Kitchen renovations can be expensive, and when you are making aesthetic changes, it is a good idea to assess which areas of your kitchen can be enhanced instead of replaced. If your ceramic tile backsplash is in good condition but needs a lift, a fresh coat of paint may be the answer.
Clean the ceramic tile thoroughly to remove any dirt and grease that may have accumulated on the surface. If the ceramic tile is not cleaned well, the paint will not adhere. Ammonia works great as a degreaser. Dissolve 1/4 cup of ammonia per gallon of water in a bucket, and scrub the ceramic tile with a kitchen scrubber.
Choose an acrylic-based paint that complements your kitchen's decor. Acrylic paint has a quick drying time and lacks the harsh fumes that are associated with oil-based paints. Acrylic paint also makes for easier cleanup when your project is finished.
Sand the ceramic tile backsplash to remove the gloss. The acrylic paint will adhere much better to tile that has been sanded first. Use fine-grit sandpaper for the job. Use a microfiber cloth to remove the dust that accumulates after sanding, or the loose particles could end up in your paint.
Mask off the areas around the ceramic tile backsplash that you would prefer not to be affected by your painting. Blue painter's tape is a good option because it is sticky but not too sticky that it is difficult to remove when the painting is over. If you have decided not to paint the grout to match the ceramic tile, you must neatly mask off each ceramic tile individually; waiting for each tile to dry thoroughly in between, removing the tape, remasking and moving on to paint the adjoining pieces of ceramic tile.
Pour some of the acrylic paint into the paint tray and fill a sponge roller with the paint. Roll the sponge roller along the bottom of the tray to pick up some paint, and allow the excess to drip off before applying it to the tile.
Allow the first coat of paint to dry for approximately 30 minutes, and apply a second coat. Let the second coat dry overnight before moving on to the next step.
Roll on a thin layer of clear polyurethane to seal the paint. Allow the polyurethane to dry overnight, and remove the painter's tape the following day.