Can You Paint Ceramic Tile In A Shower? [Be A Pro Today]

Can You Paint Ceramic Tile In A Shower

Ceramic tiles are a popular choice for shower walls due to their durability and water-resistant properties. However, over time, the color or style of the tiles may become outdated or simply not suit your aesthetic preferences. The question arises: Can you paint ceramic tile in a shower? The answer is yes!

You can paint ceramic tiles in a shower. Prepare the area by cleaning and repairing the tiles. Sand the surface, then apply a bonding primer. Choose a suitable paint for ceramics, apply thin coats, and let each layer dry. Finally, seal the tiles with a waterproof sealer.

In this article, we will guide you through a step-by-step process to successfully paint ceramic tiles in your shower.

Paint Ceramic Tile In A Shower: 6 Step-by-Step Process

Painting ceramic tile in the shower is a tricky process due to moisture exposure. However, with the right processes, it is possible to paint ceramic shower tile. Here is a guide to help you through. 

Step 1: Preparing the Shower Area

The first and most crucial step is proper preparation. Start by thoroughly cleaning the ceramic tiles to remove any soap scum, dirt, or mold. Use a mixture of water and mild detergent, along with a scrub brush or sponge. After cleaning, rinse the tiles and allow them to dry completely.

Step 2: Repairing and Patching

Inspect the tiles for any cracks, chips, or loose grout. Repair any damaged areas with appropriate patching material and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This ensures a smooth and even surface for the paint to adhere to.

Step 3: Sanding the Tiles

To promote better adhesion, lightly sand the ceramic tiles with a fine-grit sandpaper. Sanding creates a rough surface, allowing the primer and paint to grip effectively. After sanding, wipe away any dust with a clean, damp cloth.

Step 4: Applying Primer

Priming the tiles is a crucial step in the painting process. Use a high-quality bonding primer specifically designed for tiles or a multi-surface primer that adheres well to both ceramics and paint. Apply the primer evenly using a paintbrush or roller, following the manufacturer’s recommendations, and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Step 5: Painting the Tiles

Choose a paint specially formulated for ceramic surfaces or one suitable for high-moisture areas. Acrylic latex paints or epoxy-based paints are excellent choices for shower tiles. Apply the paint in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before adding the next layer. Typically, two to three coats are sufficient for a smooth, vibrant finish.

Step 6: Sealing the Tiles

To protect the painted surface from water, steam, and potential damage, apply a clear, waterproof sealer over the painted tiles. A water-based polyurethane sealer is a popular option as it provides a durable, moisture-resistant barrier. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and drying time.

6 Tips About Can You Paint Over Ceramic Tile in a Shower:

If you’re considering painting ceramic tiles in the shower, there are several essential tips to keep in mind for a successful and long-lasting result. No matter whether you paint ceramic tile shower walls or floors, these tips will help. 

1. Surface Preparation is Key:

Properly preparing the ceramic tile surface is crucial for a successful paint job. Start by thoroughly cleaning the tiles to remove any soap scum, mold, or debris. Repair any cracks or chips in the tiles and ensure that the surface is smooth and even.

2. Choose the Right Paint:

Selecting the right ceramic tile paint for shower is essential for achieving a durable and water-resistant finish. Look for a paint specifically designed for use on ceramic surfaces or one that is suitable for high-moisture areas like bathrooms. Acrylic latex paints or epoxy-based paints are often good choices as they adhere well and withstand moisture.

3. Use a Bonding Primer:

Applying a bonding primer specifically formulated for ceramic tiles is vital. The primer helps the paint adhere effectively and prevents it from peeling or chipping over time.

4. Apply Thin, Even Coats:

When painting the tiles, apply thin, even coats to achieve the best results. Avoid thick layers of paint, as they may take longer to dry and may not adhere properly, leading to a less professional-looking finish.

5. Allow Sufficient Drying Time:

Be patient and allow each coat of paint to dry thoroughly before applying the next one. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying time, which typically ranges from a few hours to overnight.

6. Consider Tile Grout:

Decide whether or not to paint the grout lines. While it is possible to paint grout, keep in mind that painted grout may require more frequent touch-ups and can be harder to clean. Alternatively, consider using a grout stain or sealer to refresh the grout lines.

9 Mistakes to Avoid When Learning How to Paint Ceramic Tile in a Bathroom Shower:

Painting ceramic tiles in a bathroom shower can be a cost-effective way to refresh the space and give it a new look. However, there are several common mistakes that you should avoid to ensure a successful and long-lasting outcome.

