How to Stain Ceramic Tile

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Things You'll Need

  • Industrial ceramic tile cleaner

  • Rubber gloves

  • Safety goggles

  • Tarp or plastic

  • Ceramic tile primer

  • Clean towels

  • Ceramic tile stain

  • Ceramic clear coat

  • Mop

  • Water


Keep the work area well-ventilated to prevent being overcome by chemical fumes.

Wear old clothing that you don't mind throwing away after the project is complete.

Ceramic primers and stains will take longer to dry on muggy days, so stain ceramic tiles when humidity is low.

An infusion of color can do wonders for an outdated room. In addition to a fresh coat of paint on the walls, a home remodeler may choose to give a floor or backsplash a new look with ceramic tile stains. All the materials necessary for staining ceramic tile can generally be found at a local home improvement store or through a trusted online supplier. With the proper supplies and a little effort, transform a ceramic floor in approximately a day with fresh, new colors or patterns that can last up to 10 years (see Reference 2).

Step 1

Set up tiles in a separate work area where the cleaner, stain(s) and clear coat cannot damage other surfaces or items. If the tiles to be stained are already installed, tape a tarp or plastic over any tiles you don't plan to stain.

Step 2

Thoroughly clean the surface of the tiles to be stained, wearing rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect hands and eyes. The acids in the cleaner will gently etch texture into the tiles that will prime them to take the stain.

Step 3

Spray or wipe on ceramic tile primer and allow it to dry for 45 minutes or longer until it is dry to the touch.

Step 4

Paint or wipe on ceramic stain. Allow to dry for 20 to 30 minutes before applying each additional color. Dry stained ceramic tiles for one hour.

Step 5

Spray on two coats of ceramic clear coat, letting the first coat dry before the second application. Allow the finished tiles to dry for a minimum of 24 hours.

Step 6

Clean the ceramic with a mop or cloth and plain water before walking on or otherwise disturbing the surface.

references & resources

Barbara Stefano

Barbara Stefano began writing and editing in 1990. Since then, she has served as associate editor of "The West End Word" in St. Louis, and has written for "Sauce" and "Feast" magazines, the "Leader" and "Suburban Journals" newspapers, "St. Louis Nursing News" and other respected publications. Stefano holds a Bachelor of Science in electronic media from Missouri State University-Springfield.