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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

“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

“Many thanks to Rigoberto and Damon and the extraordinary team who transformed my castle in the skies.They are magicians. I appreciate their work very much.”

— Kathleen A
San Francisco

“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

“The kitchen looks NEW! You guys are amazing.”

“I loved working with M.B. Jessee from start to finish on a relatively small paint job that grew a bit. I felt in very good hands from the moment Matt Jessee came out to give me the estimate and talk about my job. He was very easy to talk to and he handled my changes very well. Then the actual work done by Rigoberto and Mario was impeccable. They were neat and meticulous and the paint job looks beautiful. I could not have asked for more and when I did, they accommodated me 100%. I will not hesitate to call M.B. Jessee again and to refer them to friends.”

— Nancy Kurkjian

“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

“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

“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 completed 'Client Satisfaction Survey' we sent in only modestly reflects our total satisfaction with the work. As a retired small business owner, I compliment you on setting 'best practices' that are consistently followed. Everything described in your marketing materials was a reality! The crew is a super bowl team and our neighbors commented on how quiet they were. We are very happy to be a client of MB Jessee.”

— Richard
Orinda

“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

“The entire MB Jessee team is courteous, efficient and professional. From scheduling and estimating to the crew managers and crew, they all did an excellent job on a small (but complicated) two room project in my house. I'm already thinking about getting them scheduled for the next project in the spring.”

— Cari Cheney