I have always believed that you can redecorate/remodel on a budget and make it look like you spent a fortune to do so. And I never let the fear of never having done something before scare me away from trying. I mean, what is the worst that can happen? You end up messing it up or not liking it and spend the money to have a professional fix it. So when I stood in front of our current remodeling project’s fireplace and thought to myself, “this is not the look I am going for, but I don’t want to budget for replacing tile,” it occurred to me that maybe I could paint it. Yes, paint tile – I know it sounds strange. But, I had seen in the past where people had updated old tile floors by painting them, and I knew there had to be a way to do the same to fireplace tile — DIY Painted Fireplace Tile.
I quickly took to Pinterest (although I am no longer allowed on Pinterest unsupervised – story for another day) and YouTube and found a few tutorials on painting tile. Next, I made my list of supplies and headed out to the hardware store, where I shared my thoughts with the Paint Department Supervisor, and he assisted with finding the right products for the job.
Here is what you will need:
- Rags, soap, and hot water
- painter’s tape
- Drop cloths
- bonding primer
- High gloss latex paint
- Water-based Urethane Sealer
Follow these easy steps for you DIY Painted Fireplace:
Step 1: Sand and Clean the Tile
First, you need to sand the tile and rough it up; the primer and paint will need something to adhere to, making it last. You aren’t trying to rough every little bit of the tile up, but you want to make sure there is roughness. Once you are satisfied with the sanding, take hot water, soap, and rag and scrub the tile clean. You need to make sure there is no dust or dirt left and that the tile is completely dry before you proceed.
Step 2: Prep the Area
While you are waiting for everything to completely dry, go ahead and prep the area for painting. Use a drop cloth even if you think you are going to be super neat and tidy. Although I rarely splash or spill paint, I am always so grateful on the off times that I do that there is a cloth to soak up the mess and protect my floors. Use painter’s tape to outline the fireplace and keep the primer and paint from going on the walls, trim, and floors.
Step 3: Apply Primer
Once the tile is completely dry after cleaning, you can begin applying the bonding primer. You may think you can skip this step as you might when you paint walls, but don’t skip it when painting tile. The paint will need something to adhere to so that it will last. Choose between using a roller or a paintbrush when applying. A roller gives the tile a little bit more of a textured look rather than completely smooth. I used a roller except for corners and edges.
Step 4: Apply Paint
Next, you can apply the paint to the primed tile with a roller or brush. Again a brush will provide a smoother surface, and a roller will add a little texture. Once you complete painting the tile, you need to let it completely dry before moving on to the next step. Depending on where you live and the humidity, this could take several days.
Step 5: Apply Sealer
Again, this last step is one you don’t want to skip — I learned the hard way since I skipped it on my first go. Apply two to three coats of a water-based urethane sealer to the newly painted tile. You will want to let the sealer completely dry between coats. The reason you want to use a sealer is to protect against scratches and scuffs. I skipped this step the first time and was continually cleaning off scuffs. Then I had to go back and paint a fresh coat and then seal. So learn from my mistake and use sealer the first time around.
And here you have it — a fresh new look for a dated fireplace. As I said, there is always a way to change things up on a budget, and DIY painted fireplace tile was a definite win!