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Can I Paint over Ceramic Tile? Bay Area Painting Info !

Can I Paint over Ceramic Tile? Bay Area Painting Info

As far as wall and floor surfaces go, few building materials are as durable as ceramic tile. Many kitchens and bathrooms here in the Bay Area still have ceramic tile from half a century ago, and it looks just like it did the day it was installed! The problem, however, is that while the tile has endured, our sense of style and our preference for color have changed. This leaves Bay Area homeowners wondering, “Can I paint over ceramic tile?

Yes! It is definitely possible to paint over your ceramic tile in order to update the look of a room without the massive project of replacing the tile. However, there are some limitations to this:

  • Don’t paint floor tile in areas that receive a lot of foot traffic. This paint will wear out before long, leaving the floor looking worse than it did when the tile was unpainted.
  • Don’t paint ceramic tile in high-moisture areas, such as shower walls, tub surrounds and kitchen backsplashes. The moisture can cause paint failure with surprising rapidity.

How Do You Paint Ceramic Tile?

MB JESSEE, an experienced Bay Area painting contractor, recommends beginning every DIY paint job with a good cleaning of the surface. No paints will adhere to a dirty surface as effectively as they will to a clean one. For ceramic tile, scrub with an abrasive cleaner, then rinse off the surface and allow it to dry thoroughly.

The next step in painting your ceramic tile is to buff it with a synthetic grit sandpaper to remove the gloss. This can be done by hand, but an orbital sander will get you faster and more thorough results. Make sure to use a dust mask, as with any sanding project, and use a gentle grit (180 or higher) to avoid scratches that will show through the paint.

Wipe down the surface with water now, removing the dust, and you are ready to begin painting your ceramic tile!

Begin with a good quality primer. This will make all the difference in ensuring your paint will look great, do don’t skip this step! You could use Kilz adhesion primer or Sherwin Williams urethane bonding primer. Make sure you follow the directions regarding how many coats to use, and how long to let it dry.

Now you are ready for the fun part! Choose your topcoat and paint it on, watching the new color transform your tired old ceramic tile! It’s best to choose a semi-gloss sheen so that you have a scrubbable, durable coating that will hold up to reasonable washing and moderate wear. If you do want to do this is an area exposed to more water, you could try Rust-Oleum’s tub and tile refinishing paint.

As with any of your Bay Area painting projects, MB JESSEE would love to have an opportunity to serve you by repainting your ceramic tile. We can advise you on the best products and techniques for your specific situation, and we can even help you choose the colors that will work best in your space!

MB JESSEE is a reliable, well-established house painting company serving the San Francisco Bay Area, including Contra Costa, Hillsborough, Piedmont, Oakland Hills and more.

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Customer Reviews

“Hello Matt,Just another notice of thanks to your wonderful crew, Rigoberto, Javier and John. They did fantastic work, with Rigo providing meticulous and conscientious attention to the details and excellent woodwork finishing, as evidenced by the beautiful fireplace. Javier did a fantastic job in the bathroom especially, it looks "brand new," and John always does quality work, both with the interior and exterior. I can tell they care about what they do. Rigo's "punch out" was very thorough, too. I will call again when I need some more work and will definitely recommend your company and fine crew. I also felt as a homeowner, I could leave my house in their good hands during the day and that took a lot of worry from me, they were honest, prompt and reliable. They were also very kind, respectful and clean in their work, very professional. Thank you.”

— Beth Marx & Melissa Kirsch
Oakland

“The painters at MB Jesse are top notch! Cesar's team was super friendly and helpful. They were very polite and accommodating. Their expertise in everything painting related was evident in their attention to detail and efficiency painting tricky spaces. The apartment looks brand new!”

— Adam Swisher

“In September, MBJessee finished painting two sides of our 3-story condominium building (six owners). We were impressed by the professionalism of the company and every one of its workers, Matt Jessee couldn't have been more helpful in planning the project. His painters were well-trained, easy to communicate with and eager to please. In addition to painting the stucco, they made extensive repairs on windows and frames, which will save us considerable money in the future. They finished earlier than anticipated, with as many as five men working on the job, and the scaffolding came down the next day. All of us were delighted with the results. Now my husband and I are looking forward to having MB Jessee paint our own apartment later this month. Matt and Gustavo (who will be our crew leader again) have explained how they will work to make the painting proceed smoothly while we're living here, and they have been endlessly patient with our protracted decision-making process. If you look at their website, you'll learn that MB Jessee is an exemplary company that takes good care of its workers as well as its customers, and contributes public service projects to the community. All in all, we can't recommend MB Jessee highly enough.”

— Jayne W.
San Francisco, CA

“The finish on my kitchen cabinets had failed, becoming tacky and grimy around the handles. M B Jessee gave me a reasonable quote, far below some others, and did an outstanding job, striping the original varnish and refinishing with a new lacquer finish. The cabinets look like new. Work was done 1 day faster than estimated. The crew was extremely hard-working, considerate, and neat. Highly recommend M B Jessee.”

— Thama B.
San Francisco, CA

“Today I received a beautiful bouquet from your company. It was totally unexpected and very much appreciated--a lovely surprise. Also today, your crew finished my job. I am so pleased with all their fine work. Richard is absolutely amazing and a total delight to work with. He was also extremely helpful during the paint color process. The interior work in my home far exceeded my expectations. A big thank you to you and the crew for an outstanding job. Thank you, thank you for a terrific job!”

— Barbara
Piedmont

“Everyone I dealt with was nice, helpful, and very professional. The price was reasonable! (I didn't feel like I was getting the "San Francisco price." The attention to detail and work quality was excellent. They did what they said they would do in the exact timeframe they said they would do. Highly recommend!”

— Tim Tyson

“In all the years I've worked with MB Jessee, I'm always so impressed by your crews. They are so respectful of everything--you never even know they're there! Except that the paint looks amazing when they're gone. We've had one showing of our home and already have an offer. I'm sure it is because the paint looks so beautiful.”

— Erin T.
Pleasant Hill

“Richard and crew have been great, for sure. As much as I look forward to having the job done and my house back in order, I really enjoyed having them around. You should feel really good about how they represent your company.”

— Jessica Dodson

“Dear Matt,You must be so proud of your men! They were fantastic to have around. Polite, courteous and hardworking. I am so pleased with the outcome of our home--in fact, I couldn't be any more pleased than I am!”

— Mrs. S
San Leandro

“High quality work from a pleasant and qualified staff. Thank you!”

— Paul Markovich

“Charles finished yesterday and did a fantastic job. We really enjoyed meeting Charles and having him in our home. He is a great guy in addition to his attention to detail in his work, the protection of our floors, walls and furnishings, and his overall interaction with us both. I would be pleased to recommend him to any of my clients.”

— Ken Morrison
Oakland

“M.B. Jessee painted the exterior of my Spanish house over 9 years ago, and they did such an incredible job that they are still getting referrals from me today. The paint is holding up perfectly -- there is absolutely no peeling chipping or any other deterioration. I still remember that my final walk-through list consisted of items written on one side of a 3x5 index card (and I'm REAL picky about my house!) However, when Matt and I did that walk-through over HALF the items were no longer an issue, as his team had noticed them first and they had already been resolved.”

— JoAnn Newcomb