Removing Paint from Ceramic Tile?

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atomicindy
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Removing Paint from Ceramic Tile?

Postby atomicindy » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:03 am

Hello everyone!

Does anyone have suggestions on how to remove paint from ceramic wall tiles without damaging them or stripping off the glaze? The people who owned the house before us painted over the tiles in the second bathroom. I removed the toilet and behind it discovered a few tiles that they didn't paint. Beautiful sky blue with a dark blue stripe around the perimeter!

The odd thing is that our main bathroom has pink wall tiles with a great pink and brown tile floor but they didn't touch that (thankfully!!). I've always wondered why it wasn't given the same treatment. It seems most people who don't appreciate mid-century aesthetics would have "updated" the pink bathroom first.

Any suggestions on the tile are much appreciated!

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Postby westcoast_fl » Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:57 pm

Hi atomicindy!

My very first post but I have been REALLY enjoying this site the last few weeks!

My wife and I just finished up a 1957 ranch here in Florida that had the tile in one of the baths painted over. Yellow latex house paint over the original pink and gray tile, including of course the grout. Even in the walk-in shower, wherein the yellow paint had acquired some lovely mildew. We used a paint stripped from Home Depot which we applied with a brush and let sit for 20 minutes or so...followed by careful scraping with a razor scraper; the kind that holds standard single edge razor blades. The trick was to scrape carefully and at a "shallow" angle to prevent the blade from digging in. It took patience and several days...be sure to provide LOTS of ventilation as the stripper's fumes are toxic. It was a "challenging" project but well worth it. After a while I gained a little more confidence getting the paint out of the grout as well as a "feel" that I wouldn't mar the tile. It all came clean without a scratch! I no longer have the stripper but it was in the Home Depot paint department in a metal, rectangular 1 quart tin.

Here are a couple of "after" shots...I didn't have the stomach to take any before ones! Incidentally I have managed to g-pick a perfect and correct American Standard pink toilet...the previous owner installed the white one you see in the pic. Please forgive my 1.3 mb cell phone pics.

Good Luck!
Mike in Florida

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westcoast_fl
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Postby westcoast_fl » Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:15 pm

I have to correct my last statement....

I actually g-picked TWO 1961-dated American Standard toilets from a house being "remuddled" down the street aways...one pink and one gray. The gray one is going in this bathroom and the pink one is destined for the other bath which is the mirror-image (gray with pink trim) of this one...and which while also otherwise 100% original sports an identical cheap replacement white toilet.

Mike

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Postby SDR » Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:56 pm

Sweet ! Your hard work was repaid with a serendipitous save. . .

Congratulations. SDR
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby Martinipad » Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:48 pm

Jonas here,

Good job, here in Overland Park KS people can't tear this tile out fast enough! I won't take a job tearing the stuff out, but I'll re-grout and preserve all day long, this tile is great stuff and deserves to stay. Again, great preservation work!

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SDR
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Postby SDR » Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:03 pm

Glad to hear that ! It takes a stand-up craftsman/businessman -- in fact it takes a whole community of them -- to maintain the built housing stock in its best possible state. Congratulations.

Isn't that a little bit of pink-and-gray heaven ?

SDR
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby westcoast_fl » Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:00 am

Thanks for the kind comments.

Like Martinipad, it pains me to see 50-year-old craftsmanship and quality, especially when it’s in fine original condition, torn out in the relentless quest for new. Sadly I appear to be in the minority amongst the general populace, judging by the vintage bath and kitchen fixtures out by the curb around here every week.

Mike in FL

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Postby SDR » Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:57 pm

"Relentless quest for new" -- ain't it the truth :roll:

SDR
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Postby tallrick » Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:31 am

I have used brake fluid to remove paint from tile and glazed blocks.
Make modern your own, don't trust others to- it's our future.


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