Chalk paint has become an increasingly popular choice for DIY decorating projects. Its matte finish and ability to adhere to many surfaces without sanding or priming make it a versatile paint for furniture, walls, and more. One question that often comes up is whether chalk paint can also be used to paint tile backsplashes in kitchens or bathrooms. Here is what you need to know about using chalk paint on tile.
An Overview of Chalk Paint
Chalk paint, also known as mineral paint or milk paint, is a water-based paint made using calcium carbonate, chalk, and binders. It goes on smoothly, dries very matte, and adheres well to surfaces like wood, metal, concrete, and even glass.
Some key advantages of chalk paint include:
- Requires no sanding or priming on most surfaces
- Provides good coverage and often only needs 1-2 coats
- Has a soft, matte finish that shows distressing well
- Can be waxed or sealed for different effects
- Water-based formula is low odor and non-toxic
Popular brands like Annie Sloan and American Paint Company have made chalk paint a go-to choice for refinishing and repurposing furniture. Using it on tile backsplashes is also an option in some cases.
Can You Use Chalk Paint on Tile?
The short answer is yes, chalk paint can generally be used to paint over tile backsplashes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Surface Preparation – For best adhesion, thoroughly clean and lightly sand the tile before painting. This helps the paint grip.
- Paint Type – Look for chalk paint specifically made for tiles, concrete, and masonry rather than wood. These formulations adhere better.
- Top Coat – Chalk paint is porous, so using a top coat like polyurethane is recommended to protect the finish on tile.
- Color – Very dark colors may show grout lines on tile more after painting. Lighter chalk paint colors tend to disguise grout better.
As with any paint project, proper prep work and applying a primer first can also help the chalk paint last longer on a slick tile surface.
Steps for Painting Tile with Chalk Paint
Painting tile backsplashes with chalk paint can totally transform the look of your kitchen or bath. Here are the basic steps:
Clean and Prepare the Tile
Use a degreasing cleaner or tile cleaner to thoroughly clean the tile you want to paint. Rinse well and let dry fully. Lightly sand the tile with fine grit sandpaper to help the chalk paint adhere – be sure to smooth any grout lines first. Wipe away any dust.
Choose a primer specifically made for tile and masonry. This helps the chalk paint bond properly. Fully prime all the tile and let dry completely.
Paint 1-2 Coats of Chalk Paint
Following the paint instructions, apply 1-2 full coats of chalk paint in your desired color using a brush, roller, or paint sprayer. Let each coat dry fully before adding another.
Add Optional Top Coat(s)
For added durability and washability on tile, apply 1-2 coats of a clear polyurethane or matte varnish on top of the chalk paint. This helps protect the finish.
Distress and Wax (Optional)
If desired, you can lightly distress the tile painting using sandpaper once fully dry. You can also apply a coat of clear or tinted wax to alter the paint finish before protecting it with polyurethane.
And that’s it! With proper prep and products, it is completely possible to use chalk paint to redo an outdated tile backsplash. The soft matte finish of chalk paint can give tile a fresher, more modern look. Be sure to seal the paint afterward for washability. Enjoy your transformed space!
Frequently Asked Questions About Chalk Paint on Tile
Can you use chalk paint on ceramic tile?
Yes, chalk paint can generally be used on all types of ceramic and porcelain tile surfaces. As with any non-porous surface, proper cleaning, sanding, and priming are key preparation steps.
Does chalk paint need a top coat on tile?
It’s highly recommended to apply 1-2 coats of a clear sealer or topcoat like polyurethane over chalk paint on tile backsplashes. This helps protect the finish from moisture, grease, and wear and tear.
How long does chalk paint last on tile?
With proper prep and sealing, chalk paint can last for many years on tile surfaces. Avoid excessive moisture and be sure to prep tile so the paint can properly adhere. Reapply protective topcoats every 1-2 years.
Can you use chalk paint in a bathroom?
Chalk paint can be used in bathrooms when properly sealed. Use chalk paint made for tile surfaces and be diligent about applying a water-resistant topcoat like polyurethane. Avoid painting chalk paint directly over existing glossy tile.
Does chalk paint need to be sealed?
Sealing chalk paint with a topcoat isn’t mandatory but is highly recommended, especially on tile backsplashes. Topcoats help protect the finish from moisture, grease stains, and wear and tear. Polyurethane is a great durable top coat for chalk painted tile.
Painting over outdated or damaged tile backsplashes offers a quick, budget-friendly way to give your kitchen or bathroom a fresh new look. With the right chalk paint products and preparation, you can achieve a smooth, long-lasting finish that transforms the space. Be sure to clean, lightly sand, and seal the paint to get the best adhesion and protect your efforts. Let your creativity run free!