How I Painted My Ugly Bathroom Tile
Pink lovers, beware. Today I’m going to explain how I painted (err… reglazed) our bathroom tile to get rid of this 1950s pink bathroom look.
Here’s our pinkalicious bathroom. Rustoleum Tub and Tile to the rescue!
When we bought this house, we knew these bathrooms were going to need a facelift, but we didn’t want to spend 10K on redoing the entire thing.
From the listing photos when we bought it
The tile itself was in good shape, so it would be a shame – and costly – just to remove it for its color. I spent some time researching how it might be possible to change the tile color.
I purchased the white color, had Mike watch baby Harvey, who was 9 months at this time, and headed over to our new house to get down to business. Here’s also what I bought:
N95 mask Fan Small Foam Roller Small Paint Tray Rustoleum Tub and Tile in White Comet, or another abrasive cleaner
Rustoleum recommends doing a lot of prep cleaning before you even start painting. I remember using Comet, a scrubber sponge, and Lime Away spray to clean allllll of the tile. It took forever and honestly, having done this again in our Master Bathroom, I’m not sure if it’s entirely necessary if your tile is clean. I would just wipe all the tile down with a mixture of Powdered Tide dissolved in hot water with a splash of bleach when I do this again, and if that doesn’t work, I’d call in Comet.
Now it was time to paint, but before that, I put on my mask, started running the bathroom fan, and I plugged in a portable fan to get air moving. This product has a strong smell – like it lasts FOR DAYS. You can get light headed using it, so definitely don’t do it pregnant. If you have windows in your bathroom, open them. In fact, open a BUNCH of windows in your house.
How to Reglaze Your Bathroom
Rustoleum gives you two separate containers that you mix together to activate the product. After mixing them, I poured a little bit in a paint tray and rolled my foam roller into it. I also found it helpful to have a small chip brush on hand.
Tape off any areas you don’t want to cover and roll it on. For us, I taped off all of the black tile so I would be left with a classic black and white bathroom. Once you get the hang of applying it, you’ll see it’s really just like painting a wall.
I recommend starting in an inconspicuous area of your bathroom first. My first few rolls were a little runny, and if you don’t catch the drips, it will dry with a drip mark. For this bathroom, I found that those first few strokes were runny. (I think the activator needed a bit more time).
Here’s a drip mark that I didn’t see before it dried
The box says you need to apply your second coat within 45 minutes, and it means it. Don’t apply one coat late at night and think you’ll do another coat in the morning. Also, don’t apply it too soon either. If you do a second coat too soon, you’ll see the first coat will still be tacky and you’ll end up pulling off the first coat with your roller.
two coats in
You can see my box fan here. I think this was me calling it a night. I’d come back the next day to do the tub.
I know this all sounds pretty complicated, but I can’t stress enough how amazing the finished product is. Here’s what our makeover looked like when we went to sell!
Other things we updated were: The vanity, sconces, faucets, bath faucets, shower curtain, curtain rod, peel and stick laminate flooring.
We gave our kids a bath in this bathtub every night for three years. They use toys in the bath, too, so they’re rough on it. After three years, the wall tile was fine and the sides of the tub were fine. The only thing that really needed touched up was the bottom of the tub. It wasn’t like it was pink, either. It just had lost a layer of the white.
The reglazed shower walls after three years were still perfect
See the spots on the tub? That’s a layer that peeled off. Not bad for three years of toddler baths!
To touch it up, I actually used the spray version of this product that Rustoleum also makes. I was worried that it may be hard to control the spray, but it really wasn’t. It went on easily and had less odor than the canned product did. I’d say the odor only lasted a day with the spray, but for the canned version, it was probably three days. That being said, we didn’t have a window in this bathroom, so it may be less for you if you do.
(I’m not sure I would start with the spray can version, but it’s great for quick touch ups).
One last important tip:
You’ll want to let the epoxy cure for 4-5 days before getting any water on it. If you can, try to even wait a week.
What do you think? Would you reglaze your bathroom yourself?