Can You Paint Over Tile Adhesive? Must Know Facts About Painting Over Old Adhesive!

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A tiled surface provides an enhanced look to the house, and it lasts for a longer time. If you want to remove the old tile and paint the surface, then there are certain things you need to know.

Once you remove the tile, prepare the surface before painting over it. Preparing the subfloor might take longer to complete the project.

Hence, some people ask whether they can paint over the old adhesive. If you also plan to paint over old tile adhesive, this blog is for you!

It is always recommended to paint over a clean and smooth surface. 

Sometimes the surface might contain old tile adhesive residues, which you must remove before starting to paint. Fortunately, you can also paint over tile adhesive, depending on your paint. However, removing all the glue is the best option to ensure durability and a smooth finish.

Removing the tile adhesive and preparing the surface will also reduce the paint peeling off.

Can You Paint Over Old Tile Adhesive?

Can You Paint Over Old Tile Adhesive
Can You Paint Over Old Tile Adhesive

Imagine that you decide to remove the old tiles and paint the wall or floor. After removing the tiles, you will observe that the solid rock tile adhesive adheres strictly to the surface.

When DIYing the project, removing the tile adhesive and preparing the surface for painting will be difficult. In such a situation, you will consider painting over the tile adhesive.

Before doing so, checking whether you can paint over tile adhesive is essential.

You can paint over the old tile adhesive residue. Hearing this might make you happy, but you need to understand more.

After removing the tile, you can’t directly paint over the adhesive; instead, you must remove the adhesive.

If a few adhesive residues are left on the surface, you can paint over them after cleaning, smoothing, and priming the surface. According to the type of paint you are using, you must ensure that it will adhere to the adhesive residue on the floor or wall. Generally, most experts do not recommend painting over tile adhesive.

They suggest many methods to remove the glue and prepare the surface well before painting.

How to Paint Over Old Tile Adhesive

How to Paint Over Old Tile Adhesive
How to Paint Over Old Tile Adhesive

If you plan to DIY the painting process after removing the tile, carefully follow the instructions here.

Step 1

Remove the tiles and the tile adhesiveAfter removing the tile, remove the maximum amount of adhesive from the wall or floor.

Pouring hot water over the tile adhesive will help dampen the glue. Remove the softened glue using a chisel.

Only some tile adhesive residues will be left on the surface. Let’s discuss how you can paint over them.

Step 2

Clean the surface well to remove dust, dirt, and the removed tile adhesive particles. Using a neutral cleanser, mop the floor and allow it to dry well. 

Step 3

At the base of the wall, paste a stripe of masking tape.

Step 4

The next step is priming the surface. Priming the floor is essential, as it helps adhere to the old glue left on the surface.

Using the roller, brush the epoxy primer onto the floor. The primer will also smooth the surface. Usually, epoxy primers take around 2 hours to cure.

This may vary according to the surface, climate, etc. Allow it to dry overnight before going to the next step.

Step 5

The final step is painting over the cured epoxy primer. It is best to apply two layers of paint. You can use a clean roller or paintbrush when painting.

Paint the surface with the first layer and allow it to dry for around two hours. If you are working in a humid region, it may take a bit longer to dry. Then, apply the second coating and allow it to dry for around 72 hours.

Note: Check the type of paint you are using when painting over tile adhesive. Most paints require a clean, dry, smooth surface without adhesive residues.

Do You Need to Remove the Old Adhesive?

Do You Need to Remove the Old Adhesive
Do You Need to Remove the Old Adhesive

Some people have the misconception that since you can paint over tile adhesive, it is optional to remove the old adhesive.

This is untrue; painting over tile adhesive means only painting over some adhesive residues. Hence, after removing the tiles, it is mandatory to remove the tile adhesive from the surface.

You can check out the blog on removing tile adhesive from floors, plaster walls, and concrete. These blogs will provide some DIY hacks that you can use to remove tile adhesive.

Primers are not always necessary, but if some leftover adhesive residues are on the surface, it is better to use a primer before painting.

However, the professionals recommend removing the tile adhesive completely before priming or painting the surface. DIYing the adhesive removal process might seem complicated for a beginner, so you can get the help of an expert.

Pros of Painting Over Tile Adhesive

Pros of Painting Over Tile Adhesive
Pros of Painting Over Tile Adhesive

The main advantage of being able to paint over tile adhesive is that it reduces the effort and time spent removing the adhesive residues.

Sometimes you might find removing the sticky residue from the floor difficult. Cleaning the floor, priming, and painting over the adhesive will cover the residues while providing a new look to your house.

Cons of Painting Over Tile Adhesive

Cons of Painting Over Tile Adhesive
Cons of Painting Over Tile Adhesive

The paint will hardly adhere to the adhesive; the paint over the tile adhesive may not cure quickly. Suppose the paint sticks to the glue; durability cannot be guaranteed as the paint may peel off due to food traffic. If there are any thick tile adhesive residues, this may result in an uneven surface. Also, painting over tile adhesive may cause dark spots and not provide an appealing look.

Compared to the pros of painting over tile adhesive, the cons are overweighing. Therefore, removing the old tile adhesive is best done before painting or priming the surface.


Now you might understand whether or not to paint over tile adhesive. It is sometimes possible to paint over adhesive residues after priming the surface.

However, this may depend on the type of tile adhesive and the paint you use. If you plan to paint over the old glue, it is better to ask a professional whether you can do so.

He would examine the type of adhesive and come to a decision. On most occasions, experts suggest removing the old adhesive before painting. 


Will Painting Over Tile Adhesive Harm the Surface?

It is not proven that painting over tile adhesive causes harm to the wall or floor.

Instead, this glue will not form a bond with the pain. Therefore, the paint may peel off.

Can You Remove Old Tile Adhesive?

Yes, once the adhesive cures, it becomes rock solid, but you can remove it after dampening the glue using warm water, nail polish remover, or tile adhesive remover.

Should I Remove The Tile Adhesive Before Painting?

Yes, removing any tile adhesive stuck on the surface is best done before you start painting.

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About Tristan Perry

Tristan is an avid DIYer, with a range of projects under his belt including a kitchen refit, various plumbing jobs, building walls, mixing concrete, tiling, laying laminate, some electrical work and more.

As long as it's safe to do myself, I'll do it myself! I believe in learning on the job and buying tools as I go along, and I now have a head full of DIY facts - and a garage full of power tools!