My Painted Shower – One Year Later

Last October I did something crazy….I painted my shower. The post I wrote about the process has become one of my most popular, probably because (much like my paper bag flooring) it’s just an unusual concept. Anyway, since it’s been over a year I figured its high time for an update. After all, whats the point of posting crazy tutorials if I’m not going to let you know if they are a total waste of time or not?

This woman painted her shower, here is how it is holding up after a year of use.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ORIGINAL TUTORIAL

I have good news…it wasn’t a total waste of time.

Here is the original before and after pictures…

painting tile before and after

and here it is as of this morning.

painted shower

Overall, it looks great and I am really happy with it. I only painted the walls and not the tub (this is the product I used), but you can absolutely paint the tub as well (and I still might). My family isn’t easy on this shower, it is the only one in the house that we use and we use it multiple times a day. As far as cleaning it, we haven’t done anything special. Adam is actually the shower scrubber in our house, he uses cleaner and one of those handheld bristle brushes (the same one he uses to clean our car tires) to scrub it.  (Well, not the same brush, but the same kind of brush. Gross y’all.) I’m not saying I recommend this method, I’m just saying that’s what we do around here and it hasn’t backfired as of yet.

painted shower tiles

That being said, I DID have had to do a little damage control about six months ago.

cracked grout in shower

When I first did this project my husband wanted to fix some of the broken and cracked grout before we painted. He fixed it all up, and also gave the cracked grout between the tub and the tiles a fresh layer. The problem is that you should never put grout where the tub and the tiles meet, you always caulk instead. The reason being is the tub moves ever so slightly (like when you fill it with water) and this will cause grout to crack, where caulk is flexible. The builders of our house had put grout there and it had cracked, so Adam fixed it without really thinking that the grout shouldn’t be there in the first place. ANYWAY, the grout cracked again, which caused some water to get in under the paint in that area and flake off.  It looks really terrible in that above picture, but when you step back you can see that it’s not that bad (especially considering I left it like this for MONTHS before fixing it).

caulk between the tub and the shower, don't grout

To fix it I simply taped around the corner, caulked (with caulk made specifically for showers), and smoothed out with a baby wipe before removing the tape.

How to perfectly caulk a bathtub

It was an easy fix and that area has had zero issues since.

Overall I’m really impressed with the whole process and would do it again. I think it’s a great (and cheap!) way to cover up outdated tile that is driving you crazy. However, I still wouldn’t consider this a permanent solution. It is holding up well, but at some point it HAS to start looking bad and flaking, right? Even if it’s five to ten years down the road, it seems inevitable. I would say this is the perfect solution if you are planning to remodel (aka replace tile) at some point in the future but want the ugly outdated tiles gone ASAP.

Has anyone else painted their tiles or tub? I know some of you said you were going to try it after my ORIGINAL TUTORIAL, I would love to hear how it is holding up!

Update – I just saw that Rustoleum now makes a touch-up kit for this product! Now if I do get some chipping I can easily fix it without buying and mixing up a quart of paint. 

I also noticed that they sell a spray paint version of this product, and also one for appliances. I’ve never tried either of these, but they have great reviews. 

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Comments

  1. This still looks as fantastic as it did a year ago! Great job Ashley! I am thinking about doing this in my apartment (with permission of course) Since the tubs are already white but have been used for some many years and I am glad to see it doesn’t fail!

  2. Fantastic as usual :) I adore you.

  3. Jan Elizabeth says:

    That held up really well! What an excellent solution. :)

  4. Appreciate the update Ashley as I have been thinking of doing the tub in the master bath. (its almond color with white tile)

  5. This seems like a doable fix before the remodel in about a year or two.

  6. Hi there,

    I actually did use this tutorial to refinish the tile in my bathroom over the summer. And I am LOVING the bright white tile instead of the yellowy 1960’s stuff! So glad I found your original post!

    xox

  7. In our last house, the master bath had a black faux marble vanity and … get this … a SALMON-colored toilet! We replaced the toilet, but I painted the vanity and it looked fantastic! It remained in perfect condition until we moved several years later. Also, it turns out that my grandmother had painted tile in her bathroom. My entire life I thought the tile in that bathroom was ivory. But when I was somewhere in my 40’s, the ivory began to chip ever so slightly and I realized that the tile was originally burgundy! If I had ugly tile, I’d paint it in a heartbeat!

