How do you decorate a tile already on the wall?

We have been in the process of overhauling the kitchen for the better part of a year. For the backsplash I decided to use some random tiles I had collected over the years and surround them with plainer tiles so they’d become kind of a decorative element. We did the grout this weekend and while washing the tile, the decoration washed off completely. These are all tiles picked up st garages sales, artist sales, etc., so I don’t know much about it. It’s not the end of the world but it is one of those things I can’t stop looking at.
Anyway, it kinda ruins the look, but there’s no easy removal at this point. So this is my long winded way of asking if there is a moderately permanent way to decorate the tile after the fact. Obviously I can’t fire it. I know very little about anything related to making ceramics. Ideas???
Pictures just for fun…
A sad sad now-blank tile.


Happy well-made tiles…

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You should try vinyl tile decals…check various places…they might work until you decide to go all out…great for rental spaces as well.

Vinyl tile decals example

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Decopodge/mod podge might work

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I had no idea these existed!! Thank you so much!!!

Home improvement stores sell them but you usually have to buy a box…sometimes they have partial returns and you can just buy a few…also, check Habitat for Humanity Restores…I have seen them there…if you only need one or two, you can get them as well. Shop around.

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You can paint and seal over tile - there is a huge business in painting dated bathrooms (instead of ripping out the mint/mauve/brown). You just have to prep the tile, paint, and then seal it.

Search for painting over tile. You can do this thing. Good luck!

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I also agree with using vinyl. If you can’t find what you want in a home improvement shop, you can always go to a craft store and buy sheets of it there. Comes in all kinds of colors and that way you can make your own designs!

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You can get glass paint that cures hard enough to go through the dishwasher, made for glasses and coffee cups.

I had a set from Martha Stewart. You could either bake it in the oven OR let it dry 3weeks for full cure. So you could paint the tiles on the wall and not wash them and you’d be fine. I would do it after all the grout is set.

How neat! I never knew this was a thing either.

If it was something that needed to be “baked,” would a heat gun maybe work? Just throwing that out there for those experienced in it. I know they have A good inexpensive heat gun at Harbor Freight (used it for wallpaper removal).

So after a lot of internet searching, I discovered spoonflower .com has peel-and-stick woven wallpaper. After hours and hours of going through all the amazing designs (seriously, there’s so much to drool over on that site), I finally picked one. It only cost $8 for a sample sized piece (1’x2’) and I cut part of the pattern to size. As an added bonus, I found a print that worked for the fronts of my hidden drawers, which were getting a little banged up.
Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions!


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That looks great!

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