Painting Tiles DIY Guide and FAQs

Transform a cement floor using this simple painting technique* to create the appearance of terracotta tiles with decorative insets. Both inexpensive and attractive, this technique can be used to mimic large or small tiles in a variety of areas. Whilst it is important to measure and mark out your tiles accurately, slight variations in the shading of each tile will help to add authenticity to the look.

*Please note that the following is a painting technique and does not pertain to painting actual tiles. Please see the FAQ below for more information on painting tiles

Painting Tiles DIY Guide – Materials Needed:

  • Painting Tiles DIY GuideChalk
  • A synthetic bath sponge
  • A medium-sized paint brush
  • A craft knife or Stanley knife
  • Plascon Waterbased Glazecoat
  • Masking tape: narrower than 22 mm
  • Plascon Wall & All Organdy Y3-C2-1, White
  • Plascon Polvin: Pecan Nut O6-D1-2; Greek Island B6-A1-1 (or whichever accent colour is desired)

Painting Tiles DIY Guide – Method:

Painting Tiles DIY Guide Step 1

Painting Tiles Step 1:

Brush or roll a basecoat of Plascon Wall & All Organdy over the entire floor surface. Measure out the tiles across the floor using chalk. If an inset is desired, measure out a neat square at every second intersection where four tiles meet. Carefully tape out the chalk lines with masking tape.


Painting Tiles DIY Guide Step 2

Painting Tiles Step 2:

Using a craft or Stanley knife, cut out and remove the crossed tape from the centre of each inset square. It is important that your knife is sharp but be careful not to cut yourself!


Painting Tiles DIY Guide Step 3

Painting Tiles Step 3:

Mix the glaze using one part Glazecoat, and one part Polvin Pecan Nut. Using the synthetic bath sponge, begin to rub and dab the glaze over a masked-off square to give it a deep, translucent appearance.


Painting Tiles DIY Guide Step 4

Painting Tiles Step 4:

Paint one tile at a time, concentrating some darker colour along the edges. Avoid applying the colour right into each masked-off corner of the square, so that the corners eventually appear slightly rounded.


Painting Tiles DIY Guide Step 5

Painting Tiles Step 5:

Paint the inset in a contrasting colour. We’ve applied a hand-painted motif using blue and white Polvin, but a stencilled pattern or a distressed coloured inset will work equally well.


Painting Tiles DIY Guide Step 6

Painting Tiles Step 6:

Remove the tape and rub some of the Ascot Tan glaze over the ‘grouting’ areas. Spill some onto the tile, but keep the inset clean. Once dry, seal the floor with Plascon Floor Varnish.


Painting Tiles FAQ:

Should I paint first or tile first to avoid getting any paint on new tiles and grouting?

When deciding to tile first or paint first, this will depend on personal preference. Our advice would be to tile first and allow the tile cement and grouting to completely cure. Once cured, cover the tiles with drop-sheets and masking tape before painting. It will be much easier to cover a floor when painting than to cover walls while doing the tile work.

When painting tiles do you paint over the grouting and will it still look like a tiled surface afterwards?

Yes, you do paint over the grouting and the tiles will still be visible. Alternatively, remove the tiles, skim over rough areas, prime and paint.

What paint can you use on floor tiles in a kitchen and in a bathroom?

We do not recommend that the floor tiles be painted with DIY products.

I would like to know if kitchen tiles can be coated with Plascon paints. If they can, which products should you use?

Please note that Plascon Kitchens & Bathrooms paint is suitable for wall tiles. We do not recommend that floor tiles be painted with DIY products.

If you are wanting to paint wall tiles, first prime the tiles with Tile and Melamine Primer. Please keep in mind that Tile & Melamine Primer should be used as a primer before you apply any topcoat and can only be used on Ceramic and Melamine. It is not recommended for floors, kitchen work surfaces and glass mosaics.

Allow the first coat to dry thoroughly, then sand lightly with a fine paper and wipe clean before applying the second coat. Sand the primed surface lightly before application of the topcoat.

Please see our Kitchens & Bathrooms Surface Preparation Guide for more info.

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