1. Skipping Proper Surface Preparation:

One of the most significant mistakes is neglecting to prepare the ceramic tile surface adequately. Skipping essential steps such as cleaning, repairing, and sanding the tiles can lead to poor paint adhesion and an uneven finish.

2. Using the Wrong Type of Paint:

Using the wrong paint can be disastrous for a bathroom shower. Avoid using regular house paint or low-quality paints that may not withstand the high humidity and constant exposure to water. Choose a paint specifically designed for ceramic surfaces or high-moisture areas like bathrooms.

3. Rushing Between Coats:

Proper drying time between coats is critical for a successful paint job. Rushing the process can result in the paint not adhering correctly or peeling over time. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying time before applying the next coat.

4. Neglecting to Seal the Tiles:

Sealing the painted tiles is crucial to protect the finish from water and humidity. Skipping this step can lead to paint deterioration and premature wear.

5. Overlooking Grout Lines:

Ignoring the grout lines can leave the overall appearance looking incomplete. Consider whether to paint the grout or use a grout stain or sealer to refresh its look.

6. Using Harsh Cleaning Agents:

Using abrasive or chemical cleaners on the painted tiles can damage the finish. Stick to mild soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge for regular cleaning.

7. Forgetting a Test Patch:

Before committing to the full project, always perform a test patch on a small, inconspicuous area of the tiles. This allows you to check paint adhesion and assess if you are satisfied with the color and finish.

8. Not Addressing Caulk and Joints:

Ensure that caulk and joints are in good condition before painting. Repair any damaged caulk and use an appropriate caulk designed for wet areas to prevent water leakage.

9. Neglecting Regular Maintenance:

Proper maintenance is crucial to extend the life of the painted tiles. Be diligent in cleaning and promptly addressing any areas that may require touch-ups.


Can I Paint Over Old, Damaged Ceramic Tiles?

Yes, you can paint over old, damaged tiles. However, it’s essential to repair any cracks or chips before painting. Patching the damaged areas and ensuring a smooth surface will help the paint adhere better and provide a more even finish.

What Type Of Paint Should I Use For Ceramic Tiles In A Shower?

Choose a paint specifically formulated for ceramic surfaces or one suitable for high-moisture areas like bathrooms. Acrylic latex paints or epoxy-based paints work well for shower tiles, offering good adhesion and resistance to water and humidity.

Do I Need To Sand The Tiles Before Painting Shower Ceramic Tile?

Yes, sanding the tiles lightly is recommended to create a rough surface that helps the primer and paint adhere effectively. It improves the durability and longevity of the painted finish.

Can I Use Regular House Paint For Ceramic Tiles In The Shower?

Using regular house paint is not recommended for shower tiles. Regular paint may not adhere properly to the ceramic surface, and it won’t withstand constant exposure to water and humidity.

How Many Coats Of Paint Do I Need To Apply in Ceramic Tile In Shower?

Typically, two to three coats of paint are sufficient for ceramic tiles. Applying thin, even coats allows the paint to dry properly between applications and results in a smooth, professional-looking finish.

Can I Paint Over Colored Or Patterned Ceramic Tiles in Shower?

Yes, you can paint over colored or patterned tiles. The right type of primer and paint can effectively cover the existing color or pattern, providing a fresh, new look to your shower area.

Will The Painted Ceramic Tiles in Shower Be Waterproof?

The paint itself may not be waterproof, but using a water-based polyurethane sealer as the final step creates a protective barrier that makes the painted tiles resistant to water and moisture.

How Long Does The Paint Need To Dry Between Coats?

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying time between coats. Typically, it may take a few hours overnight for the paint to dry completely, depending on the product and environmental conditions.

Can I Paint The Grout Lines In Ceramic Tile In Shower As Well?

While it is possible to paint the grout lines, it is not always recommended, as painted grout may require more frequent touch-ups and can be harder to clean. Consider using a grout stain or sealer to refresh the grout lines instead.

How Do I Maintain And Clean Painted Ceramic Tiles In The Shower?

To maintain the painted tiles, avoid using harsh abrasives or chemical cleaners, as they can damage the finish. Instead, use mild soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge for regular cleaning to preserve the beauty of the painted surface for years to come.


By following the step-by-step process of how to paint ceramic tile in a shower, you can achieve a professional-looking and long-lasting finish. 

Choose the right type of paint and sealer specifically designed for ceramic surfaces and high-moisture areas. With proper care, your newly painted shower tiles can retain their beauty and charm for years to come. So, unleash your creativity and give your shower a makeover that you’ll enjoy!

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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