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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

“Julie,Just to let you know I am very appreciative of your crew catching the plumbing/mold problem. It was very astute of them. I wanted to let you know that again your crew has done excellent work here, please pass this along to Mr. Jessee. There are some bumps in the road here, but the painting and your crew has not been one of them. Their work is the only thing going right currently, and this crew is very nice and respectful. It is much appreciated. Thank you again.”

— Beth
Oakland

“Matt, We are very happy with how all of the painting worked out. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the work in the bathroom. I liked working with Victor, he and Marvin were extremely conscientious about doing a great job, not just the minimum. I know the front door took a lot longer than you'd expected. But they did it PERFECTLY. We never thought it could turn out like that! Thanks again for the great work. We'll be calling you again in the future!”

— Craig
Alameda, CA

“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

“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

“My entire experience with MB Jesse was very professional. The crew were very friendly and super accommodating of my ridiculous schedule and geriatric pets in the house. The finished product, which was pretty much my entire house, far exceeds my expectations. Would definitely work with them again!”

— Heather Jordan

“I cannot imagine finer painters--and I have worked with many. They work exceptionally hard. It is a joy to see their workmanship!”

— Alicia R.
Oakland

“Our paint crew did a great job and the foreman, Gersson was exceptionally great to work with. He was always available to answer questions, good at problem-solving, very patient, kind, and highly professional with great customer service. We definitely recommend this company, and Gersson and his crew.”

— Andrea Y.
Berkeley, CA

“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

“MB Jessee painters are stellar! As a designer I've worked with numerous companies over the years, and MB Jessee is a top-notch firm. From the first phone call to the final clean up, every person is courteous, professional, and hard working. The owner, Matt, is a charitable leader who has instilled his team with integrity and honesty providing the customer with a first class experience at a fair price with a paint job that is guaranteed to last. I highly recommend MB Jessee. Thank you Matt and your STAR crew-Daniel, Rigoberto, Vicente, Edy, Pedro, and Mario, for a job well executed! Cynthia Brian, ASID, Starstyle® Productions, llc”

— Cynthia Brian
Morgan, CA

“I highly recommend MB Jesse Painting to anyone looking for a professional team that does an impressive job. They are on time, efficient and clean up well each and every day they are on site. They pay attention to detail and listen to the needs of their clients. In addition, they give back to the community. A Five Star team all the way around.”

— Erin Troy

“I love the article in the paper on your company. Thank you for supporting our community by painting at the Claremont Middle School. Thanks!”

— Carla Banks

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

— Paul Markovich