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How to Paint Murals on Ceramic Tiles

Painting your ceramic tiles is a good way to change the look of a room.
Tile image by Laima Penekaite from Fotolia.com

Painting your ceramic tile is a creative way to express your artistic ability and to change the look of your room. You can draw a pattern freehand or use stenciling to create the desired mural. Your artwork may need only one color for a fleur de lis or other simple design, or it can be a complete scene painted in contrasting colors. This is much less expensive than purchasing a mural, and it will be rewarding to know that you created the art.

Things You'll Need:

  • Painter'S Tape
  • Water-Based Urethane Finish
  • Epoxy Or Caulking If Needed For Chips And Scratches
  • Primer Paint Appropriate For Ceramic Tile
  • Tile Cleaner
  • Sharpened Pencil Or Stencil
  • Semi- Or High-Gloss Oil-Based Paint In The Colors You Need

Clean the tile and grout. Use an ammonia cleaner or an abrasive tile bathroom cleaner to make sure all the grease, dirt and oil is removed from the surface.

Paint over the tile with a primer paint. Make sure it is appropriate for ceramic tile. You can find this and your other paints at hardware, paint or home supply centers.

Choose the paint colors you will need to complete your artwork. Choose semi-gloss or high-gloss oil-based paints for this job.

Draw a freehand design with a pencil on the tiles you want to paint. Alternately, you can purchase a stencil at a craft, hobby or home supply store. Tape the stencil to the wall with painter's tape and make sure it is centered by measuring the edges on both sides.

Tape around the area you want to paint with painter's tape in order to avoid going past the margins of the design.

Paint the area, making sure to use one color wherever it is needed before beginning with another color. Let the paint dry thoroughly, for at least three days.

Add two coats of water-based urethane. Allow the first coat to dry before applying the second coat. This will give the mural a clear, shiny finish and will make it more durable and protect it from nicks and scratches, according to the Installing Ceramic Tile website.


Be sure to repair any chipped tiles before attempting to paint. Use epoxy to fill in small chips and cracks and caulking for larger cracks. Let the repaired area completely dry, according to the package directions, before beginning your painting.


  • Do not paint an area that will be subjected to moisture or water on a daily basis, such as a shower wall. The effort you put into painting it will have been in vain when the paint soon starts to peel.
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