Can You Paint Bathroom Tile?

Tile can make a bathroom…or break it. A classic look will stand the test of time, while individual colors or styles can quickly go out of fashion and leave your bathroom dated. And tile hangs around, pun intended, for decades.

We can understand why you might want a change. In our opinion, some of the most heinous crimes against bathroom good taste have been committed with weaponized tile.

You know how to get rid of tile. Either hire a pro or start the breaking, scraping, sweating yourself. Since you’re reading this, we assume you’re looking for an easier (or less expensive) out. So… can you paint tile?

According to, the short answer is yes. But there are a few things to keep on mind.

Simple as it sounds, painting bathroom tile shouldn’t start without first evaluating key project considerations and constraints.

It’s Not A Cure All


You can paint most surfaces in the bathroom, with the exception of glazed quarry tile.

But your paint job will last the longest on tiled bathroom surfaces that receive low to moderate exposure to moisture—think bathroom floors (outside the immediate vicinity of the tub), walls, and backsplashes.

Surrounds or shower surfaces and countertops, which have much greater exposure to water, will be quicker to fade or blister.

Your Bathroom Will Be Closed For Business

The task of painting bathroom tile can be divided into five stages: surface preparation, priming, painting, pattern application, and sealing.

Your total time invested will also include drying times for the primer, each coat of paint, and the sealer. You should get everything you need from the bathroom before you start, and plan to live without it for at least two days.


So, it turns out you can indeed paint over tile. Especially if you need a (relatively) quick change, without having to do a major remodel. You just have to plan accordingly.