How to paint kitchen and bathroom tiles

Painting tiles is a nice and easy way to update an old room so we've put together a quick guide to take you through the process step-by-step

Bathroom tile painting

If you want to refresh your kitchen or bathroom, but re-tiling seems too expensive or time consuming, repainting existing tiles is an easy solution. If done correctly, it can produce some impressively stylish transformations.


Step 1

Choose the right tiles

The majority of tiles can be painted, but there are some which can’t. For example, it’s not recommended to paint tiles which will be exposed to running water on a regular basis. The high levels of moisture in showers or directly above baths means these aren’t the best environments for repainted tiles. However, if you’re simply trying to refresh an old splashback on your wall, then repainting is perfect.

Step 2

Prep the tiles

Before you bring a paint brush anywhere near your tiles, they need to be squeaky clean. A bit of elbow grease may be required to deep clean and de-grout tiles, because paints adhere better to surfaces which are spotless.

Cleaning bathroom tiles
© tacojim

Slightly abraded surfaces are also ideal for painting, so go over the tiles lightly with sandpaper before you start.

Step 3

Create a good base

Using the right primer is key when it comes to the success of your paintwork, it’s quick drying and sticks to even the trickiest of surfaces to create a base for both gloss and satin finishes.

Step 4

Add a pop of colour to the walls

Here’s the fun bit – repainting your tiles in the stylish colour of your choice.

Why not take a look at Johnstone’s tile paints, these come in a range of shades, from pastels to bolds, which will completely transform the space.

Painting kitchen tiles
© Elizabeth Fernandez

Top tip

Use masking tape to protect the surfaces next to your tiles – or the newly painted tiles themselves if you decide to re-grout.


Information courtesy of Johnstone’s paint, for more information please visit