Painting on anything is great fun. And when you can decorate your house with the your artworks, the feeling is just invaluable. If you have an affinity for art, you probably at one point thought of painting on the tiles in your house or maybe, you saw someone do it and decided to try it out yourself.
People tend to paint on all sorts of ceramic objects, like mugs, vases, bowls, etc. You could take that a step further and paint on tiles. They can be then installed into floors or walls, or just put them up for show as decoration pieces. The ideas can be endless if just know how to do it.
There are a few ways to paint ceramic tiles, but the most important part is to make sure that the paint is safe to use on ceramics. You can use spray paint or brushes, depending on the design you want, and then let them dry for a couple of hours. If you’re not happy with how it looks, you can always remove the paint with one of the three methods mentioned in the article.
As great as it is to paint on ceramic tiles, it may also be important to take the paint off. You might have gone tired of the old design and want to try something new. Or, you could have spilled some paint on your tiles. Either way, it is best for painters to know how to remove paint from ceramic tiles.
Learn to Paint on Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic is a sort of material that only supports a small variety of paints. Also, ceramic is different from porcelain. You obviously cannot use any type of paint on a tile, if you want it to last. So, there is the matter of knowing exactly what works best on ceramic tiles, the different ways you can paint on them, and how to make the paint long-lasting.
Painting with A Roller
- The first step to painting on ceramic tiles, would, of course, be choosing the right type of paint to use. Now, there are a few kinds that go well with these tiles, like latex, epoxy, or acrylic paint.
- If you are painting on tiles that will later be walked on, you may want to ditch the acrylic or latex paint and go for epoxy. If you still want latex, doing the job with latex sprayers will be better. It is much more durable, although a little on the expensive side but is best for high-traffic areas.
- Once you have chosen the type of paint you want to use, you can go ahead and start cleaning the tiles. First, get a sponge, some water and a tile cleaner and scrub the tiles. When they are satisfactorily clean, you can get a cotton rag and dry them.
- Ceramic tiles tend to be quite glossy. This will make the paint less durable. So, before you start painting, you will have to sand the tiles to get rid of all the gloss. You can buy 180n or 220-grit sandpaper, which you should then use with an orbital sander.
- Make sure you do not damage the tiles while getting rid of the shine. When you are done sanding, get a wet rag and wipe up any of the dust or debris that may have accumulated.
- Tile-painting does require a lot of preparation, and the next step includes the use of a primer. You can either get spray or oil-based primers from craft stores. Apply 2 or 3 coats of the primer, waiting for each layer to dry in between. For tiles that may get wet, you should get a special epoxy primer.
- When your primer dries, you can start painting the tiles. If you want to do one solid color, all over the tiles, you are better off using a roller. Get a bucket of the paint you prefer, and a tray or flat cardboard.
- Dip your roller in paint, get rid of the excess on the tray or cardboard, and start painting. Move in diagonal lines down the tiles. Paint in sections, going methodically forward. Then let the paint dry, for as long as the manufacturers recommend.
- When the first coat is completely dry, sand the paint lightly, with 220-grit sandpaper. Your goal would be to get rid of any bumps or roughness left by the paint on the tiles.
- Next, you can paint on another coat to make the tiles look more opaque. You can also go ahead and apply the final coat; it depends on how you want your tiles to look. Remember, though, the final coat has to be applied in vertical lines, to get an even and smooth outer layer.
- When your work is done, leave the paint to dry for 2-3 days. It may feel dry to the touch after a while, but it will not be fit for use. After the 2/3 days, your tiles will be ready for the finishing touches.
- You can get urethane and epoxy sprays, either one of which has to be applied to the painted tiles. The epoxy spray will give a more expensive and durable finish while making the paint water-resistant. Urethane will give a more easy finish. Just spray on 1-2 coats of either spray, waiting in between for them to dry.
- If you want a painting technique that is easy and quick, you can go for spray painting. You don’t need fancy commercial sprayer machines. Just remember to get a paint that is ceramic or plastic-safe. Glossy spray paint will produce a smooth, high-quality finish. You should also get a good sprayer for interior walls.
- Before you start painting, apply 1-2 coatings of primer to the tiles. This, too, must be ceramic-safe. Wait for around 2 hours for the primer to set and dry. If the finish is not smooth enough after drying, lightly sand the tiles to get rid of any bumps.
- Next, get your spray paint and apply 1-3 coats, or as many as you need, to completely cover the tiles. Spray the paint evenly, let one coat dry for around half an hour, and spray it again.
- Once the tiles are completely coated in paint, leave them to dry for 1-2 hours. Depending on the humidity and temperature of the surroundings, the drying time will vary. Touch the paint lightly after the recommended period. If it feels dry, you are done!
