing them, such as with paint.

Some people may think you can't paint shower tiles because they're located in a high-moisture area. However, luckily, you can. You just have to use the right kind of paint (epoxy, latex, and acrylic are best), sand the glaze, and clean and dry the tiles. Then, apply a water-bonded primer before the paint.

If you don't want to take the extra steps of sanding and priming your tile, whether it's marble tile, glass tile, or tile in your shower, it's best to skip the paint altogether. Otherwise, you could end up with something that looks worse than what you were trying to cover up.