Tile over painted drywall

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Topic by DustyDave posted 04-20-2008 03:01 AM 86258 views 2 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 5647 days

04-20-2008 03:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tile drywall question

We are getting ready to gut one of our bathrooms. Tub, sink, commode, walls around tub and subfloor. We are going to tile the floor and the wall all the way around the room (up to chair rail height/wainscot). In the tub (wet) area we are going to put up cement board. I was going to put up green board in the other areas around the room that are getting tiled. I and my wife just read that we could tile over the painted drywall as long as the paint is sound (no chipping etc.). I would really hate to do all this tiling and have it come off later. The existing wall is painted with latex semi-gloss. The book (from Tauton) said just to rough up the paint surface.

Has anyone ever done this before? Any thoughts?

Dave and Betty

View boboswin's profile


14 posts in 5657 days

04-20-2008 04:01 PM

I believe the newer mastics have a form of aliphatic glue in them making them a good bodning agenet for this application.
You should google this to find out who make the type you will need in your area.Once the tile is grouted and sealed there should be neglible water vapor penetration.


-- I'm still learning

View wyly's profile


8 posts in 5604 days

07-03-2008 07:30 AM

as long as the semi-gloss is roughed up a bit(take of the gloss) you’re good to go. where I worked painting before tiling was preferred by the tile installers. If the tiles comes off it won’t be because of the paint. The question here is, is the paint sound? check the points of potential failure for soft(wet) drywall around the tub and sink, counter tops, anywhere where there are likely to be repeated spills or exposure to water. push on those points with a pencil or pen and compare to a dry area, if there’s moisture behind the paint you’ll know.

View tenontim's profile


151 posts in 5657 days

07-04-2008 02:26 AM

Ditto the comments above. I’ve tiled over a painted wall with good results.

-- Tim

View ShawnAllen's profile


11 posts in 5339 days

02-14-2009 05:00 PM

If you are lookign for a great solution and don’t want to use cement board, or just want to move things along (ie, not tear-out, install, tile) I recommend you take a look at the waterproofing membrane called Kerdi. I used this stuff for my steam shower, and it can go up on drywall.

It’s a fleece roll membrane and you put it on the wall using thinset, which means good things for new users like myself. You overlap the seams by 2 inches and you’re good to go. Kinda like hanging wallpaper maybe, but you tile over the top of it and can rest assured that things are watertight. You can be tiling in a weekend!

View ironmaiden's profile


5 posts in 5338 days

02-16-2009 03:32 AM

Thanks for posting this forum, I have a similar project with similar concerns.

View Harmonsmith's profile


5 posts in 5299 days

03-27-2009 08:07 AM

I have set tile on painted walls many times, for backsplashes mostly, and on several occasions needed to remove my own tile. It always is very well bonded and damages the sheetrock a lot when removing. This is always with modified thinset and never in areas prone to getting wet.

-- http://www.ciciliotandson.com/

View Todd Thomas's profile

Todd Thomas

735 posts in 5397 days

04-02-2009 12:44 PM

Just finished a back splash in this very same setting…. roughed up the painted area….tile went on fine, seems to grab hold…only issue I had was it took forever to the mastic to dry…..I re-cut, for a little better fit, a tile that I had up 2 days and the mastic was still soft….the paint hinders the drying process, I’m guessing…
I will also 2nd the Kerdi idea, their products work great…

Good luck…..

-- Todd- Oak Ridge, TN

View DustyDave's profile


8 posts in 5647 days

04-02-2009 02:27 PM

Thanks for all the replys. I ended up pulling down the sheet rock because I felt the drywall was a bit loose and moved in some spots with some pressure even though the nails hadn’t “popped through the face. Put up 1/2” backer board and off to the races.


P.S. all done, I’ll try to get some pics up.

View DustyDave's profile


8 posts in 5647 days

04-02-2009 05:40 PM

Posted a couple of pics:


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