4 In Decor/ DIY/ Interiors/ Tutorials

Another Girl Who Painted Her Tile

Another Girl Who Painted her Tile

I despised this kitchen before we even put an offer on our home. Built in 2005 it screamed orange, which is on my all time list of “steer clear from colors”.

“Don’t worry, you can switch out the counters and backslash” my husband assured me over and over again.

Well, you know what they say about best laid plans? Tic-toc tic-toc went the clock and a year later it still hadn’t happened. So this is what I figured. Instead of gutting this kitchen maybe I can be a little adventurous and DIY myself into being happy? I decided it was worth a try.

My friend told me about The Girl Who Painted Her Tile. I was impressed, conducted a bit of DIY research, and told Doug what I wanted to do. Amazingly {and I say this with the most emphasis} HE DID NOT OBJECT. So, not more than a few days later, I found myself inside Home Depot with a list of supplies in hand.

“This is totally happening.” I sorta kinda even jumped up and down in the parking lot after making my purchase.

“Now you will be another girl who painted her tile.” Doug chuckled.

And, just like that, what should have happened last year was finally meant to be. My kitchen’s orange/brown outdated terra-cotta tiles got a huge beautiful glossy off-white hug. The result heavily influenced the existing granite NOT to scream “I am orange”. Today while sitting in my living room looking into the kitchen I’ve almost forgotten how much I hated this kitchen. In fact, I may just be in love.

Another Girl who Painted her Tile

View into the kitchen from the staircase. Goodbye orange tiles!

I’m super excited to share this DIY with you. Because I know if you have dated tile work in your home then a cheap $50 fix is most likely in the budget. But before starting, let’s take a moment of silence in remembrance of that out-dated orange/brown tile…

Another Girl Who Painted Her Tile


Now let’s celebrate this simple make-over and the amazing impact that color has on a space…

another girl who painted her tile


And finally, without further ado, let’s get this DIY started!


This DIY takes two full days from start to finish. Unless you are like me and are so excited that you start things in the late afternoon–well, then you will need three.

Another Girl who Painted her Tile

What you will need to paint your tile

Buy Supplies

Let’s talk a little bit about supplies. Oil paint has the tightest molecules so will hold up and withstand the most abuse out of any paints. The problem is, not only is it hard to find straight up high gloss oil paint these days, but if you want to mix a color in them it is not possible. Can you say cheese curd? Yep, that is what you would get when adding pigment.

I didn’t want my tiles to be lab coat white. Ew. So I did some research and Home Depot has a great hybrid paint that has an oil base–which means pigment can be added. Problem is, they do not sell it in high gloss. I determined that a semi-gloss would be shiny enough by looking at samples. Now that this DIY is complete, I am actually glad that I didn’t use a more glossy paint.

A bit of unsolicited advice…when matching to your cupboards, take a cupboard door in and do a color match. Even if the attendant says you should pick a swatch, don’t listen. I made this mistake when I knew better. Your color will have undertones that may not be seen and using a swatch, especially when choosing a white. I ended up mixing more paint the second go around because of this mistake. The formula that worked for me was color matching the cupboard and lightening it up 20% for the tiles.

Supply List:

Dawn Dish Soap – This is great because it cuts greese and grime

Clorox disinfectant Wipes – for cleaning backsplash, counters, and quickly getting up any little paint drips as they happen

Sponge – For scrubbing the tiles

Frog Tape – To professionally seal and keep straight lines

Roll of painters paper – for masking off and protecting the counter

Professional Angled Paint Brush – This needs to be the best quality so brush marks are not detected in the paint.

Foam brush – to help dig paint into the grout areas

Oil Base Paint Primer – Kilz is the best quality

Oil Base Semi-Gloss Paint in your color choice

For a video tutorial on this DIY click HERE.

Step 1: Scrub the snot outta that tile

This is one of the most important steps of all. Anything and everything will show behind the new glossy paint. That means a divot, a little crumble, oil, you name it. So it has got to go. After scrubbing make sure you allow time for everything to completely dry before painting. Good thing masking off the area takes so long. haha

STEP 2: Remove electrical plate covers & mask off areas.

The proper masking off takes time, however, it counters will not be spilled on and lines will be kept clean.

I really do think that the quality of tape used makes a difference. I’ve had inexpensive blue tape bleed before, so now I only use Frog Tape. I am pretty sure it saved my counter and walls on this project, especially since I was using an oil base paint.

another girl who painted her tile

Painting the first coat over the dried oil based primer

STEP 3: Prime Tiles

This is a good time to scream “EEK” and pray that your project doesn’t become a Pinterest fail.

Using an oil based primer, cover all of the tiles and the grout. This will dry pretty splotchy and very flat. That is how it is supposed to look so don’t worry about it. Using the correct primer will really help adhere the beautiful paint you are about to use. Allow primer to dry completely, about 2-4 hours. To save money, a foam brush can be used with this step.

STEP 4: Paint Tiles

Using an oil based glossy paint and a professional angled brush, paint tiles. The best way to get every area is to paint in small sections. Taking the angled edges of the paint brush fill in all of the grout lines. Then go ever the tiles. Watch for drips by coming back to sections you did earlier. It never ceases to amaze me how something could drip ten minutes later. After the first coat let completely dry. I left mine over night because oil paint takes its time and running a brush with more paint over a half dry tacky oil painted surface will surely leave brush lines.

Not long into painting my arm started going numb. I decided either I should have gotten that carpel tunnel surgery five years ago or the fumes from the paint were affecting my limbs…haha. This is when I opened the windows and front door. Note to self: ventilate while painting, especially while using oil paint.

Tip: Make sure that paint is completely shaken and mixed together. Oil paint separates, so if you have waited overnight after purchasing, shake for several minutes and then take a stir stick to it as well.

another girl who painted her tile

Corner tile detail – looks like the tiles were made this color

STEP 5: Paint Tiles a second coat

Now that the tiles are dry you will really be able to see spots you may have missed and places that may not be smooth. The second coat really fixes every single issue. Using a bit more paint ensures a smooth ceramic like finish. I love how oil based paints don’t easily show brush marks. The corner details on my painted tile says it all.

I was worried because my terra-cotta tiles had little divots and holes in them along with rough edges. However, by the time I got the second coat on I was pleasantly surprised. The extra texture gives more character and they really do look like beautiful ceramic tiles.

STEP 6: Let dry overnight

Making certain that the paint is fully dry, wash and replace electrical plates. The longer the paint cures the stronger it becomes. It is not necessary to add a top coat sealer to the tiles. Glossy oil based paint is very durable and washable. Enjoy your new painted tile!

Here are more pictures of my kitchen and there is a little video I put together from my Instagram Story. I usually film my daily DIY’s to my IG story. You can follow me @amyliacoover and see what I am up to next.

Another Girl who Painted her Tile

Center Island Tiles

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  • Reply
    October 29, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    what an update. This diy is so perfect for backsplashes and fire place surrounds. Glad you found me.

    • Reply
      Amylia Coover
      October 29, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Mysha, I loved your floor tile update! Thank you for helping to inspire this transformation. xo

  • Reply
    Cindy farrell
    January 11, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    Can you please tell me the color you used?

    • Reply
      Amylia Coover
      January 12, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      Hello Cindy! I ended up using off-white by Behr.
      Best of luck.

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