How to Paint Your Bathtub

Tamara Runzel

Is your bath tub looking old and dingy? Rather than spend the money for a whole new tub, you can paint your bathtub yourself and make it look almost as good as new. Painting your bathtub is relatively easy, but you need to follow the instructions carefully and have a bit of patience.

  1. Use a chemical cleaner to clean the entire surface of the tub. Straight rubbing alcohol or acetone will work well as a cleaner, or use any other heavy-duty cleaner with an alcohol base. Make sure to rinse away the cleaner thoroughly, and give the bathtub plenty of time to dry.

  2. Sand down the entire surface of the bathtub. This helps make the surface rough so the paint will adhere better. A palm sander works best for this task, because it will only lightly sand the surface. Start the sander before you put it on the bathtub. Once it is running, place it on the tub and sweep it back and forth, overlapping your strokes. When you are finished, lift the sander away from the bathtub before turning it off.

  3. Cover any surface you’re not planning to paint by taping paper over it. This will most likely include the faucet, hot and cold water knobs and the floor around the bathtub.

  4. Apply a bonding agent to the tub if you are painting porcelain or tile. The bonding agent will help the paint adhere to the surface of the bathtub. The bonding agent is in a liquid form. Apply it with a paper towel or even with a spray bottle. Rub or spray it over the entire surface of the bathtub, and let it dry for about 5 minutes.

  5. Prepare your epoxy paint in the spray gun. Epoxy paint is a two-part paint that hardens to a shine. Apply two to three coats to the bathtub, using a left to right sweeping motion. Make sure the paint has plenty of time to dry between each application. You can also apply the paint with a paint brush, but it will take much longer and won't look as smooth.

  6. Finish it off with two or three coats of an acrylic top coat. Using a top coat will prevent the paint from chipping and give it a durable finish. Wait until each previous coat is dry before you apply another coat. A half hour between each coat should be enough.

  7. Tip

    Make sure to follow all the instructions on the cleaners, epoxy paint and acrylic top coat. Many epoxy paints say to wait five days before you use the tub.


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