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Shower tile is a type of tile specifically designed for use in showers. It is typically made of ceramic or porcelain and is waterproof. Shower tile serves both functional and aesthetic purposes, as it provides a durable surface that can withstand water and also enhances the overall look of the shower area. Sometimes you want to update your bathroom and one way to do that is with the shower tile. Can you paint the shower tile? Yes, you can and it is not expensive to update the look of the bathroom but there are factors to think about.

Let’s find out more about shower tile and if you can paint it.

Tile keeps the water out and adds style to the bathroom.

What Does Shower Tile Do?

The primary function of shower tile is to protect the walls and floor of the shower from moisture damage. It creates a waterproof barrier that prevents water from seeping into the walls or causing mold and mildew growth. Additionally, shower tile adds style and elegance to the bathroom, allowing homeowners to customize their shower space according to their preferences.

Can You Paint Shower Tile?

Yes, it is possible to paint the shower tile to give it a new look or update its appearance. However, there are certain factors to consider before embarking on a project like this.

What to Think About Before Painting Tile in The Shower

Before painting shower tile, it’s important to assess the condition of the existing tile. If the tile is cracked, chipped, or damaged in any way, it may not be suitable for painting. In such cases, it may be necessary to replace the tile instead.

Additionally, the type of paint used is crucial. Shower tile is constantly exposed to water and harsh cleaning chemicals, so regular paint won’t hold up well in this environment. It is recommended to use an epoxy or urethane-based paint specifically designed for high-moisture areas.

Furthermore, proper preparation is key to achieving long-lasting results. Thoroughly clean the tile to remove any soap scum, grime, or mildew. Sand the tile surface lightly to create a rough texture that will help the paint adhere better. Finally, apply a primer before painting to ensure proper adhesion and durability.

Shower tile can be painted with a few materials and the right type of paint.
Porcelain tile texture patterned wall background white cream beige grey color

Materials Needed to Paint Shower Tile

To paint your shower tile, you will need the following materials:

Steps to Paint Shower Tile

  1. Clean the tile thoroughly using a cleaning solution or mildew remover.
  2. Sand the tile surface lightly to create a rough texture.
  3. Apply painter’s tape to any areas you want to protect from paint.
  4. Lay down drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect the surrounding area.
  5. Apply a primer specifically designed for use on the tile and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Once the primer is dry, apply the epoxy or urethane-based paint, following the manufacturer’s instructions regarding application techniques and drying times.
  7. Allow the paint to dry completely before using the shower.

Cost for Painting Shower Tile

The cost of painting shower tile can vary depending on factors such as the size of the shower, the quality of paint used, and whether you choose to hire a professional or do it yourself. On average, the cost can range from $200 to $500, including the cost of materials and labor if hiring a professional.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about painting shower tile, take a look at other areas of recommended maintenance.

One of those is painting the bathroom ceiling. Since you are painting the tile, this might be a good time to paint the ceiling too. There are manufacturer directions to follow but you will be using the same materials. One of the only differences may be that you may choose a different ceiling color than what you are using on the shower tile.

Another is cleaning the shower head without vinegar. If you don’t have vinegar in your home but have baking soda, coca-cola, oven cleaner, or hydrogen peroxide on hand then you can clean it.

Lastly, you may have a shower that squeals. This is caused by an old shower head or it could be the build-up of limescale. Whatever it is, it is a good idea to look into it so you can fix the issue.

When to Call a Professional?

While painting shower tile can be a DIY project, calling a professional may be necessary in certain situations. If the tile is severely damaged or requires extensive repairs, it may be best to consult a professional tile installer or painter who has experience working with shower tile. They can provide expert advice, ensure proper preparation and application, and deliver high-quality results.


Painting shower tile can be an effective way to update the look of your shower and rejuvenate your bathroom. By considering the condition of the tile, using suitable materials, and proper preparation techniques, you can achieve a fresh and long-lasting finish. However, weighing the costs and complexities involved is important, and determining whether hiring a professional is the best course of action for your situation. This is a good time to reach out to Enviroquest Home Inspections for a complete home inspection in Harrisburg, PA.

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