If the tiles in your home are looking a bit worn out, you might be thinking about replacing them. Hold your horses though. Using the best tile paint can save you lots of time and effort by refreshing the look and feel of your tiles without having to replace them.
However, if you choose the wrong paint system, you could end up with a finished product that is bubbly, full of streaks and poor coverage.
So how do you know which tile paint is best for you? Well, this all depends on the job at hand. Our advice is to always use a paint that’s been formulated for a specific job. For example, if you’re thinking about painting your floor tiles – a paint formulated for floor tiles will be better than kitchen wall tiles.
Fortunately, we’ve tried, tested and reviewed many tile paints on the market and combined that with our technical knowledge of paint systems to come up with the definitive guide for buying tile paint.
Top tip: whilst some of the tile paints in this guide don’t need an undercoat or a primer, we would always recommend using Dulux Ultragrip is a primer before applying your chosen paint system.
Best Tile Paint Overall: Johnstone’s Tile Paint
Johnstone’s are synonymous with formulating high quality paints at affordable prices and Johnstone’s Tile Paint gets our vote as the best overall.
This Revive tile paint lives up to its name – it’s designed to ensure outdated ceramic tiles are given a new lease of life. Once dried, it produces a lovely glossy finish which helps achieve that squeaky-clean look. Of course, with a glossy finish comes durability thus making this paint perfect for kitchen or bathroom tiles.
It doesn’t need an undercoat or a primer and is touch dry in about 2 hours, depending on the temperature of your home and is very easy to apply with either a roller or a brush. Feel free to paint each tile individually or paint over the grout. If painting over the grout in between each tile, make sure to go back over the lines with a good quality grout pen.
Who said you need a small loan for high quality?!
- Very easy to apply even for amateur painters
- Provides a high quality glossy finish
- The grey colour gives a modern look
- In some cases you’ll only need one coat
- Suitable for use in either the kitchen or the bathroom
Highly Reviewed Alternative: Dulux Tile Paint
Dulux are another high quality paint producer and the Dulux Tile Paint has been highly rated by customers for years.
This particular tile paint is one of the toughest and most durable on the market and is ideal for use in either the bathroom or kitchen. When compared to Dulux’s conventional water-based satin paints, it’s roughly 10x stronger which should give you a good idea as to how strong it is!
In terms of the finish, expect a shiny white gloss which helps brighten up the room and give a nice, new clean look to it. Some people have had slight issues with application and this is the reason we didn’t vote this as our best tile paint overall. Our tip would be to apply this paint with a nice gloss roller as you should be able to get an even coverage and consistency with that technique.
- Provides a shiny, white gloss finish
- It’s highly durable and suitable for use on tiles in a shower area
- It has a nice thickness and is able to cover old patterns and colours with ease
- Has one of the highest coverages of all tile paints
- Can lose its colour after drying. In this case, you’ll need to add another coat.
Best for Exterior Tiles: Rustins
If you’re looking to paint your exterior tiles, whether floor or wall, look no further than Rustins Brick & Tile paint.
When finding the best exterior tile paint you’ll want something that not only looks good but is able to withstand the tantrums of British weather. Fortunately, Rustins’ quick dry paint is formulated to bond incredibly well to tile surfaces which has the benefit of making it both long-lasting and weather resistant.
In terms of the finish, you can get a matt red however, this is heavily reliant on stirring thoroughly before and during application. If you fail to do this you could end up with a satin or gloss finish. Apply liberally with a large paint brush for best results.
- Easy to apply even for amateur painters
- Provides a high quality matt finish
- The colour stays the same after application
- In some cases you’ll only need one coat
- It’s durable and weather resistant making it perfect for use on exterior tiles
- Not suitable for use over glazed tiles
Best Floor Tile Paint: Lausitzer
Lausitzer will be an unknown brand to many UK consumers but they’re not to be slept on. They’re manufacturers of high quality paint in Germany and have recently made their products available on Amazon, giving easy access to the UK market.
When looking for floor tile paint you’ll want something that can withstand the stress of regular foot traffic along with something that has a great look and feel to it. Lausitzer ticks both these boxes and thus gets our vote as the best floor tile paint.
This particular paint has great adhesion, can be applied thinly and is also resistant to impacts or abrasions. It also comes in a host of different colours (around 30 in total) and so allows you to get the finish you desire.
