Can Tile be painted? How do you paint tile?
I had originally posted this topic about a year ago and it is so incredibly important that I honestly think it needs revisited!
The honest answer would be Yes. Yes tile can be painted. However, when I read into the question as meaning can tile be painted and become a usable surface I have to say no. In theory it sounds great doesn't it! I mean let's discuss my answer just a little bit because this will probably change as you venture into states and areas other than Texas. I say that because of the following short story I met this man after my original post last year. This gentleman was 76 years old and was a house painter and finish carpenter and said he had been a carpenter and house painter since 1979. I take every possible opportunity to learn from my elders and show them my undivided attention when they are willing to share an experience with me because I sincerely appreciate that experience and I will bet money I can apply it to my life and my business! We were working on a vacant home in Richardson,TX. he pointed up at the ceiling and asked you see those little cracks in the sheet rock? He explained those are caused by the shifting soil and most of Texas will get them 2 to three times a year. I explained I was familiar with that and had heard it most of my life. I can remember being a kid and dad came home from work to find I had the water hose pushed into the dry cracked dirt out back and the water turned on full blast! He said I bet your father asked how long has that been running? I immediately started laughing!! Yes sir, that was his very first question to me actually and I proudly told him almost an hour and a half! LOL. This man explained that when our Texas soil does that around the foundation it causes these stress cracks. Some people think the foundation is gone, he explained but as the land is watered and the cracks disappear the cracks will usually go back together and become very hard to see until everything dries out again. He showed me a pretty good tip I used on my house. He filled in the crack with latex caulking and then using a straight razor blade smoothed it flat with the surface. He explained that if he used tape and mud that it would just crack again, but the caulking stays flexible allowing some movement without additional cracking! He said he was doing painting work back in the 1980's in Kansas and although he was only there for a couple of years he very rarely seen stress cracks in sheet rock.
How does this tie in with tile being painted?
When I refinish tile surrounds I am always spending about an hour fixing cracks grout and sometimes replacing missing grout. Some of this is due to the shifting of the home and grout being a dry brittle substance It cracks and falls out. I'm sure some of this is also caused by the moisture levels that change in a bathroom during the shower use and the bathtub use which could vary from the time of use and the temperature of the water and even the temperature of the room before use. It would sure seem reasonable that all of these factors have to be taken into account when answering what sounds like the simple question of "Can bathroom tile be painted?"
I too have seen the youtube videos of people using paint cans and bragging about painting their bathroom tile for under $20.00. However, I know from real world experience that within as little time as the very first use it is going to bubble and peel away. I think we can agree that when paint is being talked about the toughest paint our there would be Epoxy. I see the brittle epoxy chipping off tile and bathtub that had been painted on a monthly and sometimes daily basis. It has to be the factors that I outlined above.
The professional refinishing techniques of today are a far cry from the quick fix solution of the 1990's. I have outlined the procedures I use (HERE)
I also would like to offer this short video of a Bathtub refinishing project I completed a short while back that had been painted with epoxy before.
A question I often am asked concerns the difference between Bathtub Refinishing Dallas, Bathtub Refacing Dallas,Bathtub Resurfacing Dallas and Bathtub Reglazing Dallas. Is one better than the other?
What is synthetic Porcelain? The truth is it used to be considered reglazing when a clear coat was applied to the bathtub surface to regain the gloss, and seal off lead that leech into the bathwater from old worn out porcelain bathtubs. However, to understand that term you will also need to understand that the bathtub refinishing in Dallas today is not the bathtub refinishing in Dallas of years past. In the 1990's bathtub refinishing was really nothing more than bathtub painting in Dallas. It was simply because the bathtub refinishing Dallas industry had nothing more then epoxy paint to use. The drawback was the fact it was painted on top of the old surface, bathtubs refinished with epoxy would yellow and look painted or dull. Then a lot of bathtub refinishing technicians would try to use automotive paint. This was a toxic smell that lingered for days and since the paint could not be baked on at the high temperature like automotive painters do it simply took a long time to dry and it ended up looking dull and you can imagine why. Think of the airborne dust particles that would stick to something that needed 48 - 72 hours to dry. This will explain why if you get quotes from different refinishing companies they give a cure time of 24 hours to 72 hours. This will give you a good idea of what product they are using. This is also why I started using the Poly ceramic glass glaze or what is called Liquid porcelain. It was developed specifically for the Bathtub,Tile and Vanity refinishing industry. There is no other use for this coating. I have literature explaining my process on my Price List page which can be found by clicking the Dallas Bathtub Refinishing price list link here or at the top of the page in the Navigation bar. I appreciate your time to learn more about the bathtub refinishing Dallas industry and you will find I have created a lot of information for those that wish to learn more. A great way to learn more. Bathtub Refinishing Dallas
Bathtub Refinishing Dallas - To answer this correctly. I think it would depend on your definition of work. If you follow every single detail of instruction in the kit and you don't mind the toxic fumes associated with Epoxy paint. Then yes it will work by making the bathtub look better for a very short period of time. you have to keep in mind, This Technology is early 1980's technology. Dallas bathtub refinishing will never use epoxy paint and Dallas bathtub refinishing will never simply paint over a tub.
What can I expect the bathtub to look like after painting it
Bathtub Refinishing Dallas - The bathtub will look like a slightly yellow and painted looking bathtub. Let me explain this before we go any further, Bathtub Refinishing may look like bathtub painting. However, bathtub refinishing if correctly done using the Fusion Finish system is going to open the pores and chemically weld a new Polyceramic glass glaze synthetic porcelain surface into, not on to the old surface. It will be applied with an HVLP applicator meaning no dust and it is then Baked into the old surface with heat application equipment that reacts to the chemicals in the new surface to bake them at 2000 (F) while not bothering and other object around the bathtub. Lets look at why I said Bathtub Painting will look 'painted' and Yellow.
With all the Epoxy kits found at home improvement stores bathtub painting is a popular way to make your bathtub look descent for a short period of time.