Yes, you can paint tile!
This original tile floor was a fine update in the 90s - the builder grade big box tile was meant to hide dirt, and not much else. However it seemed to act more like a filth magnet and it was definitely time for an update. Not wanting to go through the expense and mess of tearing out the tile and installing new flooring, we tried painting the existing tile - and wow, what a transformation! If you want to try and paint your tile, here's a quick overview of how we did it.
Degrease and deep clean the floor so the paint will have proper adhesion.
If needed, lightly sand the surface of the tile to create better adhesion. Recommended if you have a glossy tile, not needed on our floor.
Prime your floor with 1-2 coats of primer allowing full drying AND CURING time in between coats.
Next, paint your base color, let cure.
Then paint your grout lines.
We used a stencil for our pattern which had two colors in it, each day we would go through and stencil every other tile allowing room around the 'active' tile to tape the stencil down.
Finally, we finished this off with 2-3 coats of floor-grade polyurethane. Very important to allow proper cure times (meaning let it get hard) between coats.
Happy to say, it's been a year since we initially painted the floor, and the tile is in high traffic areas including foyer, hallways, bathroom and kitchen, and beyond a few nicks, overall the floor has held up very well. About every 3-5 months, I go around with touch up paint to fill in the chips and then coat them with poly to blend them in and add durability.
Recommended paint: epoxy paint or tile paint