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Can I repaint the ceramic wall tiles in my kitchen? Q & A

Q. Can I repaint the ceramic wall tiles in my kitchen, as I would like to change the color to match some new cabinets. 

A: Yes you can. All you have to do is get yourself a one litre tin of a preparation product ESP which you’ve probably seen lauded on numerous home TV DIY shows, about 2.1/2 litres of each good quality oil based undercoat and gloss and a decent paint brush or small smooth roller from any DIY or paint store, and you are half way there. For an extra special, smooth finish, pick up a litre tin of Owatrol oil as used by most of the professional decorators, (in the old days people used white spirits to thin the paint which was very detrimental to the paint quality and ruined hiding power) as this will help the paint flow out beautifully without ugly brush marks or streaks. It also helps the paint adhesion, hiding power and gloss retention.

Add about 20% Owatrol to the undercoat and about 10% to your top coat. About £60 or so should cover all the paint materials, which gives you an extremely cost effective color change! Start the job by cleaning the surface properly with warm water & sugar soap. Wipe on the ESP to the tile surfaces thoroughly with a clean lint free cloth. Leave it 10 minutes or so at normal room temperature, and then wipe off gently with another clean lint free cloth taking care to turn the cloth repeatedly as a certain amount of dirt will come off in the cloth. (Follow instructions carefully – there is a new water based version of ESP out now which has slightly different instructions to previous solvent based version which I’ve noticed here & there)

Usually you can do one wall at a time, wipe on and then the wipe off. After 90 minutes at normal room temperature, apply your undercoat with the 20% Owatrol oil added. Next day when it has dried, apply your gloss top coat, this time with about 10% Owatrol oil and leave it for about 24 hours at least to dry. Take note, oil based paint can take a week or more to cure properly so don’t start poking at it with your fingernails (if you have that strange tendency!) for at least 10 days. Also try to avoid giving that area a hard time for as long as possible. In fact the longer the better.


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