How to Resurface a Fiberglass Tub

Fiberglass tubs are very common and are generally very durable and long-lasting.
One problem with all tubs after years of wear and tear is that the paint will become dull and discolored. Instead of replacing the tub when this happens, you can resurface the the tub. Fiberglass tubs are painted with gel coat, which consists of fiberglass resin that's pigmented with color. Gel coat acts as a protective layer over the fiberglass as well as a finish. Gel coat is very thick and requires a gel coat spray gun for application. All gel coat supplies can be found at your local marine supply store.

Step 1

Clean all the soap scum and buildup that may be in the tub using a mild detergent and a scrub brush. Rinse the tub with clean water and dry it out with a towel.

Step 2

Put on a respirator and evenly sand the entire tub using a palm sander and 100-grit sandpaper. When the tub is completely scuffed with 100-grit, switch to 300-grit and resand the surface.

Step 3

Wipe the tub out with a clean rag and acetone. Remove any dust, grease or any other residue that may be in your tub.

Step 4

Tape off any metal fixtures and the perimeter of the tub using painter's tape.

Step 5

Mix the gel coat and catalyst together in a small bucket using a stir stick. Follow the container's recommendations for the correct amount of catalyst. Add the gel coat to the spray gun and apply the first coat in a heavy mist. Hold the spray gun at least 18 inches from the tub at all times and apply the paint as evenly as possible. Let the first coat harden.

Step 6

Apply the second and final coat to the tub so it solidly covers the entire surface. Spray this coat fairly heavily but avoid any runs in the paint. Let the gel coat harden for 24 hours before running the water.

Step 7

Remove the painter's tape from the tub.

Things You Will Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Scrub brush
  • Towel
  • Respirator
  • Palm sander
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • 300-grit sandpaper
  • Rags
  • Acetone
  • Painter's tape
  • Gel coat
  • Catalyst
  • Small bucket
  • Stir stick

Warning

  • When sanding fiberglass always wear a respirator.

About the Author

Jason Kurz has been a published writer for eHow.com and Trails.com for less than a year now. Kurz attended Kent State University of Ohio for Computer Aided Design.