How do I remove paint from tile in historical home bath?


Removing Paint from Ceramic Tile - I am working in a historical home bath with original subway-style ceramic tile walls & shower. In the shower area one of the walls was painted and the homeowner would like me to remove the peeling paint & clean the tiles. Is there a better option than scraping the tiles one by one with a razor blade that will not damage the old, fragile surface? These tiles are well-adhered but show many fine surface cracks. The paint has popped from the grout lines but not the center of the tiles.


Answer - I assume the ceramic tile you have is a glazed ceramic tile (glass-like coating on the surface) that has crazing in the glaze surface (spider web-like look). Some glazes are softer and more fragile than others, so we don’t know how sensitive your glaze may be. Softer glazes can etch from acidic material or scratch from the process of abrading the paint off. Some glazes are very resistant to scratching and chemicals.

You might consider trying a paint-remover on a small spot to see if it will cause any damage to the glaze or not. I have seen it work before for removing paint from a ceramic tile, but again we don’t know how sensitive your glaze will be to the paint remover.

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