0
Your shopping cart is empty.

Painting kitchen tile and grout

Tastie Cereale
November 13, 2018
last modified: November 13, 2018

Hi all,

I've looked through topics here and see others have asked same question. Not seeing any examples from people that have gone through with painting kitchen tiles.

I bought my house last year. The kitchen is very dated. Wood cabinets don't kill me, but the beige tile with brown grout that make up the countertop, backsplash and lower half of the walls is too much.

I don't have the money for major renovations right now. The one thing I am going to do is replace the countertop because it's cracking.

I've been researching options on the cabinets and wall tile, and at this point I'm willing to try my hand at painting the cabinets, but not sure about the tile. Demolition and replacement of the tile is beyond my ability, and I don't have the funds to pay a professional right now but I would like to try painting them to improve look of kitchen for at least a few years since I have little to lose from trying, as evidenced by the pics.

I have read several accounts of people who have purportedly successfully painted kitchen tile, however, I'm somewhat limited by certain health issues in that I can't use oil based or other products with strong odors.

Also, many of the tile painting demos I've read say to sand the tiles. Well I just tried that with a rough grade paper on my orbital sander- No change!? How's that possible? Plus, being an old, cheap tile, the chances that it contains lead are pretty high and I really don't need to be inhaling lead dust, nor do my dogs or cat.

So, uh, in light of the many issues outlined above- suggestions on the tile? My dad is a contractor and he suggested temporary fix of just placing drywall over the tiles. If he were nearby, I'd say go for it, but he's not and I'm not a contractor, so that won't work.

Let the ideas flow!


P.S. any idea why I can't add more than one picture??



Comments (127)
  • nosoccermom

    This looks amazing. Did you paint the grout with the same paint?

  • Tastie Cereale

    @nosoccermom: I did use the same paint on the grout. I am using Behr Premium Plus High Gloss Enamel. It's low VOC and smell, and dries quickly. I wanted zero VOC, but there were no High Gloss in 0 VOC. Thankfully my mother got me an air purifier for my birthday and it sucks any smell right out of the room.


    I did put 2-3 coats of primer over all the tiles and grout, so I'm sure that has helped. It certainly provided an easy canvas for the paint. I used a 3" roller on the tiles and did them in rows to get the paint as even as possible without lines. The roller is great because it's small enough to also get the grout.

  • mkritt
    It looks wonderful! I love seeing the progress!
    Tastie Cereale thanked mkritt
  • njmomma

    following

  • Mona

    Wow that looks great so far!

    Tastie Cereale thanked Mona
  • Tastie Cereale

    I'm so excited! Just ordered some satin nickel hinges and cabinet knobs. Seems the brass hinges I have are too old to exactly match, so I was considering painting the brass hinges to match knobs, but found that new hinges will work so long as I drill in a new third hole to the door plate. I've put up one door just to get an idea of how it will look and I'm looking forward to putting them all up with the new hardware!! Woohoo! It doesn't look like a professional job, but it's still so much nicer. I do wish I'd chosen a satin finish for the cabinets instead of semi-gloss, though. It's a bit too shiny.

  • Mona

    I wonder if the semi gloss will clean up easier.

  • Tastie Cereale

    If you mean easier to clean, yes. That's why I prefer it. I'm messy and semi gloss wipes clean very easy. I also just read that it tends to be more durable, which is also a plus. The downside is that it shows every little defect or blemish in the finish. Not so great with a less than smooth wood surface or when you are painting in a home with pets. My dogs and cat will forever be memorialized in my kitchen cabinets!

  • Jess Pearson

    Oh wow! The exact same project is happening in my kitchen. 1970's dark wood cabinets, brass hardware and a blah 1990's backsplash. Painting gray cabinets and white tiles. Replacing hardware and chasing my dogs off the drop cloths with a shop vac.

    A note on the semi-gloss... it will chill out in a month or so. If it is still too shiny, you can lightly hand sand it with 1000 grit and wipe it down with a damp cloth.


  • mkritt
    So exciting, I can't wait to see!

    I painted my husband's bathroom vanity with a satin white and to me it looks very dull. I think you will be happier with the semi gloss.

    I have to laugh about the critter hair, story of my life ;-)
  • PRO
    Home Art Tile Kitchen & Bath

    There are some inexpensive ceramic backsplash tile options that you could consider and avoid painting the tile yourself. If you buy countertop and tiles at one place, it is possible you will get a discount, too. It may cost you a bit more than you originally planned, but you wouldn't have to risk your health or cause any inconvenience. Also, painting kitchen cabinets is a hard job and it really should be done by professionals for best results. You can thoroughly clean the cabinets but I recommend hiring a professional to paint them even if you would have to wait a bit longer.

