BathroomHome ImprovementPainting & Colors

The Ultimate Guide to Painting Shower Tile in an Easy Way

How to Paint Shower Tile

Are you sick of your old 90’s bathroom shower tiles? Well, revamping your whole bathroom can cost a fortune. Then what alternative do we have? If we tell you that you can save your money and still manage to get a brand-new bathroom, then that might sound a bit crazy right? But we have got a DIY hack that is to paint the shower tile of your bathroom.

Yeah, it is possible to paint the shower tile. By following the right steps and using the appropriate materials, you can achieve a refreshed and stylish shower space. In this article, we will guide you through the process of painting shower tiles, helping you create a beautiful and personalized bathroom retreat. So are you ready to revamp the look of your old ugly bathroom by just putting in some effort?

Also, if you are still stuck on the question of how to paint shower tiles, then don’t worry. We have got the right solution for you. Roll up your sleeves, and get going.

What is More Affordable, Painting Shower Tiles or Retiling?

The answer is pretty obvious painting is a more economical option than retiling. To paint shower tiles, you need minimal effort, and it is quite a budget-friendly option. If we compare the investment amount between painting and retiling, then we can observe the major cost difference between the two. To paint shower tile, you might have to spend $100 to paint 100 square feet. On the other hand, retiling can depend on the type of tile that you are going to use. However, it can cost anywhere from $100 to $1500 for a bathroom floor of about 35 to 100 square feet.

Moreover, if you choose to retile around a tub or walls of the shower stall and that is around 9 and 13 square feet. Then it can cost you around $400 to $1300. This is an estimated amount. However, the solid-colored ceramic tiles are cheaper than the patterned marble falls tiles. So now you can evaluate the difference between the two and choose what is best for you.

Step-By-Step Guide for Painting Shower Tiles

Follow these step-by-step procedures to learn how to paint shower tile.

1. Prepare the Shower

Prepare the Shower

If you want to paint shower tiles, then the most basic and first step of this process includes cleaning your shower. You need to clean it thoroughly so that you get a clean and clear result. You can start by cleaning the shower tiles and grout. Use a tile and grout cleaner to remove any access dirt, grease, or soap scum. Use a strong scrubber to clean everything. Further, rinse everything with water and let the tiles dry completely.

2. Sand the Tiles

Sand the Tiles

Most tiles have a glazing layer so that the water does not just stay for a longer time and also protects the material. Thus, you need to sand the tiles so that the paint stays there for a longer period of time. Using 120-grit sandpaper, gently sand the tiles to create a rough surface. This step helps the primer adhere better to the tiles. Make sure to remove any gloss or sheen on the surface. After sanding, wipe away the dust with a damp cloth and let the tiles dry.

3. Protect the Surrounding Areas

Protect the Surrounding Areas.jpg

This is a crucial step as you need to protect the areas that are not tiles, and you are not going to paint them. Thus, before you begin to paint shower tiles, Cover the shower fixtures, walls, and any other surfaces you don’t want to paint using painter’s tape and drop cloths or plastic sheets. This step ensures that no accidental splatters or spills occur. By any chance, you accidentally drop the paint, then use an old cloth to clean it up.

4. Apply Primer

Apply Primer

Primer is essential as it has several benefits when you decide to paint shower tiles. It enhances adhesion, increases durability, provides a smooth surface, blocks stains, and discoloration, and improves paint coverage and color saturation of the paint. Thus, it is necessary to apply primer before you begin to paint shower tiles. Choose an epoxy-based or urethane-based primer designed for use on tiles. These primers create a strong bond and provide excellent adhesion. Using a paintbrush or roller, apply the primer evenly over the tiles. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying time.

5. Paint the Tiles

Paint the Tiles

Once the primer is completely dry, it’s time to paint the shower tiles. Select an epoxy-based or urethane-based paint formulated for wet environments, as these types of paints offer durability and resistance to water and moisture. Apply the paint in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Multiple coats might be necessary for complete coverage. If you want any unique pattern on your tiles, then you can create those with some folding paper and paint over them.

6. Finishing Touches

Finishing Touches

After you have let your paint dry and all the major work is over now, all you need to do is pay attention to the details. Thus, after the paint has dried, take a keen look for any imperfections or uneven areas. If you find any spots, then lightly sand those spots with 220-grit sandpaper and remove the unwanted dust. Further, apply a sealer to protect the freshly painted shower tiles. However, research well and then choose a sealer specifically designed to paint shower tiles and apply it. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

7. Cleaning


Once you are done with all the major work, and now you have a well-painted shower tile also, your bathroom looks brand new. All you need to do right now is all the paint and sealer to cure for as long as it is asked. Do not run the shower before everything is set up. Once everything is cured, now you can test the shower by running water over the painted tiles. Also, regular cleaning with mild, non-abrasive cleaners is typically sufficient to maintain the painted surface’s appearance.

