By learning how to refinish your bathtub, you can renew its colors and repair damage such as scratches, chips and stains without having to replace it.
Giving Your Tub New Life
Modern refinishing products make it easy to change or restore the colors of tubs made of:
By refinishing a bathtub, you can make it look new again and add a few more decades to its life. The procedure here is also great for sinks, easier than removing a ball valve and cheaper than changing the fixtures in your bathroom. It's important to note that this process is not ideal for pitted or severely rusted bathtubs.
Before you begin, remove all the caulk from the edges of your tub and clean and dry all the surfaces you will be refinishing. It's also smart to remove the drain outlet and thoroughly clean all edges where the tub meets the wall and outlets, faucets and overflows. Bonding agents stick to clean surfaces much more easily.
Prepping the Surface
Before you begin to apply the bonding agent, use 120 grit waterproof sandpaper to roughen the tub so the refinishing product can bond to it. Give plenty of attention to areas around the fixtures and where the tub meets the wall. Clean and sand the drain outlet's area after you remove it.
If you encounter rust, sand the area and use a rust neutralizer on it. Use epoxy or polyester fillers to repair damage such as chips and scratches and allow the filler time to cure depending on its instructions. After curing, rinse the tub thoroughly to remove any residue and then dry the entire area completely.
Prepping the Area
Before refinishing, you'll need to cover all surrounding surfaces with tarps or paper to protect them from overspray. Apply masking tape around all edges and fixtures.
Bonding agents are often necessary to ensure that the new finish sticks well. Apply these products using a spray bottle and paper towels or cheesecloth and allow all surfaces to dry for at least five minutes. Some kits may instruct you to mix the bonding agent and the paint you will be using. Before application, be sure to heed any warnings about toxic fumes that make ventilation necessary.
The best choice for refinishing a tub is EP-Acrylic, a high quality, acrylic-polymer paint. With all the advantages of urethanes but none of the toxic isocyanates, this product is much safer for customers and creates a durable, long-lasting finish. It also has numerous other advantages:
- Dries quickly
- No special ventilation needed
- Better durability and adhesion than urethane
- Resists scratching
- High UV resistance
- Stays glossy over time
- Available in many colors
Follow all instructions before you begin filling your spray gun with paint. When you're about to start painting, test the spray on a sheet of plastic or paper to make sure the paint is laid evenly. As you apply the paint, use a consistent, side-to-side motion to guarantee an even coat and avoid overspray.
For best results, apply multiple coats of primer and three layers of topcoat. Follow all directions through the entire painting process to ensure attractive results. Allow at least half an hour between each application of paint. After you apply the last coat, let it cure for 24 to 48 hours.
Bathtub liners are convenient alternatives to consider for porcelain tubs whose coatings are worn and resistant to cleaning. There are plenty of resin or acrylic liners available in a wide variety of colors. With polished, non-porous finishes, these liners are easy to clean and long-lasting.
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