For best results, use a very thin layer and use a roller to apply it.
- It only needs a thin coat and thus has great coverage
- Is resistant to abrasions and impacts
- Has over 30 different colours to choose from
- Excellent value for money
- You’ll need to thin the paint by quite a bit before application
Trusted Choice: Ronseal Tile Paint
I’ll be honest, Ronseal tile paint isn’t my favourite but it still does a good job and has been trusted by thousands of customers since it was released over 20 years ago and so makes the best tile paint list on that basis.
This water-based tile paint is mould resistant, waterproof and long lasting making it ideal for use in either the kitchen or the bathroom. Whilst marketed as one coat, you will probably need to give it an additional coat as this paint has been known to become discoloured with the singular coat.
It has a low VOC content making it more environmentally friendly than some other tile paints and gives off a middle of the road satin finish once set.
The coverage isn’t particularly impressive but for light coloured tiles and tiles without patterns, one coat might be enough.
- Can save you time and effort if your tiles only require one coat
- Provides a satin finish with a slight but nice sheen
- The low VOC content makes it better for the environment
- It’s easy to apply
- Good durability once set
- It can discolour
- Will probably need 2 coats for anything other than white tiles
Best Bathroom Tile Paint: Rust Oleum Tile Paint
If you’re familiar with our guides, you’ll know that Rust-Oleum are one of our favourite paints to use and we felt like we should include them in this guide too. Whilst Johnstone’s tile paint is overall better than this one, Rust Oleum have the advantage of offering a high quality paint with scope for lots of customisation.
When redecorating spaces like your bathroom, you’ll want to have a variety of options and colours at your disposal and this is exactly what Rust-Oleum tile paint supplies.
As an all-in-one gloss paint and primer, it’s suitable for use on bathroom tiles due to its superior durability in conditions where water is prevalent.
In terms of its finish, expect a shiny gloss, perfect for a squeaky clean look. In terms of colour – the choice is up to you. Rust-Oleum offer anything from Cardinal Red to Slate Grey and everything in between.
- Super easy to apply even for amateur painters
- Provides a high quality finish in your chosen colour
- The colour stays the same after application
- Superior durability and can even be applied to exterior surfaces
Does Tile Paint Work?
In the past, we’ve had many customers ask us “Does tile paint work?” and the simple answer is yes. Many companies like Johnstone’s and Dulux specifically formulate paint that’s designed to have high adhesion to ceramic surfaces, making them ideal for application on tiles.
If you were to apply a paint meant for walls then you’d have a problem as it isn’t formulated for use on ceramics meaning it wouldn’t have the same durability as tile paint.
With that being said, some tile paints are better than others so our advice would always be to buy the paint you need for your specific job.
Tile Paint Colours Guide
Choosing the perfect tile paint colour is a matter of personal preference mixed in with how seamlessly your choice will fit in with your current interior colours. With that being said, here’s a quick guide on choosing the perfect paint colour for your tiles.
Some of the most popular colour choices at the moment are lighter hues such as cream, off-white and light grey. Choosing one of these paint colours brightens up the room and also gives the illusion of a larger space which has been known to increase property value.
Lighter colours are more prone to showing marks, dirt and dust but to us this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it will help you keep your kitchen or bathroom clean.
If you can’t decide what looks better with your current colour scheme, choosing something neutral might be a good idea.
Neutral colours such as grey, beige and sand will fit in seamlessly with your current colour scheme and avoid any disastrous colour clashes.
Dark coloured tiles aren’t the most popular choice and can be seen as a risk for some but in the right setting, dark coloured tiles can really offer a luxurious and calming look.
Colours such as dark blue, black and dark orange look particularly nice in the bathroom setting where the whites from the sink, bath and toilet combine for a stunning contemporary, if bold, look.
Before going to the effort of ripping out your old tiles and replacing them, always ask your self if a lick a paint is all they need.
Sometimes a couple of coats of a complimentary coloured paint might be all you need to give your home a breath of fresh air. Painting tiles is an easy process and we’ll probably get a guide up on this site at some point to help you along the way. Until then – just follow the instructions on the tin and you can’t go wrong!
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Want to learn more about painting? Feel free to take a look at our recent “best paint stripper” article.