Can you Paint Ceramic Tile or Glass?

Can you Paint Ceramic Tile or Glass?




Once in a while we get a request to help someone paint (or for advice of painting) ceramic tile or glass.

The most common initial question is often some version of
“Can these types of surfaces be painted with readily available paint (paint that can be bought at the local hardware store, paint store, big box store, etc.?)”.

The short answer is



However, the surfaces MUST be prepped properly and primed (with primer being the initial coat) prior to painting.

If one were to just paint regular finish paint on top of tile or glass without proper prep and priming, the finish paint will be able to easily come off.

One would most likely be even able to scratch it off with their fingernail without much effort at all!

Knowing this, what would be the most proper process for prepping and painting surfaces such as these?

The first step would be to clean the surface that is to be painted – utilizing diluted bleach/chlorine with a REALLY thorough rinsing is what I would recommend. Be sure there is no film (soap or other material) whatsoever on the surface after it is dry.

Once you have a clean, dry surface, my recommendation is to prime it with one coat of

Stix Primer (made by a company called INSL-X).

A quick search online (or obviously calling local paint suppliers) would be able to tell you where it can be found locally.

We swear by this primer for this type of application.

Other primers may claim they can do the trick, but when it comes to priming ceramic tile or glass, we have found STIX to be the best in terms of promoting adhesion on these types of surfaces.

The final step would be applying the finish coat. Any high quality finish will do the trick depending on where the surface is located.

In other words if you are painting exterior-facing glass, use a premium exterior finish; if you are painting ceramic tile in a bathroom, use a premium bathroom paint; etc.

The reasons for painting ceramic tile or glass will vary dramatically.

Though it not something that is done extensively,

there is absolutely a good amount of these types of projects being done regularly.

If the prep and priming process is done correctly, the finish on these surfaces should last for a VERY long time.

If the prep and priming process is NOT done correctly though, you can potentially have a very challenging peeling dilemma on your hands very soon after the project is completed.

This is another one of those projects where taking the correct steps the first time when attacking it, can prevent tons of headaches & frustration if not approached in the proper manner.


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