InDIY & Home Improvement, Home Projects

Retro Kitchen Revamp: How to Paint Wall Tiles

How to Paint Wall Tiles for an Instant Upgrade in a Bathroom or Kitchen

Yes, you can paint wall tiles! And it is such an easy job to do to update your kitchen or bathroom instantly! In my previous post, I explained how to paint kitchen cabinets. After we painted the cabinets, it looked a lot better, but we still needed a more cohesive look. The wall tiles gave too much of an orange glow and made the kitchen restless.

Cabinets done |
(I also had too much clutter on my counters)

Note – This is not a sponsored post, and the links provided are not affiliate links. I’m simply providing the links to Plascon for convenience. All opinions are my own.

How to Paint Wall Tiles

  • Polycell Sugar Soap for cleaning the tiles before painting
  • Good quality paintbrushes and foam rollers
  • Plascon Velvaglo in the colour of your choice – we used Frozen Limeade
  • Turpentine (for brush cleaning)

The most important step in this process is to clean the wall tiles properly. Sugar Soap is a powder that is mixed into water and used to wash surfaces (tiles, walls, cabinets, basically anything you would like to paint), before painting to remove all grime and grease and ensure that the paint adheres well to the surface. I would advise you to wear household gloves when you work with the Sugar Soap, as it dries out the skin. Wash the tiles with the Sugar Soap mixture and clean thoroughly with water and a clean rag. When the surface is dry, you can start painting.

Painting wall tiles |

We used Plascon Velvaglo (oil-based) for the wall tiles as well as the kitchen cabinets. When using Plascon Velvaglo, it is not necessary to use a primer or sealant when painting wall tiles, as long as you clean the tiles properly as described above. Start by painting the grout lines and edges with a paintbrush. A foam roller will not cover the grout lines sufficiently, so it is necessary to paint these with a paintbrush. Then you can paint the tile surfaces with a foam roller. We did two coats with the brush and roller to get good coverage. The pattern in the tile will still be visible.

Wall tiles painted |

Repairing broken tiles

When a house or kitchen is 40-years old, you are bound to have some broken tiles. We had a couple of broken tiles we had to repair and also a soap dish at the kitchen sink we removed and had to fill in the gaps. Luckily, we saved some tiles from the bathroom walls when we remodelled our family bathroom. The pattern is different, but the size is the same. We replaced them, and after painting, the different patterns are not even noticeable.

Replacing wall tiles |
You can't even notice the tiles with a different pattern |
Replace tiles with different patterns – You will not notice this when they are painted

Repair Kickplates

We also had to fix some of our rusty kickplates. But this was an easy enough task. Marinus cut a piece of plywood to size, which he painted with black enamel paint to match the existing. He then fixed it in place with screws and touched up the screw heads with paint. We painted all the kickplates with one layer of black enamel paint to freshen them up.

Replacing kick plates |

Final Points of Advice When Painting Wall Tiles

Cabinets & Wall tiles painted |

Painting wall tile is such an easy task to update your kitchen or bathroom. I mentioned this in the Kitchen Cabinet post as well, but be sure to ask for advice from your local suppliers when you are unsure of which paint to use. For this project of ours, the cleaning and the right type of paint were crucial. It has been painted since the end of 2017, and we do not have one single scratch or chip on the tiles.

Be sure to check out the before and how I painted our cabinets. In the next kitchen update, I will show you our custom made track light!

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Your Guide to Painting Wall Tiles
Junette |

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  • Savannag

    Hey! I’ve been debating using this method or Rustoleum Tub and Tile Kit. How potent were the fumes during this process?

    February 21, 2020 at 8:31 pm Reply
    • Junette

      Hi Savanna
      We used enamel paint (Plascon Velvaglo – South Africa) on our wall tiles and it is holding up excellent so far. With the enamel paint, it is just normal paint fumes, nothing too bad, and no smell when the paint is dry. As for the Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile repair – I plan on using it in our laundry sink and I hear the fumes are pretty bad, so I will definitely be using a proper ventilator mask.

      February 22, 2020 at 6:54 pm Reply

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