Want to refresh your bathroom on a budget? Consider trying bathroom tile paint! Here’s what you need to know…
**Updated May 2020** Are you wanting to renovate a bathroom or two but need to keep the project ultra-cheap? Same, girl, same. I’ve got the best budget-friendly bathroom idea – bathroom tile paint! Yes, you can paint shower tile instead of replacing it! It makes a HUGE difference and gives you that “new” feel without the cost!
If you’ve ever purchased a pre-owned, “new-to-you” house before, I imagine there were at least a few things that you could look around and say you want to change.
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Perhaps you own a home that has almond tile in the bathrooms – just like 80’s hair, the color “almond” was BIG in the 1980s and early 1990s. Off-white, beige, buff…whatever you wanna call it, we liked to tile our homes with it. Preferably in a 4″x4″ square (ugh – that’s a topic for another day).
And if you have a home that was built (or last renovated) BEFORE the 1980’s, then you may have even more interesting colors that you want to get rid of! 😉
What’s funny is that in a decade when people thought neon was so awesome, we sure played it safe when choosing our bathroom tile, right?
No time to read right now? Are you sure want to give this project a go? Then…
Get a free printable one-page copy of the supply list, tips, and tricks for this bathroom tile paint project! Click here or the button below. I’ll send your PDF right now⤵️
Hey, things come, things go. But just like they said in that great 1994 SNL sketch, it’s about time for us to be saying “buh-bye” to our outdated almond (or alternative-colored) tile.
Bathroom Remodel Ideas on a Budget
The thing about tile, and bathroom remodeling, in general, is that it’s EXPENSIVE. That doesn’t work for us as we are taking a serious hiatus this year on all things pricey.
For example, for date night, I’m looking at restaurant reviews that say $ and DO NOT say $$$$ (and in all honesty, date night didn’t even make the final budget proposal this year…we’ll be date nighting it at casa on take-out while we DIY this bathroom to save some loot).
Same thing for this kids bath project we’re working on. In an ideal world where I had enough cash-on-hand to start a foundation like Bill and Melinda Gates (who, sidenote…happen to be the epitome of the word “hero”), then I would probably go for broke, and rip-up all this outdated builder-grade-mess and start from scratch.
But right now I need the OPPOSITE of going for broke. I need the million-dollar look at rock bottom pricing because I don’t need to be floating a loan in that bathtub in lieu of a rubber ducky.
So, here’s my solution: painting shower tile with bathroom tile paint! Specifically, I used this Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit.
Bathroom Tile Paint – Does it Work?
I’m sure at this point you’re probably wondering a few questions such as, “can you paint tile?” or “can you paint a bathtub?”
If so, I have the answers!
You may have an old, outdated bathroom situation similar to what we had in ours. Maybe you’ve heard some buzz about painting tile…scrolled past some Pinterest pins claiming that tile paint is an option.
If this all sounds familiar, you’ve come to the right place.
To demolish, purchase, and install a new tub and shower surround would have cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000-2000 OR MORE. With this kit, I can refinish the existing tub and surround, making it a nice, clean white, for about $50 TOTAL.
**This project was completed in 2015! So…
Since this tub and shower are always behind a shower curtain and used by our children, I feel like using this bathroom tile paint is a no-brainer. Particularly since we’ve established they prefer NOT to clean themselves anyway.
Here again, is another before of the almond surround. The lighting in this baño is pretty horrible (another item on our rehabilitation agenda).
I originally read about the use of this product on the fantastic blog, Petite Modern Life. Karisa writes a full tutorial on how to paint shower tile using this product, so I would encourage you to read her post if you’re interested in using it.
There’s a second online tutorial for this same product that I’ve read as well. Also super helpful. That one is over on Domestic Imperfection.
To make this bathroom tile paint project easier, grab a free copy of the printable supply list, tips & tricks. Click here or on the picture below. I’ll send your PDF right away⤵️!
I'm excited to share our most HELPFUL tips about this bathroom tile paint project with you. Here are the supplies you'll need to take on this tub and tile painting challenge:
Supplies Needed for Painting Tiles:
- Rust-Oleum's Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit
- project respirator mask
- paintbrush angled 2.5-3" or so (not a super expensive one...you'll have to throw it out after this)
- fan (or two) for air circulation
- painter's tape
- paint roller (and tray) with foam nap
- cleaning supplies (as indicated on Rust-Oleum box)
Helpful Tips for Using the Bathroom Tile Paint
There are a couple of things you should know before diving headfirst into this budget bathroom remodel idea.
This Stuff Smells Terrible While You’re Working With it
I would consider doing this on a Friday morning before you're headed out of town for a weekend...or do it over a weekend in May when you can leave your windows open all weekend.
No joke. Do not pass GO before you get yourself a GOOD respirator mask to use while tackling this bathroom tile paint project.
Prep Yourself For a Lot of Prep Work
The directions say to really clean your tiles. Don’t skip this step - do the cleaning. Trust me on this one. If your surface is not completely clean, I don't think your finish will last very long. The instructions also call for a light sanding of the surface before you begin.
In the essence of full disclosure, I did NOT do THIS step because our tiles are smooth porcelain and I didn’t think that I would be able to get a good uniform sanding job done on them with their slightly beveled edges. Plus, as you may already know, I'm prone to being just a tad lazy when I can get away with it.
How to Paint Shower Tile
The product is sticky, but it goes on with a regular old paintbrush. I wish I could have simply rolled it on, but it wasn't getting between the tiles that way so I ended up painting the grids (vertical and horizontal grout lines) with a paintbrush.
It took 2 coats, then I rolled another 2 coats over the whole surface after that.
Here you can see the progress - it's coming along! Can you see where we've started on the tub in this shot? The tub was a bit tricky with all the angles.
The roller worked well (mostly) but you'll have a little bit of a challenge on some of the larger angles.
The original shower/tub faucet kit. Think I'm getting rid of it? No way. Gonna paint these suckers too.
More on that maybe next week. For now, wanna see how the tub/surround is looking?
This was a perfectly functional tub and shower, no need to throw out the baby with the bathwater, ha!
And for only $50 to paint shower tile, I think we did very well!
Now, I have no illusions that this bathroom remodel idea on a budget will be a lifetime fix. I think that within a couple of years, the bathroom tile paint will be showing some signs of wear and tear.
I could be wrong, but the good thing is that Rust-Oleum makes a touch-up kit for this product!!
I'm going to buy some of those kits now because I know that as we continue this reno project, the chance that this tub is going to be dinged during tile installation is exceedingly high.
Remember to grab a printable copy of the supplies and tips/tricks for our painting shower tile project before you give it a try! It's free. Just Click here or on the pic below. I'll send your printable copy right now⤵️
Pin this painting shower tile post for later! And if you try it, leave a comment on the pin! We'd love to see how the shower tile paint turned out at your house! Plus, comments help others decide whether this is a DIY project they think they could tackle, too.
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