Popular tile colors of the 1970s like pale yellow and olive green make a bathroom seem outdated. Remodeling can be hard work, and the idea of ripping down all of the ceramic tile may seem overwhelming. The best way to update ceramic tile in the bathroom without removing it is to paint it. A coat of paint over the old tile can bring your bathroom into the modern age.
Clean the entire surface of the tile to remove all dirt and grease. Tim Carter, a builder and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, recommends using oxygen bleach, which is a powder that mixes with water. Apply the solution and let it sit for 10 minutes, then scrub the tiles and grout with a scrub brush.
Let the tiles and grout dry for at least 48 hours.
Prepare the area around the ceramic tile for painting. Place a drop cloth on the floor and use painter's tape to block off the border between the wall and the ceramic tile, if necessary.
Apply a coat of either oil-based or water-based paint. If using water-based paint, be sure it contains a urethane resin. Rollers provide the best way to apply the paint on a large surface area of ceramic tile.
Wait for the first coat to dry and apply a second coat if necessary.