  8. Glad to hear that it’s holding up over time, as I used the same product over the summer to paint my tub. My tub was gross–pitted and stained and looked filthy, even if I’d just scrubbed it. Painting it was easy (prep took more time and effort), but anyone who considers this should know that it STINKS with a chemical smell. For weeks, it stank (and this was during the summer when the window was open 24/7). I let my tub sit unused for four whole days for the paint to set. (I actually did it right before I went out of town.) I couldn’t be happier with how my tub looks (brand new is how it looks now!).

    • I read your post about redoing your bathtub. I have used this product on two bathtubs in the past and it was a nightmare. I used a special Purdy brush that was suggested in the brochure. I had one heck of a time with both tubs. I was just wondering if you used a foam roller? I am looking at redoing one of the in the next couple of weeks and was looking for something a little easier. Thank you for any suggestions you might have.

  9. When I was around 10 we painted my gmas entire pink tiled bathroom. My gma has since passed away and that bathroom still looks great 30 years later! Has a little wear and tear,but for the most part looks awesome. When I told my hubby we had painted the bathroom he asked where? He thought the tile came that color! So I can say,it holds up well! :)

  10. I painted the tile and the tub at our first house. The tile held up really well, but the tub chipped in a few spots. I agree with you it’s not a permanent fix, but it’s definitely a good “get you through” option until you can do a more involved upgrade. My only tip is if you have old caulking, make sure to scrape it off and then scrub it off before you paint. Any old silicone residue will cause your paint to not stick.
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  11. that’s wonderful! I came across your page because i’m about to take this kinda thing on and wasn’t sure how to do it. Baby will be here in Feb and I HATE my guest bath. This looks relatively easy and i’m looking forward to getting rid of the outdated hunter green and white checked tile. Yep. We bought it like that. eww.

  12. We’re getting ready to do this in our new home (new to us, but built in the 70s when tubs and tile were mustard and olive)! HAHA
    I’m trying to gauge how many boxes we’ll need for the tile surround, floor, and a small tile accent wall. You were able to use just one box for your tile surround, Ashley? Did you have any leftover or you used the entire batch? So far, I’m thinking we’ll buy three or maybe even four!

  13. Sandra Hardymon says:

    Thank you so much for this post. We bought a house 11 years ago that was built in 1950 with five bathrooms. This week we started remodeling the master bath. There was tile surrounding the tub, on the other walls and on the floor. I wanted it all gone as the tile was a mixture of dark blue, light blue, pink and yellow. UGLY, Ugly, Ugly. This is a 9′ X 7′ room. Probably pretty for the day but not now.
    This project has turned into a nightmare. A thick wire was nailed to the studs, then a layer of concrete was floated onto the wire, then another layer of concrete was floated onto that, then the tile was inbedded in the concrete. There is 2 and 1/2 inches of concrete and tile that is being removed. I worked on the walls all day Friday. I had two guys working on it Saturday. Currently have two guys with large hammer jacks working trying to remove the tile now. They have been here since Monday and hope to be finished by Friday. The bathroom is upstairs. They are filling buckets with tile and concrete and hauling the stuff downstairs to the outside. Last count they had carried out 66 buckets of tile and concrete. My house is a mess.
    I had resigned myself that the other bathrooms would remain untouched forever. I will not go through this again. I dislike the tile but not that much. I will try your process on the tile in the other bathrooms. My question is, Does the paint come in colors?

  14. How do you think this would hold up on a tile FLOOR? I have a lovely 50s bathroom with blue tile…everywhere: the floor, half of the wall, and in the shower. I’d love to go white with grey grout and wonder how you think a paint job on the floor might hold up…

    • I wondered the same thing about painting a floor and e-mailed Rustoleum to ask…they said no, don’t do it. That being said, if you’re planning to replace it in a few years anyway and just need a quick fix for now it might be worth a shot.

