You may decide that your current tile is unattractive or you simply don't like it anymore. However, removing tile isn't always possible due to the substantial expense associated with installing new tile or another kind of flooring. Some people choose to try to use multiple rugs to cover their old tile, but another option to consider is painting the tile. If your floor is in fairly good condition, painting ceramic tile flooring is actually pretty easy to do. You will need to use an alkyd paint and primer, since latex is not durable enough for this type of project.
What You Will Need
Denatured alcohol (when shellacking)
Alkyd paint (semi-gloss or high gloss)
Primer (Alkyd or shellac-based)
Soft cloths, Paint roller
Clear finish for floors (water-based urethane)
Step 1. Use a scrub brush and abrasive cleaner to thoroughly clean the tile. Make sure that you rid the floor of all mildew, since it may compromise the floor's surface once you've finished. Next, use a dampened, soft cloth to completely remove the residue left by the cleaner.
Step 2. Make repairs to crumbling grout or cracked tiles. If your floor requires regrouting, you should do this prior to painting, since this can cause damage to the paint.
Step 3. If your tile is glossy, use the sandpaper (220-grit) to sand them down. Wipe off any dust left on the tile afterward with a soft, damp cloth and allow it to fully dry. While this is optional, following this step may keep you from having to repaint your floor again.
Step 4. If you want to avoid painting the grout, you will need to use painter's tape on the grout lines. It's easier to paint your entire floor with one color, but ultimately the choice is yours. If you want to paint the grout, it's important to allow it to dry for at least 2 days after cleaning prior to painting.
Step 5. Use tape over floor areas that you don't want to paint, like trim, baseboards and wallpaper.
Step 6. Use a roller or paint brush to add a coat of the primer onto the tile. You have the option of using either alkyd primer (oil-based) or a primer with a shellac base.
Step 7. Once the initial coat of primer has completely dried, you should apply another primer coat to the floor. Consult the guidelines from the manufacturer to determine the proper drying time.
Step 8. After it has dried, use the sandpaper to gently rub down the primer coat. This will remove bumps and ensure that you have a smooth, uniform surface for painting. Use your damp cloth to wipe off any dust.
Step 9. Paint the floor using the alkyd, high-gloss or semi-gloss paint. Begin by painting near the walls and any corners with the paintbrush, and then use the roller to paint over your floor. For optimum results, you will probably need to add a few thin coats of paint before you achieve the look you really want. Always give each coat enough time to dry before applying a new coat.
Step 10. Finally, give the paint several days to cure before adding multiple coats of a clear finish. Water-based urethane is the best choice. Remember to use multiple thin coats instead of applying a single thicker coat to your floor.
If you need professional help or advice, speak with experts like Thompson Painting.