  • Jess Pearson

    A professional paint job can be done by a careful and patient diy-er. New cabinets are out of my budget for a few years. New refrigerator is going in this year (when I finish the painting), tile and countertops will be replaced next fall. Until then, repainting the tile is the best option (for me). All the drawers and cabinet doors were refaced before painting. All hardware also replaced. The cabinet boxes also got a considerable amount of cosmetic repairs prior to painting. The cabinets need a final/touch-up coat before I finish installing the hardware and move back in to the kitchen. But here are a before and almost-after photo of one wall. :)



  • tartanmeup

    Looks great, Jess!

  • mkritt
    Beautiful Jess! I love seeing other DIY projects. Keeps me from feeling so crazy when I decide to go for it myself :))
  • Tastie Cereale

    I think that looks great for a "non-professional" job. It seems like when DIYer's post on here about their projects, professional contractors feel compelled to say that one should just pay more money to have something done professionally. I get that would be nice, but that's even after the poster (me, for example), has already stated that such professional grade work is out of our budget. If I could afford to pay a professional, then I probably would, but as stated, I can't. And I don't see why anyone should live with ugly they don't like until they can afford to get something done professionally, particularly if the person enjoys trying to do it themself. I'm grateful that my dad, a professional contractor, started as a DIY, as he is very supportive of me trying to do my own work where feasible. And he tells me when something is likely outside the scope of my abilities.

    And I like my tile, and Jenn's and mkritt's, very much!

    I'll jump off my soapbox now.

  • mkritt

    I'm right up there on that soapbox with you Tastie! I've commented a couple of times on the subject of painting wall and floor tiles. My only "expertise" comes from having done both and found the results to not only look good, but to withstand the test of time.

    Both my husband and I (and grown children) are avid DIYers. He just recently retired, so I looking forward to having him work on some of the projects on MY list, but I'm so happy with my kitchen tile and bathroom floor, that I've moved them down to the bottom for now :)

    From the little teaser pictures you've shared, I know your kitchen will be beautiful!

    Tastie Cereale thanked mkritt
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    if you want to try a stencil for your backsplash, plenty of how to's. (cutting edge stencils has a lot of designs and instructions)


    for yours, you could do the chalk paint on top of your white, and seal it with a clear poly.




  • salonva

    I am in awe of your results.

  • Jess Pearson

    I'm so inspired by your stencils. I haven't put a sealer coat on my backsplash yet... probably going to head to Michaels tomorrow!


  • pleballerina
    Following!
  • Tastie Cereale

    UGHHHH!! I am so upset. I ordered the hardware for same day delivery on Amazon, and like usual, they did NOT deliver and now say not expected for 1-2 days!! Amazon is such a bait and switch!! They always do this, even though their warehouse is 15 minutes away from me. They are awful, awful, awful!!

  • mkritt
    That is frustrating, especially when you're excited and ready to put them on.
    Here's hoping they come today!
  • Tastie Cereale

    OK, here is my prototype! I need to do a bit of touch up, adjust hinges so doors close better, though one door is and was warped and won't close, and i need to remove the tape and paint ceiling. But this is pretty much what my kitchen will probably look like. A bit too white, but a world better than the hideous tan tile, brown grout and brass hardware.


  • Tastie Cereale

    Now I have to figure out what to do with vent hood.

  • Mona

    I think it looks great!! The updated hardware looks really sharp. Nice job. It's not too white. Once you get all of your kitchen stuff back in there you'll be happy. I hope you took before pics from all angles so you can post before/after pics when it's all done! I can't wait to see it all together.

  • mkritt
    Wow, looks great!! I agree, not too white at all :) Can't wait to see more!

    Will the vent hood come off? I would think you could use a metal spray paint to paint it.
  • reupser
    Rustoleum makes a line of speciality finish paints including a hammered finish I’ve used and like a lot. I’m not sure if they will take range hood heat but you might check them out. You could also get your hood powder coated but I suspect that would cost more than buying a new hood.
  • pennydesign

    That looks great, Taystie!! (LOVE your name)

    Do you think the stove could go where the fridge used to be (by the window? And the fridge where the stove is now? Of course, you would have to have the gas line moved, but maybe it was there originally...

    If not, get a little cart for next to your stove for a landing area and to fill that space up.

    You might want to think about Ikea butcher block counters. Cheap, diy-able and holds up well (check Ikea hackers for photos) Also, I believe Lumber Liqudators has similar.

    I would spray paint your hood white...it blends in well now and just needs to be freshened up, imo.

    Cute cute cute!!

    If it was my kitchen, I would get myself off to the Goodwill and get some accessories (or use what you have) and buy a can of red spray paint. Very cute and retro...

  • nosoccermom

    Honestly, I'd spring for a new hood. I've seen too many hoods that were spray painted and started peeling after a while. Speaking of which:

    https://lifeonshadylane.com/2017/08/an-update-on-our-stenciled-bathroom-floor/

    (she used chalked paint, so apparently not such a great idea.)

  • Tastie Cereale

    I was also thinking of metallic spray paint but will first look into cost to replace hood. Ît looks like it's been painted before, so I suppose it could work., but @nosoccermom- it IS peeling, and it does not look pretty! However, it appears this kitchen has not been updated for decades, so perhaps the peeling didn't start for several years. I also bought can of Rustoleum metallic paint and can of metal etching primer to paint hinges before I found hinges on Amazon, so at least I have the materials to try it.