Painting Designs on Ceramic Tiles
- If you want to do detailed designs, or small patterns, a roller or spray paint, of course, won’t work. In these cases, you are better or with small, pointed or flat brushes. You can find brushes meant for details and the best paint brush for walls at any craft store. You can also use acrylic or oil-based painting pens.
- Before you start on any sort of painting or drawing, you must clean the tiles. Take a damp sponge or rag and wipe it down to remove any dust. Next, dry it with another cotton towel.
- Then, you can write, or draw on the tiles, using either pen or brushes. Remember that epoxy or acrylic paint is best for ceramic tiles. Of course, the acrylic paint and pens will each take their individual time to dry. You will have to choose according to your needs.
- If you hand paint your tiles, you can even use painters’ tapes and stencils to create many different designs. Or you can draw free-handed flowers and leaves. Once you know the correct technique, you can always get creative.
- These paints tend to have different drying methods. If you are using painting pens, you will have to bake the tiles in an oven, for 40 minutes in 191oC temperature.
- For acrylic paint, you will have to wait 24 hours, for the paint to set after you’ve finished drawing. Then, you can bake it in an oven, either following instructions on the packaging or for 30 minutes, in 170oC.
Removing Paint From Ceramic Tiles
Often, you will find that you have grown tired of the paintings that have adorned your tiles for so long. Or, it could be that you had been painting something else and dropped some of the paint on to your floor. If either of that is the case and you need to clean up your tiles, just keep reading and follow all the steps.
Using Razor Blades
- One of the first things you can do to get rid of paint from ceramic tiles may be a little damaging to the substance but it is very simple. So, it would be best to first test this method out on a corner or small section of tiles.
- Get a razor blade and try scraping off the dried off paint splatter. Try to be firm but gentle with the blade, so that you don’t mistakenly damage the glaze of the tiles.If you happen to see that the tile glaze is coming off along with the dried paint, you need to stop and opt for any of the other two methods.
- If this method works for you, scrape off some of the paint then clean up the dust and debris with a wet cotton rag. Remember to wear a mask and maybe even goggles, to protect yourself from any airbourne paint dust.
- For this technique, you will need a heat gun. Although, a hairdryer will work. Use either one of the tools to heat the paint splatters on your tiles but make sure you don’t linger too long with the heat source, or you will risk scorching the tiles.
- Once the paint feels soft enough, get a plastic scraper, and gently push it off the tile. Usually, the paint comes off quickly, in strips, with this method. But there might be some tough parts which you will have to go back to a few times.
- While you heat and scrape the paint, use a wet cotton rag to occasionally wipe off the paint and keep the tiles clean. Once you are done, you can wipe up the floor once with a clean rag or sponge, to get rid of any debris. Wear a mask while you work to protect yourself.
Using Paint Remover
- If none of the above methods work on the paint on your tiles, you will have to use a paint remover. But try to find one that won’t damage your tiles to a great extent. You can either ask the shopkeeper where you buy the paint remover or buy a citrus-based one. These are usually kinder to tiles.
- Before you start, make sure you are working in an open area, and wearing a mask, as the fumes from the remover can harm you. Remember to put on gloves and goggles too, to avoid damaging any part of your body.
- Next, either use a household cleaner or an equal parts vinegar water mixture to clean up the tiles. Use a damp, cotton cloth to wipe up the surface with either of these cleaning solutions, which will also neutralize the area.
- Use the paint remover, dampening a sponge with it, and then scrubbing up the paint. Read the recommendation on the packaging of the remover, to see how long you will have to leave the remover on the tiles.
- After the recommended time, use a paint scraper to remove the now loosened paint. There might still be some tile damage. If that happens, you will have to refinish your tiles.
- When all the paint has been scraped off the tiles, get some warm water, and a sponge and dry rag. Use the sponge to clean off the paint and remover left on the tiles. Then, dry them up with the dry, cotton rag.
- Note that, this should probably be attempted only if the other methods fail, or prove to be damaging to the tiles. While paint removers are very effective, they can be risky for your health, as they are very abrasive. Even if you do opt for this technique, proceed with care.
Now that you know exactly how to draw or paint on ceramic tiles, you can let your creative juices flow, and decorate your home or any other space you want. These individualistic designs will give your home a very interesting aesthetic.
Of course, if you somehow make mistakes or want to get rid of the old paintings for something better and new, you will want to remove the paint.
Each of the three methods is effective, depending on the type and strength of your paint. If you follow the given rules step by step, you will end up with perfectly clean tiles, again!