I’m back with the next installment of our upstairs bathroom makeover! I’m here to give you the full monty on painting shower tile! Aren’t you just absolutely on the edge of your seat? So when we left on on THIS POST
, we had just painted the walls and cabinets.
Remember how yellow the bathroom was? Well the shower was just as yellow! And gross. Old caulk, dated hardware and fixtures and just generally in desperate need of a lot of white and freshness. I’ll prove it.
This last picture gives the shower tile way more credit than it deserves. It is truly bisque and not nearly as white as it looks.
As I mentioned before, this bathroom makeover is just that, a makeover
. We definitely see new floor tile, shower tile and a new counter top in the future but now is not the time, hence our phase I makeover. I have seen tile painting pins pass me by on pinterest and when I decided to tackle this bathroom those pins of pinterest past began to haunt me. And so I hunted them down. I knew painting the shower tile white was the perfect stand-in until we save our pennies to replace the tile. We worked off of this tutorial
with a few additions and subtractions. Here is my own version of how to paint and not paint shower tile:
Here are the materials you will need to paint shower tile.
-We couldn’t find the Rustolem kit at either of the big box stores so we ordered it on Amazon here
for $25.00 in White
-You’ll need a respirator mask. Like, a real one. I bought these
off of Amazon for $17 but I honestly would have preferred to have had something closer to this
. The fumes are strong. Like, don’t plan on sleeping anywhere near the bathroom you’re painting. Definitely not a project for an expecting mama or a house full of babies.
-Quality foam rollers. One roller for every layer of paint you plan on using.
1. Remove all shower hardware if you haven’t already. If you can’t or don’t know how, just tape it off really well.
2. Remove all caulk. We only removed the 2 lines of caulk that looked super disgusting. Do yourself a favor and pull up all the caulk. The finished product looks so much cleaner. Instead of painting over old caulk, removing the caulk allows you to paint into the edge of the tile and then hide your painted edge with pretty new white caulk.
3. Repair any grout that needs help.
4. Prepping the shower for paint is everything. We did this with half an effort. We 409’d the shower with some serious elbow grease and then used abrasive steel wool. Then we used comet and a water/vinegar mixture to clean it once more. This step takes the longest.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t tape well and this is the result–
5. Dry the shower thoroughly and tape off your painting area. Tape really well, the paint is thin and runny so you can’t count on being able to free-hand with this stuff (trust me…)
-I wish we would have painted the grout here. As in, used grout paint to lighten the grout. Since it didn’t start as light in color as the tile did, it didn’t end in as light as color. If I could go back, I would use Young House Love’s tutorial
on painting grout and I would paint it white prior to using the tile paint over everything.
6. Mix the paint according to the box instructions. The kit comes with enough paint for two coats. After we poured out half of the mixed paint into a brand new paint tray, we just put the lid back on the can to save the other half for the second coat of paint.
7. We used a foam craft brush to paint in the grout lines and then a foam roller to roll over the whole shower, per the tutorial I read. Save yourself the drama and skip painting the grout lines. I would recommend jumping right into rolling a thin and even coat row by row of tile. Try not to roll back over areas you have covered. You’ll have a chance to do a second coat and the paint and tile just don’t seem to do well when they start to get multiple passes. Also the paint begins to dry very quickly.
-I wish we would have sprayed the tile paint on. The box gives permission to. I think the finished product would have looked a lot smoother. The time spent taping and covering virtually every surface and wall in the whole bathroom would have been worth it in my opinion.
-Don’t make the same mistake we did. Don’t paint accent tiles. We have two places in our shower that already had strikingly white and out of place tile- there was one to set a bar of soap on and two that have a towel rack in between them. They were all so oddly shaped that painting them well was impossible. I tried to paint them and they don’t look great. So if you have a few different tile pieces that are already the color you are trying to achieve, leave them alone. You’ll thank me.
9. Let it dry!
-I wish we would have lightly wet sanded after the first coat to remove imperfections
Here’s the shower after one coat! Looking pretty good and bright but there are definitely some drips and imperfections. Also, you can see how painting the grout first with a foam brush is actually a detriment as ends up standing out
10. Follow the box directions on dry time and then apply a second coat just the same way you did the first. Super important to use a brand new paint tray and a brand new foam roller for this coat. The paint activator will reactivate the old stuff if you try to reuse a paint tray or roller.
Here it is after a 2nd coat, fresh caulk and updated oil rubbed bronze shower fixtures. It looks pretty stinking good from afar. Just kidding. It actually really does look good and is a HUGE upgrade! Since it’s been done and I’ve been showering in it I do see a lot of imperfections when I’m up close. I stand by my choice to paint it as a great option for something like a phase I makeover! It really helps the room feel fresh and bright, not to mention my shower has never felt cleaner.
I’ll be back again with more details on how this bathroom is coming together so stop by to see how I have literally spray painted almost everything metal in this bathroom gold!
Thanks for reading!
Hannah K.C. Burton
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