      • I am so intrigued by the prospect of painting ceramic tile. Having just had all of our downstairs floors replaced,, we’re moving upstairs to attack 1967, which has been lurking in the upstairs bathroom.Tile floor, tile counter, all in a hidious depressing pattern of burnt orange and chocolate brown.. We shot our wad with the downstairs reno, so I’m trying to find workable solutions that won’t involve buying slate tiles or the corian countertop and spending thousands of dollars to demo and retile this room. The tile is in good shape; just hideous.

        The kink in the process might be the floor, and whether or not it should be painted (it’s ceramic tile). Here’s the deal – if Rustoleum doesn’t recommend it, is it because it won’t withstand industrial strength wear? This is a guest bathroom that is very rarely used. I’d be delighted if the paint on the floor lasted two years. By that time we’d have the funds to tackle ripping all the tile out and starting new. I would love to be able to get rid of that heinous tile color until we can afford to do a full-on reno of the room.

        • Karen, in your situation I think painting the floor tile would be a great solution. I don’t think its a wise long term solution, but I don’t think you would have any problem if you are only looking to get two years out of it.

        • KarenN, we just refinished all of our ugly stamped cement flooring with a product called spread stone by daichcoatings. They have different coatings for use over any surface, including tile. It’s quite affordable & easy to do, too.
          I’m planning to use the rustoleum kit on our shower since I want pure white (daich’s are dappled colors), but we love to the way our floors (and even the Formica counters turned out!)

    • You don’t need to go to the expense of an epoxy paint for the floors. Porch paint or acrylic with a polyurethane topcoat will work just fine.

  15. Love this idea….and fully plan to give it a shot. Do you happen to know if there any way to tint or add color to this to make it more gray?

    • I don’t know of a way to do that, but theres GOT to be one, right? I would try e-mailing Rustoleum to ask. Every time I’ve contacted them they’ve been quick to respond.

  16. I am curious as to what cleaning products you can use on the painted tiles.

  17. Thanks for posting an update! And thanks for the awesome pinable image at the top of the post that comes with a caption pre-written! Some days/lots of days I’m SO LAZY about typing in an informative caption but I love when I go back through my pins and can read a descriptive caption. So thank you for making it super super easy to pin your posts. :)

  18. Sandra W. Smith says:

    I live in a townhouse and my bathrooms are the shower tub units. Do you think I could paint this I guess it is fiberglass.

    Thanks

  19. Your tub looks really cute!
    My former landlord had painted a tub in the house we used to rent. Maybe he did it wrong–but it was terrible. After a couple of months, it started chipping. Every time someone used the tub, the little chips grew and soon the whole bottom of the tub was an ugly, blue-and-white blotchy mess. The sides held us well, though.
    I wouldn’t recommend it, or at least make sure to follow directions very carefully.

    • I don’t think your landlord cleaned it well first. I painted my bathroom walls and sink that were tiled pink, with this product and it has held up perfectly for three years now. Prep is the key. Also I would never scrub with a bristle brush.

  20. Reading about your project could not come at a better time! I have recently bought a house built in the 60’s, and while it isn’t too bad, I just couldn’t figure out a cheaper/faster/easier way to update the pink-tiled master bath. I’m saving this page and gonna be following your instructions to a T!

  21. Amanda says:

    What a transformation! And it’s held up beautifully.
    I’m planning to try this and have a question about your caulk fix. Did you remove the grout or just clean up any flakes, etc. and caulk right over the grout?

  22. Rebecca says:

    I am looking to initiate this process here in the next couple of weeks and I am TERRIFIED! Not to mention I really really don’t want it a stark white… can the mixture be tinted at all?

  23. Our grout is so nasty and discolored, I do believe it is stained. Any idea on how the paint would do over nasty, gross grout? So excited to try this, but a little hesitant (although it probably wouldn’t look worse than what I have now….).

