Painted Tile Review: Has It Held Up?
2020 was my year of the budget bathroom. I spent so much time improving the look of our guest bathroom, the basement bathroom, and then our main bathroom. All three spaces were built in the 90’s and they were looking pretty worn and dated. (Heck, that basement bathroom may have been installed decades before that.) Not wanting to renovate immediately, I knew I could improve each bathroom with some DIY projects.
Painting Tile // Painting Vanity
Painted Tile Review
I did a heck of a lot of painting in all three of those spaces and it’s wild how paint can truly transform a space. But when I painted those tile floors and the shower, I was bombarded with the question, “Will it really last?” At the time, I didn’t know. I just figured that I would be renovating these spaces eventually, so I thought I might as well do what I could to make each room look good for the short term. I also had confidence in the products I was using because they were all specifically designed for these purposes. It’s not like I was taking wall paint and slopping it on my floors and crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t chip. So let’s dive into each space and I’ll give my painted tile review…
Guest Bathroom – Painted Tile Floors
July 2020: This was my first time painting tile and it was a bit scary, yet exciting. This was actually my first big DIY project since having Rory and I was eager to dive back into a fun project. The original tile was just plain white and I wanted to add some subtle color to the space. The actual painting was pretty easy, but the stenciling was a learning curve. By the end of the project, I felt more confident with the stenciling and then I used those tips as I painted the other bathrooms.
May 2021: Today, the tile pretty much looks the exact same! This is the bathroom that Finn uses and we also bathe Rory in here, so it sees a lot of action. The floor gets wet, we’re constantly walking in here, and bath toys are tossed and dropped like crazy. The paint hasn’t flaked off anywhere and I don’t notice any visible signs of wear or tear.
Overall Grade: A
Guest Bathroom – Painted Bathtub & Shower Walls
August 2020: The final touch to the bathroom was painting the outdated shower tile white. I used a completely different paint product for this. (You can’t use the floor paint for your shower!!) This project is definitely more advanced than the floor painting and much stinkier. It took me a day to paint the bathtub and shower walls and the end result was crisp and clean.
May 2021: This hasn’t held up quite the same as the floors and I think that’s mostly due to user error. Right before we painted the shower, we redid the caulk lines in the bath and shower. The first step of the painted shower project is to remove all of your old caulk. Well, it was kinda tough because our caulk was brand new! I did the best I could, but I should have spent a lot more time getting that old caulk outta there. I think this ultimately affected the end result.
While the shower walls look great – pristine, white, and no chipping at all – the bathtub isn’t looking as good. I have one spot that has peeled and another where the paint didn’t adhere very well. I think if I had a redo, I could avoid these issues with better prep work. Overall, I think this product is a great idea if you want to cover an old bathtub and shower walls and modernize them. But I don’t think it’s a long-term solution. I don’t think you would want it for more than about five years.
I have seen some tutorials to patch any areas that need them with the product, but since we plan to renovate this bathroom in 2022, we’re just gonna live with those small messed-up areas.
Overall Grade: C
Basement Bathroom – Painted Tile Floors
August 2020: Once we learned that Finn would be working from the basement indefinitely, I figured it was time to give that scary basement bathroom some love. We don’t have any plans to retile or renovate the space, but a budget-friendly refresh seemed like a good use of time and money. I had so much fun transforming that little room from top to bottom and I love the star stencil I chose for the floors.
May 2021: I’ll admit, I never ever use this bathroom so I had to go downstairs and really inspect it before writing this post. This bathroom doesn’t really see much foot traffic besides Finn using it when he is working. The floor still looks exactly the same – no chips, no flakes, no wear and tear whatsoever!
Overall Grade: A
Main Bathroom – Painted Tile Floors
October 2020: With the other bathroom floors looking so good, I figured I might as well work on our main bathroom. It’s the next big project on our to-do list – we are planning a full gut in Winter 2022 – but until then, I wanted it to look a tad nicer. This time around, I chose a much bolder color with black and white paint.
May 2021: For the most part, the tile still looks incredible! In hindsight, I wish I would have used different colors. Not that the black and white is bad, I just don’t think it flows well with the rest of our home. There also is one spot where the paint rubbed off and I have no clue why! Luckily, it’s near the toilet and usually hidden underneath the trash can. Other than that small area, the rest of the floor looks great.
Overall Grade: B
So there you have it…my painted tile review. I’ve gotta say, I’m pleasantly surprised by how amazing all of these areas look. All of these projects were so incredibly budget-friendly (less than $100), and the end result looks 100 times better. The tiles pretty much look brand new and there was no ripping out tile and re-tiling, which would have cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
In the end, I would recommend that anyone paint their tile floors, whether it’s a kitchen, bathroom, entryway, or even a patio! As for painting the shower and bathtub, I still recommend it, but just be as thorough as possible with the prep work and take your time. And know that it’s not a long-term fix, so it’s probably best if you’re planning to renovate the space eventually.
And just so you have it, here’s a list of the tutorials for each project I featured. Those posts really go in-depth and answer some of the FAQs.
- How to Paint Tile Floors
- Tips to Stencil Floor Tile
- How to Paint your Shower & Bathtub
- FAQ Painted Tiles & How-To Video Tutorial
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.