When it comes to renovating and decorating your house, tiles make sense for a lot of reasons, as well as in a lot of different areas of the home. First and foremost, tiles have a huge amount of staying power. As long as they’re properly fitted and well-grouted, tiles can last literally decades, needing only surface level cleaning to keep them looking fresh, even in humid, high-traffic areas like bathrooms. They’re also super easy to clean, most of the time just needing warm water and a gentle wipe.
Nonetheless, tiles can lose their lustre and need a new lease of life, whether that’s to refresh them or to fit a new colour scheme. You could go through the lengthy process of removing and re-tiling your area, or you could save yourself time and effort and invest in a specialist tile paint instead.
Tile paints extend the versatility and ease of paint beyond just walls, designed specifically to adhere to the unique surfaces of tiles while offering water and impact resistance to ensure they’re just as hardy as the bare tiles. Here’s our rundown of the best selection of tile paints you can buy today.
|Ronseal One Coat Tile Paint||8 m2 /l||2 hours||££|
|Rainbow The One Multi Purpose Paint||12 m2 /l||2 hours||£££|
|Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface Paint||9 m2 /l||8 hours||£|
|Johnstone’s Revive Tile Paint||12 m2 /l||2 hours||££|
|Rustins Step and Tile Quick Dry Gloss||14 m2 /l||4 hours||£|
Ronseal is a brand built around offering high-quality, no-nonsense products perfectly suited to a specific job or application. Their one coat tile paint aims to address the job of sprucing up tiled areas by making the job straightforward and quick. As the name suggests, this overs excellent coverage with just a single layer of paint, requiring no primer or undercoat.
Available in thirteen colour options, Ronseal give you the choice from a smart, understated grey satin, mellow green all the way to a rose red colour way. The paint itself is highly mould-resistant, and has a nice even consistency that dries quickly while leaving a smooth finish, free from brush or roller marks. It also has the long life Ronseal is renowned for, making this a great choice. A great pick for those wanting a quick job with just the one coat that lasts for many years to come.
- One coat application
- Transparent option
- High damp/mould resistance
- Long life
- Needs careful application
Meeting your painting needs with a versatile solution, Rainbow Paints’ The One acts as paint and primer in one to tidy up your tiled surfaces. While not necessarily a specific tile paint, the broad utility of The One means it’s still suitable for tiles among many other surface types. The fact that no primer or undercoat should be needed when using this paint is a really useful feature, saving you time on applying.
Its thick and hard-wearing consistency makes it able to stand up to the rigours of what you might find in tiled areas, be that food grease or high humidity. It can be wiped clean, thanks to a water-based solution, something which also contributes to a quick drying time. It’s also designed to be free of nasty odours from VOCs, further enhancing how easy to use this paint really is.
- One coat
- Dries quickly
- No VOCs
- Cleans easily
- Small tin
This All-Surface paint by trusted household name Rust-Oleum pairs a primer and gloss paint in one to create a highly adaptable paint that’s suitable for just about any household surface, especially tiles. A big part of the Rust-Oleum’s appeal is the large variety of gloss shades (matt black is also an option) they have on offer, with 12 bold and vivid colour choices to jazz up your tiles.
Working best when applied with a brush, the consistency of the paint makes for easy application, needing at maximum a couple of coats 16 hours apart but touch dry in only a couple of hours. As an oil-based paint, it’s especially resistant to water as well as common stains from grease and oil, making it a great choice for use in the kitchen. It’s also hardy enough for application both indoors and outdoors.
- Lots of colours
- Easy application
- Highly water/stain resistant
- High odour
Johnstone’s Revive series of paints is all about taking more specialist areas and giving them some fresh colours and boldness to lift them up again. Their tile paint, specifically formulated for use in kitchens and bathrooms, aims to do just that. Offering the paint in subtle shades with gloss finishes ensures a smart and classy finish.
It’s designed for easy use around the home thanks to a number of features. It can be applied directly to tiles with no need for an undercoat; is quick to dry and is touch-dry in just a couple of hours; and is finally very low odour, making it significantly easier to work with. The consistency of the paint allows for easy application, covering your tiles in 1-2 coats. It also represents solid value for money with a good coverage of around 12 m2/l.
- Smart finish
- Quick to dry
- Low odour
- Limited colours
This specialised paint from Rustins, designed for use on steps as well as tiles, represents excellent value for money as well as a high-quality finish befitting a much more expensive paint product. The tin will go a long way, requiring a maximum of 2 coats to adequately cover your tiles. Special pigments in the paint also work to guarantee a high level of opacity, ensuring bold colour.
It also dries incredibly quickly, being touch dry in just 30 minutes and ready for a second coat in around 4 hours, taking a significant chunk of the time and effort out of sprucing your tiles. Additionally, a low odour formula keeps things easy to work with. The paint is also excellently hard-wearing, given its suitability for steps, and so when used on tiles demonstrates high water and dirt resistance while maintaining its colour.
- Great value
- Super quick dry
- Bold colour
- Low odour
- Limited colour options
Which Tile Paint To Go For?
Painting your tiles is a cheap, straightforward and ultimately a very effective way to brighten up your tiled areas, especially when you weigh it up against the cost and time of completely re-tiling. The main things you’re looking for are, in no particular order, good adherence and finish to tiles, washability and resistance to dirt as well as general wear and tear. From the products we’ve reviewed here, we’ve summed up the best overall tile paint as well as the best value option.
Best Tile Paint – The best tile painting option would be the Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface Paint. Rust-)leum have a deep-seated pedigree in producing hard-wearing, high-quality paint products and this versatile offering is no different. Thanks to a wide range of colours and excellent all-round protection, this is your best bet for home tile renovations inside and out.
Best Value – Rustins Step and Tile Quick Dry Gloss is the sure thing for a quality tile paint on a bit more of a budget. Providing high-quality paint with bold colour pigmentation and a long life of protection, you’re given a large volume of paint for a fraction of the cost of others.
Tile Paint FAQ
How to remove paint from tiles
There are 3 main methods to remove paint from tiles. Option one is to carefully scrape with a utility knife or similar thin-bladed scraping tool, afterwards washing the tiles with warm, soapy water to clean excess residue. The 2nd option is to use a heat gun and evenly warm the paint until it becomes tacky, before carefully using a plastic scraper to remove the paint and wipe clean. The third option, especially recommended if the tiles are delicate or the other methods don’t work, is to use a citrus-based paint remover and gently scrub and scrape the tiles clean.
How to paint a tiled floor
Sand and thoroughly clean the tiles first, as well as filling in any missing spots of grout between the tiles. Then, once you’ve got the right paint (and used a primer if necessary), use a brush or roller and get to it! Just make sure to start at the furthest point away from the door so you don’t paint yourself into a corner.
How to paint bathroom tiles
As with floors, sand and thoroughly clean your tiles before you do anything else. Make sure to also put masking tape around the edges of anything you need to keep clean; bathtubs, sinks, toilets and other fixtures. Make sure tape is firmly pressed into any grooves, such as the grout between tiles. After that, follow the paint’s instructions on coats and drying times and away you go!
What’s the best tile paint?
The best tile paint is going to be one that’s hard-wearing, easy to apply and has good coverage, while at the same time being resistant to moisture, dirt and other potential stains.