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Painting a Bathtub

Category Bathroom
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.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
November 2, 2010

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


November 2, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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September 18, 20130 found this helpful

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

By Joanne



October 6, 20130 found this helpful

This doesn't seem like a good idea to me, unless you can get it done (which would require removing it) at an automotive paint shop.

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January 22, 20150 found this helpful

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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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 2, 20100 found this helpful

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

By Lorin from Dover, Delasare


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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December 11, 20090 found this helpful

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.



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

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

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May 29, 20090 found this helpful

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

By Tmdurf from Lake Charles, LA


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

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

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May 5, 20090 found this helpful

Can I paint a bathtub?

Deborah from PA


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)


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

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!

MtM (02/04/2009)

By Michael the Moe

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

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February 3, 20090 found this helpful

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

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October 28, 20080 found this helpful

My husband and I recently purchased a house and the bathtub is an olive green. We replaced the toilet to a nice white one.

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