One of the most difficult challenges in renovating a kitchen or bathroom is to decide what to do with outdated, dark or dingy porcelain tile. Removing tile can take days and create a substantial mess. Installing new tile can be expensive and messy. Many porcelain tiles can be resurfaced and recolored to match your new decor at a very small cost compared to replacement. While there are many companies in your local area that provide this service, there are also products on the market for do-it-yourselfers to save even more money.
Clean the tile to be recolored with a mild detergent like Tide and rinse thoroughly. Allow the tile and grout to dry completely before continuing with the project.
Check over the tiles to make sure that all mildew and mold has been removed from the grout. If mildew and mold remain, scrub the grout with an old toothbrush soaked in a mild bleach-and-water solution. Stains may still remain on the grout, but as long as the active growth has been eliminated, the tiles are ready to resurface.
Tape off the project area with plastic drop cloths and painter's tape. The floor area underneath the tiles and the walls directly surrounding them should be protected from splatter. Turn off any fans in the room to reduce the possibility of the paint blowing in a breeze. Keep all pets far away from the area since the chemicals used in most resurfacing kits are toxic.
Wear a mask for the project, preferably an N95 mask that will filter out particulates and keep you from breathing in the chemicals involved. Also, wear clothes that you do not mind throwing out at the end of the process since they will likely get covered with paint.
Follow the instructions that come with the kit for the first stage of the project, which is to etch the old tile. Most kits use a chemical etching agent that is applied to the tiles and left on for a period of time. It is important to take your time and take care in doing this step since it provides a solid anchor for the new paint.
Apply the new color based on the kit's instructions. Depending on the kit, you may do this with a spray paint or with a brush. Some kits come with tape or another type of barrier for the grout to keep it from being colored. Your kit may come with a separate grout coloring to make it stand out against the new tile color. Apply the paint evenly on the tiles, without globbing or running.
Allow the paint to dry while ventilating as required in the instructions. Take a break and leave the area while the paint dries to avoid any headaches or other symptoms from fume exposure. When dry, repeat the process if necessary or required. Most kits have a "curing" period where the paint hardens and the bond increases. Allow the tiles to cure for the full recommended time.
Glaze the tiles if the glazing process is included in the kit. Some kits have a combined paint/glaze product which doesn't need a separate glaze. Allow the glaze to dry for the recommended time.