Just Ask Jake: Can You Paint Over Existing Tile?

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Last updated on October 31, 2023

A Bathroom Remodel Question

Schloegel Designer, Megan Bringman, AKBD
Schloegel Designer, Megan Bringman, AKBD

Designer Megan Bringman Answers Whether Painting Over Existing Bathroom Tile is a Good Idea


Dear Jake,

Is painting bathroom tile a good solution for tile that is in good condition but not a desirable color?



Dear Patty,

I have asked Megan Bringman, one of our award-winning on-staff designers, to answer your question. Here is her answer:

There are several things to consider before painting over existing tile.

  • What are your expectations of a good solution?
  • How long do you want the finish to last?
  • Is it in a wet area or area of high use?

Painting tile is a very short-term cosmetic fix. It can and has been done; however, it is time consuming to prepare correctly so that the paint adheres and even then it’s not a “perfect” finish. If it’s in a shower or tub area where it is subject to water and build-up don’t expect that it will be easy to clean or maintain the finish. Moisture over time will cause the paint to peel and chip.

If you do decide to paint your tile, most paint manufacturer’s recommend using a bonding primer first followed by a latex topcoat, then waiting several days before sealing it with a clear urethane.

Good luck with your project, hope this helps!

Megan Bringman, AKBD


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