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How to best touch up chipped ceramic tile on sidewalk? Answered

I'm wanting to touch up some chips on ceramic tile which is on our sidewalk.  The tile is different from the typical smooth gloss single color which you commonly see in bathrooms.  This tile has a bit of a texture and some speckles.  The texture (no doubt) is in place to keep you from killing yourself walking when it gets wet from rain etc... 

I was dreaming of using some sort of opaque paint marker(s) and a perhaps some sort of epoxy sealant.  Maybe laying down some paint marker and then manually adding some speckles....   I'm using these terms loosely.  Any suggestions?  See picture of sample chip.  I put a quarter in the picture to give you some sense of scale.  You may notice some discoloration around the grout area - that's probably because I had just wiped the tile area clean with a wet paper towel.


Ceramic paint would work well in touching up the chipped areas. Buy a small container of primer (for ceramics), and a small bottle of white and black ceramic paint which will allow you to custom mix the 3 (or more) tones of grey in the tiles. Then ensure the area is well cleaned and dry before you prime, and then allow time for the primer to set.

Then mix up your paint tones and start with the lighter tone and fully cover the primed, chipped area, and then work the medium color and dark color in a "speckled" look, until you have a good match to the actual tile. You'll want to make sure to cover the area with something like an overturned pop can flat to keep dust etc off the paint while it dries.

After the paint has set, use an epoxy to protect the newly painted areas, and to build up the chipped portion to the level of the tile.

Thanks for the input - I believe what you are describing is just what I had in mind. (even though Burf may have the most professionally correct method). Protecting the area with a can is a good idea - had not thought of that!

You're welcome. I've seen those kits at the Home Depot, and was actually told that they're simply ceramic paint and an epoxy coat, so you are getting the same product (by purchasing ceramic paint separately), however, buying it as a kit (marketed to repairing damaged tiles), is just going to be more expensive. So it's something to keep in mind if you don't want to spend too much.

best answer already chosen but i would still like to put in my two cents worth, i recomend finger nail polish with a clear coat after it has dried. It already comes in a variety of colors and most have a sparkle


Thanks for the note - that sounds like a really nice idea.
Fortunately we have about 2,000 bottles of nail polish to choose from at my house. Unfortunately, most of them are shades of red. In my younger life, I painted oils/acryclics/watercolors - I may try doctoring up one of the bottles we have to see if I can get an acceptable color. Of course I certainly can just get a bottle. (but I love a challenge!)

i used to use fingernail polish to paint pictures on my older cars and trucks,easy to use and with a clear coat over them they last a really long time

These particular tiles - are the speckles an actual grit attached to the glazing, or is that just a pattern printed onto a pre-textured tile?

I know it would be trivial to glue/epoxy down some new textury bits as you suggest, but I have no idea where you would source an accurate colour representation of the right sand...goop.

The other solution (this is the ridiculous part) is to chip ALL the tiles so it looks like its supposed to be that way. :)


Yes the speckels seem to actually be a grit embedded in the glazing. However, the grit is not super high on the friction - because I have had a few "slippery" moments on the tile in the past!


6 years ago

To do it right, go to a tile and/or floor covering retailer or one of the big box hardware stores and buy a ceramic tile repair kit. You can get kits that you mix colorants in to achieve a close match to the existing tiles.
There are various kits available and the prices can vary from around $20 to $50 U.S. I've used them several times and they work quite well. The stuff I used was named EZ Patch but there are others that will work equally well.

Burf, Thanks for the rapid response. I'll have to check that stuff out at the Home Depot this weekend.