Creating personalized and inexpensive coasters for your coffee table can be a great pastime project.
You can use any number of materials to make them, but tile coasters are definitely a classic and elegant option. Plus, they’re easy to make!
Painting and sealing them properly is, however, important when you’re using tile coasters, as you want to make sure the paint doesn’t come off and that the coaster is protected from any moisture.
Painting Tile Coasters Ideas
One of the outstanding features of these painted tile coasters is that there are limitless methods to personalize them.
You may decorate them with a lavish design or keep them basic, as you wish. Here are a few of my favorite decorating ideas you can copy if you wish to:
- Initials, letters, or symbols
- Geometric designs, patterns, and shapes
- Fruit or vegetable prints
- Landscape scenes and floral patterns
- Polka dots and monograms
- Freehand designs or patterns from your kids – let them be creative
These are only some of the basic design ideas you could go for when painting and sealing your tile coasters.
If you can’t find any stencils that fit your taste, you may also freehand the design or have your kids draw something on the tile before you paint over it.
Painting Tile Coasters Steps
To get those DIY hand-painted coasters, you don’t need to be an artist or have any specific skills.
Even if you haven’t done it before, pick any beginner tile painting designs that are easy for you and get started.
Of course, if you are skilled in drawing and painting, the sky is the limit for you.
To make your own tile coasters, these are the supplies needed for painting:
- Acrylic paint in various colors
- Paintbrushes – small, medium, and large size
- A waterproof sealer
- Painter’s tape
- Newspaper or drop cloth
- Paintable tile coasters – any size you want, but 4×4 inches is the most popular size
For beginners or experts alike – just follow these simple steps, and you’re good to go:
Step 1: Prepare the Work Area
Whether you’re using white ceramic tiles or any other color as your base, make sure you protect the surface you’re working on.
A newspaper or a drop cloth will do the trick just fine.
Step 2: Cleaning the tiles
The next step is to clean the tiles with rubbing alcohol or any other type of cleaner that will remove any grease or residue.
This is important if you are using old or used tiles for your project, as it will make sure the paint sticks to the tile properly.
If using new coaster tiles, you can clean them with only mild soap and water.
Step 3: Tape the Edges of the Tiles
If you’re using any type of stencil (for patterns, letters, or initials), use painter’s tape to secure the stencils on the edges of the blank ceramic tile coasters.
This will hold the stencil in place and will make sure the paint doesn’t bleed under the stencil.
You can skip this step if you’re not using any stencils, doing freehand designs or if you’re confident in your painting skills.
Just take the help of a pencil or marker to draw your pattern/design and proceed.
Step 4: Apply the Paint on the Coasters
Now it’s time to start painting! Go ahead and apply the acrylic paint colors of your choice over the stencils.
You may need to use multiple coats in order to get a more decorative opaque look.
Allow the paint to dry before proceeding to the next step.
Sealing Your Painted Tile Coasters
Once the paint is dry completely, it’s time to protect your newly painted tile coasters with a waterproof sealer.
While this is an optional step, I would highly recommend it, as you want to make sure the paint doesn’t come off and that your beautifully designed coaster is protected from any moisture.
This means that when you are using the coasters on a regular basis, the sealer will make sure they last longer.
Plus, the sealant coat will also make the coasters safe for both hot and cold beverages, along with any food spills.
- To seal the coasters, simply spray 1-2 coats of a waterproof sealer like acrylic or polyurethane sealant.
- Apply thin layers of the sealer over the entire coasters evenly, making sure you don’t miss any spots.
- And between the two subsequent coats, sand the tile lightly with fine-grit sandpaper.
- Allow the final sealer coat to dry completely, and then sand the tile very lightly with 400-grit sandpaper once again.
- Finally, remove the sanded dust by wiping the surface with a soft cloth.
The final sanding of the surface is usually done to create a slightly rough surface on the tiles so that when you place wet cups on the coaster, they don’t slip or stick.
You can also consider attaching self-adhesive cork dots (felt pads) to its underside so that the tile doesn’t damage surfaces.
And that’s it! Your beautifully painted tile coasters are now ready to be used and enjoyed on your coffee table!
Making DIY Coasters out of Photos and Mod Podge
While ceramic tile or stone coasters are easy to paint, the ones made of paperboard, metal, wood, and silicone are not as easy to paint on.
However, you can still give them a makeover using photos and mod podge.
This method is pretty simple as all you need is a printed design (of your choice) and some mod podge to decoupage the design onto your drink coasters.
Let’s see how it’s done for personalizing your homemade tile coasters:
Step 1: Choose a design or photo
The first step here is to pick a design or photo that you want to use for your coaster.
You can either use a printed photo from magazine clippings, postcards, old maps, travel tickets, paintings, wildlife, birds, etc., or create your own design by getting ideas from the internet.
If you are using a printed design, then make sure that it is the right size for your coaster.
Step 2: Cut out the design
Once you have decided on the design, it’s time to cut it out using a sharp knife or scissors.
Step 3: Apply mod podge to the coaster
Now, take your mod podge and apply it generously to the back of the design with a foam brush.
Be sure to spread it evenly over the entire surface, as it will act as an adhesive to stick your design.
Step 4: Stick the design on the coaster
Stick your prepared design or photo onto the coaster and use your fingers to gently smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.
Gently push any air bubbles towards the edge of the tile, making sure that your design is in the center.
And allow the design to dry on the coaster for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 5: Apply mod podge to the top
After your design is stuck on the coaster and has dried, apply a thin layer of mod podge over the top of it and the sides.
Use a foam brush for the application, and consider applying at least 2-3 thin coats so that your design is properly sealed and protected.
Wait for 10-15 minutes between each coat to allow the mod podge dry to touch.
Step 6: Allow it to dry completely
Once you have applied the final coat of mod podge to the coasters, let them dry for about 24 hours before using them.
You can even spray the top, sides, and bottom sides of the coasters with a clear spray sealer for extra protection of photo and design. However, that’s an optional step.
And once done, apply self-adhesive felt pads or cork to the bottom side of the coasters.
And that’s it! Your DIY photo coasters are now ready to be used or to gift to a friend or family member on their birthday or holidays.
You can even sell these personalized coasters at craft fairs, farmer’s markets, or online for a great price.
TIP: To customize or make them more personalized, you can even use stamps with words like “home sweet home” or any other short message.
You can even use photos of your pets or family members.
The Bottom Line
Painting and sealing ceramic coasters are an easy and fun way to add a pop of color or personality to your home.
Not only are they great for protecting your furniture, but they also make great gifts for friends and family.
And if you’re feeling extra creative, you can even decoupage photos or other designs onto your coasters for a unique and one-of-a-kind look.
So go ahead and get started on your own DIY coaster project today!
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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