What Are the Types of Tiles that Can Be Painted?

What Are the Types of Tiles that Can Be Painted

When it comes to painting shower tiles, it’s essential to select the right type of tiles that are suitable for painting and can withstand moisture and water exposure in a bathroom environment. While not all types of tiles can be painted, there are several commonly used shower tile materials that can be successfully painted to give your bathroom a fresh new look. We have mentioned a list below of what is best to paint shower tile.

  • Ceramic tiles
  • Porcelain tiles
  • Natural stone tiles
  • Quarry tiles
  • Terracotta tiles

Things to Keep in Mind Before You Paint Shower Tiles

Things to Keep in Mind Before You Paint Shower Tiles

Painting your shower tiles can be a hard task if not done properly. Thus, keep these points in mind before you begin a shower tile paint task.

1. Type of Paint

To paint shower tile, you need to have paint that does not easily leave the tile. Epoxy paint, acrylic paint, and latex paint are generally the most appropriate and popular options that you can use. However, do research on your own about which tile is in your shower and what types of paint are best suited for your shower. Also, do compare the prices of the paint and the quality that is worthy of investment.

2. Location and Use

So any sort of paint will be removed if there is excess moisture on it. Thus, the farther the distance you have from the walls and the shower, the longer the coat of paint will last. So, if you are planning to paint shower tile, then keep in mind to adjust the shower panel in a way that less water reaches the freshly painted tiles.

3. Type of Color

Color is a personal choice and how you want to paint shower tiles. However, you can keep in mind that brighter paint colors are a well-suited option for limited-space bathrooms. On the other hand, darker paint absorbs light and can make your space look even shorter or give your bathroom a more constricted look.

Material Required for Painting Shower Tiles

Material Required for Painting Shower Tiles

In order to paint shower tiles, you need quite some equipment so that you can begin your work with no hassle. Below we have mentioned a list of necessary equipment used to paint shower tiles.


Painting shower tiles can be a fun task to do, and also it will revamp the look of your bathroom if you are used to seeing your old bathroom. However, retiling can be a hard task and can also be expensive. Thus, we have provided you with a step-by-step guide so that you can learn how to paint shower tiles on your own.

However, if you feel that this task is getting hectic, then don’t hesitate in taking help from a professional. Also, remember to choose high-quality materials, properly prepare the tiles, and exercise patience throughout the process. With a little effort and creativity, you’ll achieve a stunning bathroom makeover that will leave you feeling revitalized and proud of your DIY accomplishment. So, get all the necessary materials and get going.

Transform the look of your bathroom and make it your happy place. Thus, be creative and try something new so that you might feel content once you are done with this project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Paint Over Existing Grout Lines?

It is best if you avoid painting over grout lines as it does not look very presentable. Instead, you can carefully tape off the grout lines with painter’s tape to ensure that the painting process is clean and precise. Moreover, painting over grout lines can make the task more challenging.

Can I Paint Over Previously Painted Tiles?

Yes, you can paint over previously painted tiles. However, it is important to ensure that the existing paint is in good condition, clean, and properly adhered to the tiles. Lightly sand the tile that has paint already over it and apply a primer before applying a fresh coat of paint.

How to Take Care of Painted Shower Tiles?

In order to maintain and take care of painted shower tiles, clean them regularly with mild, non-abrasive cleaners, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing tools, as these can be hard on paints and can eventually remove the paint from the tiles, however, if you take care of your shower tiles properly, then it will preserve the appearance and longevity of the tiles.

Can I Paint Decorative Tiles or Mosaic Patterns in The Shower?

Yes, decorative tiles or mosaic patterns can be painted to refresh their appearance. However, the intricate designs may require extra care and attention during the painting process. Use small brushes or carefully apply painter’s tape to protect specific areas while painting.

Should I Hire a Professional, or Can I Paint the Shower Tiles Myself?

Well, it is up to you, as painting shower tiles can be a little DIY project if you have limited space bathroom. And if you’re uncertain or uncomfortable with the process, it may be wise to consult a professional or hire a painter experienced in tile painting for the best results.

Jackson Clarke
the authorJackson Clarke
Jackson Clarke is a Melbourne-based writer with a Bachelor’s in Architectural Design. He has been enriching our content since 2021. His expertise lies in contemporary wall treatments and eco-friendly painting techniques. Previously, he collaborated with leading Australian architects. He brings a fresh perspective on innovative painting and wall treatment methods with his writing for our readers. His articles often reflect his commitment to sustainable living and eco-friendly practices. Besides writing, he enjoys surfing and participating in local art installations.

Leave a Reply