Can you can paint tile on a fire place? Absolutely!

(Everything you see, we bought with our own money – nothing was sponsored or gifted). This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

A few parts of this house had been updated from its original form, and for that I am grateful. But just because it was updated a few years ago, doesn’t mean we have to keep it like that.

Example one: the fireplace. Here’s a picture of what I assume was the original (left), pulled from a listing in our neighborhood. And a picture of how they had updated it (right).



Okay.. so obviously I appreciate the update. It’s more modern, less… nooky? Why so many nooks. Sure there are things that I would not have done if it were up to me to design this. Like… why does the mantel end before the tile… WHY. To have added a foot onto this mantel only seems logical. Despite this issue it was a major improvement.

BUT THAT MOSIAC TILE. No. No no no. What was I to do? Paint it.

What? Paint tile?? You bet! I painted the tile backsplash in our last kitchen.. Because someone decided floor tile would look good on the wall.

I had found reassurance in photos of similar-ish white mosaic backsplashes and was ready to upset a lot of people. Paint over perfectly good new tile? Yup, watch me.

What you will need:
Foam rollers
Paint brush
Painters tape and butcher paper
Kitchen cleaner spray ( I use Doterra’s OnGuard Concentrate cleaner)
Zinsser 1•2•3 primer
OIL based paint in whatever color you want your new tile to be

Start by cleaning your surface, and then tape off the surfaces you don’t want painted. Cause this Zinsser stuff, really does stick to anything and WILL NOT come off. Now you’re ready to roll!

Luckily, I had found an extra sheet of the tile left in the basement. So I tested the primer and paint on it first. To 1. make sure the Zinsser primer really sticks to tile as well as I remembered. and 2. to make sure I liked the tile, and all its textures, in white. It was a big fat YES to both of those!

A close up of the different tiles we were working with. Glossy glass tiles and matte stone pieces, this variation in finishes was another thing I was looking forward to making more uniform.

I’m not gonna lie. Those first few brush strokes are slightly terrifying. But once you step back and see the potential, fear turns into excitement. I started with a brush to make sure all those grout lines were effectively primed.

Primed with Zinsser 1•2•3! I waited a few days before painting the oil based paint to let the primer properly cure and bind to the tile. And for a warm day that I could open up all the windows. Cause oil based paint is POTENT! Apparently fall decor could not wait until this project was finished.

I used a foam roller to apply the color I wanted on the tile ( Benjamin Moore’s Dove White). Do not use latex paint on tile, it is not a fraction as durable as oil based paint will be. And if you haven’t painted with oil based paints, it’s a whole new breed of paint. It STINKS. Wear a mask, properly ventilate the room you are working in, and have mineral spirits ready to clean up paint.

Ta-Da!! So much better right?? The mantel still bugs me, maybe someday, but it is a whole lot less noticeable! And for now it’s much more our style!

The uniformity of finish with the texture of the stone is SO GOOD. And this picture? Taken a year and a half after this project was finished. It has survived a toddler and two dogs. I’m not kidding when I say this stuff is durable!

The white fireplace makes a much better backdrop, right?? So what do you think? Easy, effective, and affordable fix right?? Is there any tile in your house that paint can transform?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *