Painting a Bathtub

Bathtubs are expensive and difficult to replace. One thing you can do to get more life out of your tub is to paint it. This is a guide about painting a bathtub.

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An old clawfoot tub.
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Question: Painting a Bathtub

I would like to spray paint my bath tub; it's enamel. What paint do I use?

By Joanne

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By Vicky Cardillo 1 Flag

January 22, 2015

I think you should go for spray paint. It would be good for the bathtub and you can turn it into a diy task.

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Question: Painting a Bathtub

By bertha 1

I would like to spray paint my bathtub with paint for porcelain. How do I do it? Someone had painted it with what looks like regular paint and it's been chipping off in different spots. It looks ugly.

By Bertha from Westland, MI

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By mcw 80 1,752 Flag

November 2, 2010

Years ago when my husband and I owned our second home, we hired a professional to refinish an old worn porcelain tub. Please don't try and refinish it yourself, call someone to do it for you. The chemicals and special spray paint that they use are very harmful to your lungs. Don't gamble with your life and health to try and save a few extra bucks, it's not worth it. Look up bathtub refinishing in the yellow pages of your local phone book.

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Archive: Painting a Bathtub


My husband and I recently purchased a house and the bathtub is an olive green. We replaced the toilet to a nice white one. To save money I tried to paint the porcelain bathtub but the paint is peeling off. Does anyone know how to do the job right? Please help!

Destiny from Florida

Answers:

RE: Painting a Buthtub

I've just bought a major fixer-upper, & have been browsing home improvement books, websites, stores, etc for the past few months. doityourself.com or askthebuilder.com might have a specific answer. I'm no pro, but I would imagine you need a specific paint for porcelain, then you have to consider that the paint will need to withstand water & moderate traffic if you have 2 people each using it once daily.

Your best best is probably to get a refinishing kit. I have only seen them in white (at Lowes). I've heard that pro refinishers are only worth it if you're restoring an antique- cheaper to buy a new tub.

Krylon spray paint has some products that bond to things like plastic. Maybe they have a porcelain spray paint. I've seen porcelain paint mentioned when I was looking at tile how-to's, but I don't know how feasible it would be to brush-paint an entire tub and have it look good.
Good luck! (07/11/2005)

By Camille

RE: Painting a Buthtub

Contact a professional tub refinisher.

I had a gold tub that we had refinished professionally, sometime ago, and I think it was less than $300. What an improvement! Remember, this is still a painted tub!

The down side is, they don't recommend using the spray on shower cleaners you see advertised!

The other alternative is to have the tub capped with a new tub and wall surround. This is much more expensive but will last the life of the house! (07/12/2005)

By Syd

RE: Painting a Buthtub

Try www.homaxproducts.com. They have a product called Tough as Tile Tub and Tile spray Finish. I think some of the major home improvement stores carry it as well, I believe Menards in my area (Indiana) has it. I've used something like this before with good results in a rental property. Good luck! (07/12/2005)

By washburn6394

RE: Painting a Bathtub

You should really look into having it painted professionally. Buying paint, and doign it yourself won't cut it, I promise you. The pros use a special expoxy based, porcelain paint. You can't buy this at lowes, or home depot. Look up a tub refinisher in your area and have it looked at. (10/24/2006)

By ron

RE: Painting a Bathtub

I have a cast iron tub and I had it finished 15 yrs ago by a professional with epoxy and it lasted 5years, I then sanded the tub myself, primed with a good quality marine primer then put on 2 coats of marine hi-gloss enamel and that lasted 5 years mostly because shampoo bottles were droped on it and chipped the finish. I just refinished it again this summer with the same material and hope to get another 5-6 yrs. One tip you must etch the old finish with hydrochloric acid first, a warning be very carefull with this acid. (10/29/2006)

By Walter

RE: Painting a Bathtub

That's right Camille, krylon does make a spray paint for indoor or out plastics because plastic is not easy to paint. but if you read the rest of the label on the krylon spray bottle it also says for ceramics/porcelain and a few others so that would most likely work out. I did it and I love it and it's only $2 a can at wal-mart. You can't get any cheaper than that! (02/23/2007)

By Wolla

RE: Painting a Bathtub

They make a porcelain paint & it is an aersol. You must rough the surface of the tub,first. The spray paint seems to be self leveling also. (05/14/2007)

By NicolandCompy

RE: Painting a Bathtub

I would say that you could easily paint a tub yourself with the right paint and preparations depending on the material your tub is made of. Professionals charge hideously high fees for this. A friend of mine does this and he often jokes about how he makes 385 dollars for 15 minutes work. (10/09/2007)

RE: Painting a Bathtub

Try http://www.homaxproducts.com They have a product called Tough as Tile Tub got it Lowes tonight wish me luck I will be trying it out...I didn't see the spray at Lowes but this Co Homax has it for Tubs and sinks Our new revolutionary One Part Tough as Tile Epoxy Paint provides a hard, protective finish that remains beautiful for years.

Our One Part Epoxy Paint means no mixing, no mess, and a longer shelf life. Refinishing or re-coloring your tub or sink eliminates the time, hassle and expense of a complete bathroom remodel. Our self-leveling finish leaves a smooth high-gloss porcelain-like surface breathing new life into your old worn out tub or sink.

(10/16/2007)

By Mark

RE: Painting a Bathtub

We repainted our bath tub this week, used 3 coats. Put on new shower doors, and it looks so nice. It was quite a job. The paint smell was incredibly strong. Good ventilation is a must. I bought the epoxy paint at Menards. The shower doors and tub paint was about $200. To remove the old tub and put in a new tub would have been lots of work and a lot more money. I am curious to know how our tub will look in a few years down the road.
(11/24/2007)

By Hazel T.

RE: Painting a Bathtub

I have an old house with a tub that was installed in the late thirties. The tube was brought in through the wall before. Replacing the tube was not an option. The color was an ugly yellow but in good shape. Searched around and bought the tube paint from Lowes. Followed the directions to a T. Paint started to peel within first 2 months. The problem area tends to be around the edges where the tube was sealed against the wall.

If you are going to go this route, plan on spending a lot of time preparing it and pay close attention to the area where the tube was sealed. Also, make sure you can ventilate the room and that you use an organic solvent repirator. This stuff will kill you. Am getting ready to do it again but this time I am going to use the pro stuff you have to order on line and will use an HPLV sprayer. (03/29/2008)

By David D

RE: Painting a Bathtub

I had my bathtub painted white about a year ago, and it's holding up fine. It was 300 dollars. They use aircraft paint to do it, and you maintain it with regular turtle wax. It sets up hard and you can't tell the difference between it and porcelan. I just didn't want to replace my old tub with the cheap plastic ones they have nowadays. The guy even gave me a couple of glass jars of the paint, catalyist, and reducer to touch anything up if I chipped it, which hasn't happened- it's as durable as porcelan. (05/10/2008)

By Eric

RE: Painting a Bathtub

You need a bonding agent also 80 grit sand paper plus a acetone clean before painting. also remove all caulk and grime. (05/15/2008)

By tcjbd25

Archive: Painting a Bathtub


Can you paint an old bathtub? If so, what type of paint do you use, and how do you do it?

Vicki from Glendale, Arizona

Answers:

RE: Painting a Bathtub

What about the drain? Does the silver turn white as well, or should I tape it? (11/26/2008)

By Heidi

RE: Painting a Bathtub

Mark - I am actually researching the Tough as Tile and was curious how your job turned out? (01/12/2009)

By cruiserjen

RE: Painting a Bathtub

We painted our tub about 10 yrs ago. It did not hold up. Right now I am trying to strip the parts of it that did not peel off, so we do not have to be charged for that part from the professionals. I wish we had gone to the professionals in the first place. When we bought the paint at the DIY place, the worker recommended against it. I wish we would've believed it. It is SO worth the money. It is so gross to have to fish paint chips out before you bathe your children. Go with the pros on this one! (01/28/2009)

By mf

RE: Painting a Bathtub

Hi, I would like to paint my bathtub with porcelain gray paint. Where can I get that specific color? (01/28/2009)

By Flavio

Archive: Painting a Bathtub

Can I paint a bathtub?

Deborah from PA

Feedback:

RE: Painting a Bathtub

If you are looking to make a home improvement by repainting your bathtub to remove scratches, you should contact a business that refinishes bathtubs. We had a bathtub refinished in the second house that we owned and the person that we hired did an excellent job.

You are risking your health if you try to do it yourself. There is more to the job than just repainting the bathtub, there are a lot of chemicals that are used and there has to be adequate ventilation. (02/03/2009)

By MCW

RE: Painting a Bathtub

I agree with MCW and to add a thought, make sure the person you hire is reputable! I once had a company come in to professionally paint a tub and there was a tiny leak from the tub faucet, so they put a balloon over the faucet to catch the water instead of waiting until the leak was fixed. Needless to say the tiny leak filled the balloon and spilled over on to the "not yet dry" paint and the entire tub had to be sanded after the leak was fixed and the whole painting process had to be redone. (02/03/2009)

By Deeli

RE: Painting a Bathtub

I painted my 1950's pink bathtub with no need for harsh chemicals. I used a coat of Zinsser B-I-N primer and then painted with a high-gloss white. No need to sand, Zinsser sticks to anything!

http://www.zinsser.com/product_detail.asp?productid=10

MtM (02/04/2009)

By Michael the Moe

RE: Painting a Bathtub

Please look up bathtub refinishers in your area. The kits that you can buy can possibly make your units worst, and in the end cost you much more than what you would have spent calling a refinishing company like mine.

A couple of facts to remember:

If you don't have a prepped, clean surface then your surface is going to peel. Porcelain tubs have to be etched. No primers are going to do it completely. Tub liners cost a lot more to install, but they have their problems. They use a thick glue that tends to over time have low spots, should water get in you will have a mushy mess under your toes. When the seals around the drain go then the water comes into the liner causing possible rust, mold, etc.

To get you tub refinished you are looking at about $275-$475. The process should take about 2-3 hours (depends on condition). It is worth having a longer warranty and piece of mind that it will be done correctly. We guarantee our work for three years. The tub maker normal warranty is 1 year. Look up your BBB and look under tub refinishing. In most cases your tub will be ready in 24 hours.

Ask yourself. Would I clean my new car with that? As a rule of thumb, you only want to use cleaners marked with the approval for acrylic use on your newly refinished surface. Any cleaner used with bleach will yellow and will damage the new or refinished product. (02/23/2009)

By Summer

Archive: Painting a Bathtub

Before repainting a bathtub must the shower doors and faucet be removed?

By Tmdurf from Lake Charles, LA

Feedback:

RE: Painting a Bathtub

To do a good job, the shower doors should be removed, but if you tape newspaper to the glass and put tape on everything else that doesn't get paint, it would make painting more difficult, but is possible.
As for removing faucets, etc. Just make sure they are covered with tape and all should be well. (05/05/2009)

By Anonymous

RE: Painting a Bathtub

I agree with "Amuk". It's best if you do remove everything and it will turn out better, but you don't have to. But what you do have to do is have a totally, spotlessly, grease-free, and very clean bathtub (so the paint will stick). You also need clean hands with no lotion on them because oil is not your friend. If it were me, not only would I clean that tub with the cleanser recommended, I'd wipe the whole tub down with a clean rag and rubbing alcohol. This should be done right before you paint it. The alcohol will remove any left-over residue.

But if it were me, I would not paint my tub. This is because you can buy a brand new Fiberglas tub for under $150! Or you can buy a nice used bathtub at a salvage yard for half that price. All you need is the measurements of your original tub and know if the faucet is on the right or on the left hand side. You'd then remove the old tub then put the new one in. Lastly I'd then hire a plumber (or a friend) to connect the fixtures. A fiberglass tub will be easier, cheaper, and lighter to install.

Open windows for good ventilation and make sure it's warm enough so the paint sets properly. (05/06/2009)

By Cyinda

Archive: Painting a Bathtub

I have a question in regards to painting on plastic. I recently purchased an old house that has a plastic liner for my bath tub. It is all stained with rust and I would like to paint over this until I can afford to replace it.

Could you give me any pointers, that might help me to cover the plastic and paint it with water resistant paint. If you know of a product that you believe would work, I would appreciate knowing where I could purchase it. I live near Indianapolis, Indiana, if there is someone near here. Thank you.

Karen

Feedback:

RE: Painting a Bathtub

While I've never painted a bathtub, I can tell you we have painted several of the children's plastic outside toys with Fusion spray paint. It really does stay on well even through the season changes and weather. So I would expect it to work for you as well. They have it at Home Depot and Lowe's, probably even Wal-Mart. (05/29/2009)

By gigurl

RE: Painting a Bathtub

I've always painted my bathtubs, because I like color. It's no big deal. Walmart has a two-part bathtub epoxy, and you can have the paint department tint it any color you want. Just clean, sand the surface of the tub a little, make sure it's really dry, (wait a day or so). Then paint it with a brush. It'll be dry in an hour or so, and ready to use in a couple of days. It does get dull after a few years, but by then you might be in the mood for a new color anyway. So as long as the tub is really cleaned and sanded, you can paint it.

*By the way, I also painted my roof shingles, no primer, regular water-based paint. It's not peeling or anything, after several years. Beware of "experts" telling you that something can't be done. (08/29/2009)

By easyguy

Archive: Painting a Bathtub

I would like to know how to paint a fiberglass bathtub.

By Lorin from Dover, Delasare

Feedback:

RE: Painting a Bathtub

This is not a DIY project, as it involves heavy chemicals to do it right. For about $350, you can have a company come in and spray it and it will look like new. Check under bathtub refinishers. (12/17/2009)

By Allison5

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