  24. Hi!
    I’m so inspired and wish it wasn’t midnight so I could run out for supplies and start my 1990 bathroom. Sure wish I knew what I was thinking when we remodeled and three bathroom have hunter green tile in them. This particular bath has hunter, plum, and a burgundy tile as accents.
    Do you know if you’d have to paint all one color or do you think you could tape off and create an accent? I’d love mostly white with a touch of grey.
    I also have 12″x12″ floor tile I would like to paint. Would you think it would be okay if this bath is rarely used? Basically, if visitors need to use the bathroom this is the one they use. The shower/tub is used about every few years!
    Is the cleaning upkeep hard?
    Sorry for so many questions!
    Sure appreciate your tutorial.

  25. I just asked a question you wrote in the blog about. I read the entire thing. I think you did a great job. I am glad you posted this. Thanks so much. I am going to be brave and do it.

  26. Its been over 2 years since you painted your shower…how is it holding up?

  27. abbeluther says:

    Did you paint the grout as well? The color looks so uniform on the walls.

    Thanks

  28. I am about to do a makeover on my own shower and tub. My only question would be, do you think that there is enough product in a 1qt box to do both the walls and the tub, or is it a project that definitely requires 2?

  29. David Berndt says:

    Great idea to use the tape on both side and baby wipes – makes a nice clean line. ‘Preciate the tip.

  30. Love this post, thank you so much for all the info. Did you wait 4 hours or 4 days…sorry I am new to DIY projects. Also, curious if anyone was able to find out if the paint comes in any colors other than white?

  31. I actually did this on a house that I flipped. It’s been about 7 years and the homeowners report it’s still perfect. It was a 2 piece porcelain tub and plastic around it. I used the spray first- there were 2 cans in the kit… then I went back with the roll-on paint and laid it on thick. Maybe you’re will last this long

  32. Anonymous says:

    Awesome story! I have often wondered about the long term effects on painted tile, and this article addressed that.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Holy Crap!!!! Im sooooooooo doing this!!!!!

  34. Sunshine says:

    I love your tutorial! We just bought an old home and the tile is ghastly. My husband has this idea (because he watches too much DIY network) that he’s just going to tear everything down and redo everything. He gets an “A” for enthusiasm but there’s no way that 1) we are going to be able to afford all his big plans 2) there’s no guarantee that I won’t strangle him for procrastinating. I just want the ugly tile gone NOW. You’ve totally given me hope and the confidence that I can tackle this job ASAP. Thank you so much for all the tips, I really appreciate the help.

  35. We have a bathroom with cobalt blue tile all over the walls and tub surround. We don’t use that bathroom often enough to justify spending the money to retile, but painting might be the perfect solution! Thanks for the update. It was really helpful to see that it holds up great after a year of constant use!
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  36. hey Kid your so cool

  37. I am so going to do this!! I am only going to be in our house for a few more years before retiring so do not want to spend tons of cash sprucing up to sell, this is perfect solution! My guest bathroom is purple, white and gold….UGLY. So, just to be sure, you roll over all the grout lines?

  38. I love this post and have gathered all the materials needed…I wanted to try using a charcoal colorant on the grout after, and if the colorant doesn’t stain the grout I plan on replacing the grout with a dark gray colored grout. From your experience would the grout stain after it had been painted? Could I scrap the top of the grout to get the paint off and then stain? Or do you think I should totally replace the grout and would it work better to remove the old grout before or after I paint? Thanks for your tips!

    • I don’t think the grout would stain after you painted it, the epoxy paint is thick and from my experience very stain proof. And scraping to off to add grout scares me, because that would break seal on the paint and may cause it to chip or flake. I really think the best solution here would be to not paint it at all and re-tile and grout the whole thing. If you are set in painting it though I would remove the grout, paint the tile, then add the new grout back in.

  39. Alida Ford says:

    Ok, so you sealed it afterward or not?

  40. Wow, awesome job! I had no idea this could even be done! I wish I had known about this before I went ahead and renovated my shower/bath tub! Still, great thing to know for the future. Thanks so much for sharing, this is really awesome, and will definitely save someone a lot of money!

  41. We have a shower that is probably plastic or fiberglass..
    what paint could I use on this

  42. Karen dooley says:

    I did my tub 15 yrs ago never peeled or chipped has turned a little yellow , time to redo again , 15 yrs later still great

  43. It’s awesome that you don’t need anything extra to seal or waterproof it after

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