Can You Paint Subway Tile?

Can You Paint Subway Tile? The short answer is yes! Here’s a step by step guide on how to do it yourself.

Checkout this video:


It’s no secret that subway tile is having a moment. The classic rectangular ceramic tile has been a staple in bathrooms and kitchens for over a century, but in recent years, it has been popping up everywhere from coffee shops to laundromats. Its clean lines and neutral color palette make it a versatile design element that can be used in both traditional and modern spaces.

But what if you’re tired of the same old subway tile? Can you paint it?

The short answer is yes, you can paint subway tile. But there are a few things you should know before you get started. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about painting subway tile, from prep work to selecting the right paint.

What is Subway Tile?

Subway tile is a type of ceramic tile that is usually used in kitchen backsplashes and bathroom walls. It gets its name from its rectangular shape, which resembles a subway train car. Subway tile is available in a variety of colors, but the most common are white and cream.

Can You Paint Subway Tile?

painting subway tile is possible, but it’s not recommended. The tile is glazed, which means that the color is baked into the surface. That makes it difficult to paint over without leaving visible brush strokes or uneven coverage.

How to Paint Subway Tile

Subway tile is a classic choice for backsplashes, showers, and other areas in your home where you want to make a statement with your tile. Paint can be a great way to update your subway tile and give it a new look. Follow these steps to ensure that your paint job looks professional and lasts for years to come.

1. Prep the surface by cleaning the tile with soap and water. If the tile is very greasy or dirty, you may need to use a degreaser or other strong cleaner.

2. Tape off any areas that you don’t want painted, such as countertops, cabinets, or walls.

3. Apply a primer to the tile. This will help the paint stick better and prevent it from chipping or peeling over time.

4. Once the primer is dry, apply two coats of paint to the tile. Be sure to allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.

5. Once the final coat of paint is dry, apply a sealer to the tile. This will protect the paint from wear and tear and make it easier to clean in the future.


So, can you paint subway tile? In short, yes! Painting subway tile is a great way to change up the look of your space without making a major renovation. There are a few things to keep in mind when painting subway tile, but with a little preparation and attention to detail, you can achieve beautiful results that will last for years.