Tools for the trade

12" x 12" floor tile, ready-to-use

Clear matte polyurethane spray sealant

Clear satin polyurethane spray sealant

Acrylic paints in colors of your choice

Brushes for acrylic paints

Tracing paper

Graphite paper


Step 1

Clean and prep the tile for painting.

Remove any dirt from the painting surface with a damp cloth and/or rubbing alcohol, making sure that no cleaning residue, or dust particles from your cloth, are left behind. When the tile is dry, spray the painting surface with 1-2 coats (per instructions on the spray can) of the clear MATTE spray. This gives the tile's slick surface a "tooth" which enables your acrylic paints better adhesion. When the matte coats are dry, you are ready for step 2.

Step 2

Transfer your pattern onto the tile.

Use a tracing of the drawing or picture of your choice and graphite paper to transfer the picture to your painting surface. Make sure you have the graphite side of the paper against the painting surface when trasferring your design, or you will end up the the design on the backside of your tracing paper, instead of on the tile.

Graphite paper is the transfer medium of choice because it doesn't bleed into the paint, and if necessary, can be wiped off without leaving a waxy residue, like some other transfer papers. Once your tracing is safisfactorily transferred to the tile, you are ready for step 3.

Step 3

Paint your tile.

Using the acrylic brush-stroke technique of your choice, paint the tile. Note that for best results, painting with acrylic paints on a non-porus surface, should be done in stages: Keep rotating from a wet area, where you have just applied paint, to a dry, unpainted area. Do not keep working one area until you are "finished" with the details.

Overworking can cause previous layers to lift up from the matte surface. If this should happen, STOP! Then, using a hair dryer on low, and held 8" or more from the tile, warm and dry the problem area. Once dried, you should be able to patch the boo-boo with gentle and quick corrective painting. (Once sprayed with the final sealing coat of polymer spray, as in step 4, the problem area will become invisible.)

When you are satisfied the painting is complete, set it aside and let the tile "cure" for at least two days. Curing allows the acrylic paint to completely dry from the outside, to the inside matte surface of the tile. When cured, you are then ready for step 4

Step 4

Seal your tile.

Because acrylic paint is water based, it can be wiped off when it gets wet. After all the work you just put into painting this tile, you will need to protect it from the elements. For this you will need the clear SATIN polymer spray sealant. Follow the instructions on the spray can and apply 2-3 coats of sealant. Let the tile cure again for two more days and you are then ready to display it.


Display your tile.

For hanging, use a 12" plate hook, the "springy" kind used to display porcelain plates.

For displaying on a tabletop, use an easel-type display.

The tiles can also be inset into frames, without glass.

Use your imagination; experiment!

(The tiles shown here were set into the tops of end tables.)

Step 6

Let the whole thing dry for about 24 hours.

Paint your tile using acrylic colors. You can even paint over the background where you have not applied the glue. Let the tile dry completely.

Some pre-designed works...

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