  • mkritt
    You've done such a good job and with such great success that I would give painting the hood a try.

    Red accessories would look pretty in there :)

    *I did not use chalk paint on my bathroom floor. It's been over a year with daily use. This was also the second time I painted it, not because there was a problem, but because it was so successful that I wanted to go bolder. There's never been a peeling problem. I also pull a basket full of weights out from under a stool in there daily with nary a scratch.
    Tastie Cereale thanked mkritt
  • Laura Hill
    Following...
  • lindastein

    following

  • Jess Pearson

    Tastie, you can buy just the metal replacement cover for less than $100. Or, you could build your own... You can do it!! https://www.hometalk.com/13883956/how-i-built-a-range-hood-cover

  • apple_pie_order

    Beautiful job. When you are ready to show your finished work, please take some photos in broad daylight with all the lights on.

  • Tastie Cereale

    that's broad daylight. The lights aren't on but they make no noticeable difference during the early part of the day.

  • Mona

    Looks great!!! Did you paint the floor, too? It looks like a completely different color.

  • Tastie Cereale

    No, that's just my crappy camera and the difference in the light. The before pic is from the home sale ad and was likely taken in late summer when there is much more light in my kitchen and coming from a different angle. I will be replacing the the floor with something lighter, as well as the ugly beige vinyl baseboard material.


    I have to say, I'm quite proud of my results so far. The contractor I've hired for other stuff that is beyond my capacity seemed genuinely impressed when I sent him a picture. He is coming by this weekend and I'm interested in hearing his thoughts once he sees it in person.

  • reupser
    Rustoleum also makes a hammered finish paint and I think they make a nickel color. It comes in as spray or brush application. The brush on goes on really thick and the brush marks flow away while drying. If you still think the kitchen is too white a nickel hood would break it up. A $15 gamble?
  • apple_pie_order

    Good photos. What is the small white post next to the stove? and what was the soffit-type thing over the cabinets?

  • Tastie Cereale

    That white box is an oddity- someone custom built it to house the gas line connection. It's a drag because it makes it so I can't move the stove over enough to fit a narrow but commercially available kitchen island between stove and wall. But the plus side is that it still looks better than the gas fixture and makes it much less likely for someone to walk into it. I looked at back of stove and it doesn't have any space to allow for the connector to fit behind it.

    The light box thing over the cabinets appears to have just been some relic of the 70's. It served no purpose other than to look lovely. The main row of cabinets had the same setup, but with an exterior floodlight enclosed behind it, creating a 60's or 70's bar ambiance when turned on. The whole thing was nailed together with no way to change the bulb. Impractical and a waste of space. At least now things can be put up there if needed.

  • Tastie Cereale

    @reupser- I agree that a metal would break up the white, which is why I want to try it. The one thing about that, though, is I think all the white may look good with SS appliances, and a metal hood may look weird with SS stove unless they are a near perfect match.


    I tried out the Rustoleum nickel color and a few others at Home Depot. To me they all came out very glittery and like a car finish. None looked like real metal. Perhaps I was looking at the wrong Rustoleum line, but they were the only metallic spray paints carried in store. For something like a metal hood I would prefer spray paint over brush on to ensure even coverage in the tight corners, etc.


    Does anyone here have personal experience with any of the metallic spray paints that they could recommend? Ones that look like "real" metal?




  • reupser
    I’ve tried many of the Rustoleum ‘s and the most metal like are the brushed hammered finishes. Even when they are the same color the brushed and sprayed end up looking very different. The brush on is quite thick and gives a much deeper appearance. Brush marks aren’t a problem because you leave it thick enough that they fill in. I will say it takes some practice because it doesn’t perform like any other paint I’ve used. In your hood I might spray the inside and brush the outside. Your project is looking great. Thanks for all the progress post!
    Tastie Cereale thanked reupser
  • gigirambles

    I'm so glad I stumbled onto this thread! I hate the tiles in my kitchen...now I'm imagining the look on my husband's face if I were to tell him that we are painting them...

  • mkritt
    Looks amazing Tastie, really brightens up that space!! I love the side by side comparison.
    Have you started the other side yet?? No rush haha, just ready to see more. Before and afters are my favorite :))
    Tastie Cereale thanked mkritt
  • Tastie Cereale

    it's supposed to rain tomorrow so I'll be staying in and starting on the rest. First need to sand ceiling and wall where the box was because it was never painted. Now I have a better understanding of what and how to do things, so I'm going to try and prime all surfaces before moving on to paint. I have many cabinets, limited space, and potentially wet outdoor conditions, so I can only paint so many doors at a time. I'm messy so I don't want to risk getting paint on the original hardwood floors in rest of house, leaving only kitchen to paint and dry the doors. Might be a bit of a slow process.

Need help with a Houzz order? Call us at 1-800-368-4268 (Mon-Sun)