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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, by the way, I have never been so impressed with the service of a painting job before! It was like magical elves came and painted our walls without us having to do a thing! It looks amazing and just wanted to let you know how happy we are. Thanks”

— Anja
Piedmont

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

— Paul Markovich

“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

“I just wanted to send you an email to say that John did such a great job over here today. He is truly a hard worker. He has the perfect balance of friendliness, honesty, and professionalism. I trust him. He takes the time to do the job to the best of his ability and that is what sets him (and your company) apart from the competition. He didn't make me feel rushed. He really made me feel like our job was the most important thing in the world. Thanks again!”

— Jo
Oakland

“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

“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

“Awesome work by highly experienced, professional painters. They were: Conscious about the amount of time it would take. Ours had a lot of pre-work and took 3 weeks. Accommodating when we added a few last-minute changes Understanding when a heatwave hit and we remove some of the plastic sheeting over windows, which they had to put back up the next day. Accessible, especially the on-site crew (Hi Jose & Victor!) -- always answering questions and checking in. The end result is a perfect paint job that makes our 94-year-old house look brand new. I would definitely hire MBJ again”

— Stacey R.
Oakland, CA

“I just wanted to thank you all for doing such a phenomenal job on our recent house painting. We are very happy with the outcome and can't say enough good things about the crew. Everyone working on the project was outstanding and made it a great experience. Thanks to everyone.”

— Daylan
Piedmont

“Edy and crew are hard at work. They are doing a great job. Very professional outfit you have. Your crew is a delight. You may use me for a reference!”

— Heidi B
Walnut Creek

“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

“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

“I had my wooden kitchen cabinets painted white. Anabal and Danielle were doing the job. I have nothing but praise for them. They came on time, cleaned up every day, were respective, friendly and helpful. If the rest of Jessee's crew are as great as Anabal and Danielle, this company will go far.”

— Anni S.
Oakland, CA