Painting Vinyl Flooring and Ceramic Tile

This story shows how to paint vinyl flooring and ceramic tile.


If your old vinyl flooring or ceramic tile looks tired, consider painting the surface.

You can easily paint both vinyl flooring (sheet flooring and tile) and ceramic tile with the proper preparation. Paint is much cheaper than the expense of tiling over the existing floor.

This treatment is not recommended for ceramic tile shower and tub walls, but it works well for other walls in the bathroom that don't get wet. The key to success is careful preparation and the use of the right primer and paint.

The preparation techniques and products shown here apply to both materials. You will not need to use a deglossing agent on ceramic tile.

Use high-quality primers and paints made specifically for vinyl or ceramic. Get recommendations from your paint supplier.

Prestart Checklist

About 3 hours for a 10x10-foot floor, not including drying time for primer and paint

Sanding block and/or pad sander, paint rollers and brushes, stencil pattern (optional)

Preparing and painting vinyl or ceramic tile flooring

Bleach, cleaning solution, sandpaper, deglossing agent, primer, paint, sealer

Step 1

Remove any mildewed areas by scrubbing them with a 3-to-1 water-bleach solution, letting it soak for 20 minutes before rinsing it. Then scrub the floor thoroughly to remove grease and dirt.

Step 2

To provide a slightly roughened surface that will help the paint adhere, scuff-sand the flooring with 150-grit sandpaper and a pad sander. Wipe the floor with a damp rag. Then remove any remaining gloss with a deglossing agent.

Step 3

Apply a thick coat of latex stain-blocking primer, first cutting in the edges with a brush, then filling in the rest of the surface with a roller. Sand the primer when it's dry, then apply a second coat if necessary to further level the surface.

Step 4

Paint the floor, cutting in and brushing. For walls use a quality latex kitchen and bath paint in a satin, semigloss, or gloss finish. For floors use a latex satin-finish floor paint or a semigloss oil-base or polyurethane floor paint.

Step 5

For added protection apply an acrylic floor sealer. Check with your paint distributor to find a product compatible with the floor paint you applied.

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