Painting the kitchen tiles

We moved into our 50’s bungalow in December 2014 and luckily for us, the kitchen is fairly new, having been extended into a large L shape by previous owners, newly fitted at the same time, so it’s probably about 5 or so years old.

It’s white and fairly innoffensive.  There’s lots of storage cupboards, under counter lighting and room for washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher (skinny one, will get that sorted into a full size one when we get a new kitchen eventually – who puts a small dishwasher in a large kitchen!?).  I like the glass fronted cabinets with integrated lighting, as that end of the kitchen has no windows and every bit of light is needed.

There’s a couple of things I didn’t like about the kitchen, first being the twee cooker hood that sits inside wooden housing to match the cupboards, second – the ugly work surface, and lastly, the tiles.  The work surface and cooker hood will get replaced at some point with the kitchen, but the tiles we decided to have a go at painting to get us through to a refurb in the next year or two.

The tiles were square, white with random tiles in shades of blue, green and pink dotted around.  I just didn’t like them, and without fully re-tiling we decided to give them a paint.  If paint didn’t work I figured we could get new tiles.

The paint we chose was Ronseal Tile Paint in Lime Green (not quite as limey as I would like, but a great colour all the same).  Our previous kitchen had lime green and we had a few accessories in green too, so we decided to stick with the colour scheme.

The first thing we did was to thoroughly clean the tiles with sugar soap.  This gets the grease and dirt off the tiles.  Once they were fully dry and we had taped up around the edges, we used a flat brush and diluted the paint with a tiny drop of water and started to brush in the same direction.

Coverage was easy, we used probably 2.5 tins of paint over a couple of coats.  At one point I foolishly started to use a gloss roller for the second coat to do it more quickly, and it was a TERRIBLE idea.  I didn’t come out as glossy as expected and I could see roller marks.  After a quick sob in the corner I carried and went over it all again with a brush.

We decided not to regrout or to paint over the grout, we left it all one colour.  I’m pretty pleased with the outcome.  I know the colour won’t be to everyone’s taste but I think it looks better, more modern than the old tiles.  It’s also a great burst of colour in a white kitchen.

When cleaning the tiles now you should be careful not to use anything harsh as you might start to see paint coming off – and you should also be careful putting things close or leaning things against the tiles, in case of scratches.  (Tile Paint is really a short term fix I think, not anything that’s a long term solution).  Our paint has been up a year and still in good shape, no cracks or peeling as we’ve used soft sponges to clean them.

For us this has worked out as a great short term solution before getting a brand new kitchen, and I’m really pleased with the outcome.  If you’re not brave enough to use a colour, white tile paint is probably the easiest one to use and will also give a lovely big impact.

We’re a fan of green, as you can see from the photos, we have a few bits of green dotted around the kitchen and dining areas.  Once the kitchen is re-done I see us moving to a new colour, but for now it’s our favourite.

4 thoughts on “Painting the kitchen tiles

  1. Well hello limey green! What a fab job you’ve done. If it wasn’t for the grout, I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference. Really liked that you’re so honest about this being a short term solution, I agree with this comment. And thanks for mentioning the gloss roller not working out, that’s a great tip!!!

    1. Thanks so much! Glad you like it. I was dubious at first with the paint but so far holding up nicely, and it will definitely last until we have a new kitchen. I do love a bit of lime green 🙂

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