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The Best Paints for Tile

No need pay thousands to freshen the look of a tiled kitchen or powder room wall. All it takes is a little time, effort and the right tile paint.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

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Painting TileMarioGuti/Getty Images

What Paint to Use for Tile

Painting can be an affordable way to refresh the look of outdated tile. Although painting tile can be somewhat tricky to pull off, it’s a viable alternative to tearing out and replacing tiles completely.

We don’t recommend painting high-traffic areas like countertops and floors, as well as around showers, tubs and sinks. However, if you have your heart set on painting a tile backsplash or bathroom walls, we recommend using products specifically made for use in moisture-prone zones.

Professional painter Brad the Painter believes there is a way to paint tile successfully to ensure the best, most long-lasting results. “It’s a combination of proper prep and the right primer and paint,” he says. That holds no matter which type of paint you choose — oil-based enamel, epoxy acrylic or non-toxic latex.

Ceramic tile-painting dos and don’ts

  • Do give tiles a good cleaning.
  • Do repair imperfections and fill hairline cracks with putty.
  • Do sand tiles lightly.
  • Do use a highly-rated primer made to bond to tile surfaces.
  • Don’t use normal house paint that’s not formulated for tile — it will peel right off!
  • Don’t mask off the grout. Not painting grout will produce an uneven look.
  • Don’t apply a clearcoat/polyurethane. It will make it difficult to repaint or touch up later.
  • Do invest in top-quality brushes and rollers to achieve a professional finish.
  • Do be safe. Always wear a respirator mask and work in a well-ventilated area.

The following are six paint options for you to consider.

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Benjamin Moore Aura Bath And Spa Tile Paint

Touted for its stellar performance in high-humidity environments, such as bathrooms and spas, Benjamin Moore Aura Bath And Spa paint promises a mildew resistant, color-lock matte finish that won’t fade or rub-off, even after repeated washings.

The proprietary 100 percent acrylic resin paint contains minimal VOC, is low odor and cleans up with soap and water. Aura is available in Benjamin Moore’s extensive color palette.

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Majic Paints Diamond Hard RePurpose Tile Paint

Perfect for DIYers, Majic Paints’ Diamond Hard RePurpose is a versatile paint that sticks to any surface, from wood to masonry to … wait for it … tile! Boasting superior color retention (available in 10 shades), it self-levels to a one-step, satiny finish that requires no sanding or priming.

One Amazon reviewer thought this product was a straight-up miracle. “I bought this as a temporary fix to my outdated kitchen tile backsplash since we can’t afford a total kitchen re-do for a few more years,” she wrote. “It turned out better than I ever hoped, and so far, the surface wipes clean from splatters without damaging the paint.”

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Rust-Oleum Latex Tile Paint

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Ultra Cover is a tough, water-based acrylic paint that lasts longer than most. It’s also a safer, low-odor alternative to oil-based enamel.

Ultra Cover resists chipping, fading and dries to the touch in 30 minutes. It’s ideal for painting and stenciling unglazed tile. Delivering a polished and elegant appearance, this paint comes in a spectrum of cheerful colors, so let yourself be inspired.

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Giani White Diamond Countertop Tile Paint Kit

Transform your kitchen or bathroom wall tile, countertops or vanity to look like natural granite in a single weekend with the White Diamond countertop paint kit by Giani.

Easy and affordable, the three-step paint process goes right over laminate, cultured marble or ceramic tile, resulting in automotive-grade durability from safe, water-based materials. Each DIY makeover kit covers 35 sq. ft. of tile or countertop, takes around four hours to complete and dries in about 16 hours.

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Soto Touch-Up Tile Paint

When your white tile doesn’t need a complete overhaul, a one-ounce container of Soto appliance + porcelain paint touch up is a mess-free way to repair small scratches and dings. It looks like a bottle of nail polish or retro correction fluid.

Soto’s non-toxic, low VOC and low-smell formula is safe around kids and pets, and comes in nine high-gloss shades of white to achieve a perfect match. It works on appliances, too!

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Rust-Oleum Specialty Tub and Tile Aerosol Paint

Rust-Oleum makes our list for the second time. A one-step, acrylic epoxy spray paint, Specialty Tub and Tile Aerosol is specially formulated for painting ceramic tiles, giving them a shiny waterproof finish that has real bonding power.

The paint not only provides outstanding adhesion and durability, but retains its color in the wettest and steamiest environments. Suitable for porcelain and porcelain tile, each 12 ounce can covers 15-sq.-ft. of tile.

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All links and prices were current as of publication.

Toni DeBella
Toni DeBella is a culture and lifestyle writer, reviews expert and DIYer covering everything from pests to pool cabanas to painting. For over a decade, Toni was the owner of a successful faux finishing, mural and children’s furniture business before moving to a career in writing. Her work has appeared in The Telegraph, Fodor’s, Italy Magazine, DK Eyewitness travel guides and others. She lives in a medieval hill town in Italy where her bicycle “Raoul” serves as her primary mode of transportation.