How to Hand Paint Ceramic Tiles

By Bryant Harland ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Sandpaper
  • Plain ceramic tiles
  • Lavender oil
  • Turpentine
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Palette knife
  • Fine calligraphy pen
  • Soft pencil
  • Kiln

Hand painting is an affordable method of giving your home an extra artistic edge with a personal touch. Painting ceramic tile in the home can give some extra oomph to kitchen and bathroom floors or countertops. As a bonus, it is an easy process that can be accomplished with a little creative ingenuity and some preparation.

Before painting, you will have to remove the glossy surface on the tile. This can be done by sanding it away. You will need to sand away the entire glossy surface, but avoid pressing too hard so you don't damage the rest of the tile.

Clean the tile well. If you're on a budget, you can use soap and water, but for the best results, you will want to use a professional-grade cleaning solution. Be sure there is no dust, dirt or leftover gloss material on the tile. Let the tile dry.

Prepare a design before starting to paint the tile. You may want to sketch the design out on a piece of scrap paper to use as a guide while painting.

Mix the paint with the lavender oil and turpentine.

The brush and palette knife can be used to make designs with the paint. Use the calligraphy pen for very fine designs. Paint the design you established earlier.

Once hand painting is complete, you must heat the tiles in a kiln. Tiles should be heated at a temperature between 1350 degrees and 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, or the paint will not last. This can be done in a kiln. Small kilns can be ordered online, though larger kilns will have to be installed.

Tip

If you are afraid of breaking the tile while removing the glossy surface, you can purchase ready-to-paint ceramic tiles.