Painting Kitchen Tiles

Get tips on painting kitchen tiles.


Renovating a kitchen can be costly, but there are many ways to update your cooking space without a complete overhaul. Painting kitchen tiles is one way to give your space a new look, and many areas of your kitchen can benefit.

Give Your Kitchen a Fresh Look

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Foreign Territory

Before her husband passed away, Bria Weldon didn't spend much time in the kitchen. Her husband, Michael, had always been the chef in the family. Although the couple had often talked about transforming their cramped San Rafael, Calif., kitchen, between work and raising their twins, time was always too tight.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Time for a Change

It was when Bria, an advertising exec, became a single mom to Kai and Graysen, that she knew she had to figure out a way to make the space work for her. "Once the family meals became my responsibility, I realized just how frustrating our old kitchen was."

Photo By: Courtesy of the Homeowner for HGTV Magazine

Functional and Stylish

With the help of her friend, designer Lisa Collins, she made over the old galley kitchen into a happy, open space that makes cooking a much more enjoyable experience. "I know Michael would have loved it too."

Photo By: Roger Davies

Decorative X-Column

A partial wall blocked off the kitchen from the living and dining areas, so Bria had it knocked down. She replaced it with a wooden X-brace that supports the roof, but since it's not solid, she can keep an eye on the twins while she's cooking.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Multipurpose Island

Bria and Michael had always wanted a prep space where the kids could also eat. Lisa created the island by having a durable zinc top mounted on a weathered-oak Restoration Hardware cabinet. Barstools easily scoot underneath the 3 1/2-foot-tall countertop.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Bright Red Seats

Bria was totally on board with Lisa's idea that the space be calming and neutral, but she didn't want it to be plain. So she added red metal stools from Wayfair. Since the twins love to sit and swivel, Lisa added a steel kick plate to protect the bottom of the island.

Photo By: Roger Davies


The Barn Light Electric jumbo fixtures are on dimmers: bright for cooking, soft for dining.

Photo By: Roger Davies

New Cabinets

Custom cabinets could have come into play, but IKEA Akurum cupboards with blackish-brown doors — at a fraction of the cost — were a smarter pick. They look sleek with a stainless steel backsplash, and the savings meant she could put in a white-oak-veneered floor from Tesoro Woods and buy her dream sink.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Paneled Wall

Lisa suggested adding wood siding on the back wall — it goes nicely with the vaulted, beamed ceiling that was already in the kitchen. The wood is painted pale gray with a semigloss finish (Distant Gray by Benjamin Moore) to contrast with the dark matte cabinets.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Wall Organizers

Smart space-savers: The metal mug rack and paper-towel holder are from IKEA.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Farmhouse Sink

The Pegasus Farmer Apron Front sink — from The Home Depot — was at the top of Bria's wish list, and not just for its good looks. Because it's so deep, it does a great job hiding dirty dishes. "I like to at least have the illusion of cleanliness," Bria says.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Easier Cleanup

With dishcloths at the ready in a clear tube vase, and a gooseneck faucet that pulls down, rinsing and drying dishes becomes a less burdensome process.

Photo By: Roger Davies

If you have tiles in your kitchen that feel old and dated, but you aren't able to replace them with new tiles, try painting them. It'll be a time-consuming process, but you're sure to save hundreds of dollars.

First, you'll want to select the colors you'll be using. To make your project extra easy, select just one color. To add more dimension to your tiles, go with one color in a few varying shades. If you really like to challenge yourself, select a bunch of colors, but be sure to choose ones that pair well with your cabinets, countertops and wall colors.

Since tiles are glossy and it can be hard to get paint to stick to them, try using an enamel paint in your desired color. It's also important to put a surface conditioner for enamel paint on your tiles before painting them.

Before you begin painting, clean your tile thoroughly with a degreaser, followed by some soap and water. Finish the cleaning process by wiping your tiles down with rubbing alcohol. Also make sure to mark off any areas around your tile that you don't plan to paint.

Once you're ready to paint, practice a few times on some old tiles or ones that will be hidden by an appliance to help get the hang of things. If your paint feels too thick, dilute it to get a better consistency. Put a small amount of paint on each tile and brush on a thin layer to avoid any drips. Try to keep the paint from running into the grout, but if it does, you can always cover it up later with some white paint.

If you're using multiple colors, it's helpful to spend one day painting with one color and then moving on to the tiles that will have another color while the first batch dries. You'll most likely need 2-3 coats to completely cover each tile with a new color. Once you're done with all the coats, use a foam roller to smooth out the paint and erase any brush marks. If you want your tiles to appear glossy—and easier to clean—you can cover each tile with a gloss finish for enamel paint. Finally, you should let your tiles cure for a week or so before cleaning or resting anything on them.

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