How to paint bathroom tiles

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Who says you need to totally replace your old bathroom tiles? If they’re drab or dated there’s a simple way to make them modern and fab! Why not give them a total refresh by painting directly over the top – it’s an affordable way to give your bathroom a totally new look.

Tools and materials:

4mm nap 100mm wide microfibre roller and tray

Paint stirrer

38-50mm high quality angled sash cutter brush




Dulux Renovation Range Tile Paint

Rubber cleaning gloves

Drop sheet

Sandpaper – 400 grit

Masking tape

Sanding block

Microfibre cloth

Safety glasses

Mould killer

Scrubbing brush and toothbrush

Paint brush

Sugar soap

Tools and materials needed to paint bathroom tiles

1. Clean your bathroom tiles

Before you do anything else get in there and give your tiles a really good scrub. Use a bucket, some water and sugar soap to make a solution, then grab a scrubber and go nuts. If you’re working with a smaller area you may choose to simply use Selleys Sugar Soap Wipes. Then take a toothbrush and scrub your grout lines – use a mould killer to really get in there and make sure any mould spores are gone. Make sure you have your respirator on for this bit, or open a window – this stuff is noxious. Leave for a few minutes before cleaning off.

Preparing a sugar soap solution to clean tiles

2. Dry and sand

Now your bathroom tiles are clean, you’re ready to give them a light sand – this will help your new primer and paint adhere to the surface better. Wear a dust mask for this bit – and get stuck in! Once you’ve finished, wipe away the dust with a microfibre cloth and you’re good to go.

Giving bathroom tiles a light sand with a sanding block

3. Repeat the process

You’ve cleaned, scrubbed and sanded – now do it all over again! We know – it’s boring. But trust us – if you repeat this process, your paint will go much easier and there will be no need to re-do your hard work down the track.

4. Apply masking tape

Mask up any areas where you don’t want your paint to go – use painter’s tape for this bit or apply masking tape.

Applying painters’ tape to bathroom vanity

5. It’s time to prime

Once you’re all taped up, you’re ready to prime. We’re using the Dulux Renovation Range – it comes with an additive that you add to the primer, then stir for two to five minutes. The great thing about this product is that even though it’s specifically designed for plastic or laminate, you can also use it on all tiles. Once your primer is mixed, pour it out into a tray, then grab a paint brush to cut in around the edges and the grout lines of your tiles. Once you’ve done this, use a roller. Leave your primer to dry for four hours.

Pouring tile paint in a painting tray

6. Apply your top coat

Once your first layer of primer is dry you can apply the second coat of paint. You can choose any colour you like from the Dulux Renovation Range – the sky’s the limit! We went with ‘Whisper White’. Add your additive to the paint and stir for two to five minutes. As with the primer, use a paint brush to cut in along the grout-lines then use a roller to apply the colour across the surface of the tiles in long, even strokes. Allow the first coat to dry for eight hours, then apply a second. To get a nice, even finish gently go over your tiles once more with an unloaded roller in the same direction.

Applying tile paint with a paint roller

7. Fresh and clean

Your bathroom’s all brand new again! And you didn’t need to spend a fortune getting the tiler in – winning!

Looking for more bathroom inspo?

Check out Mooch Styles’ bathroom makeover and more simple projects from Make It Yours season one, bathroom episode.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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