How to Repair a Bathtub Finish

Over time the finish on your bathtub may need to be repaired. Rather than replacing you bathtub, which can be an expensive proposition, you should consider refinishing it. You can purchase a bathtub refinishing kit at your local hardware or building supply store that includes most of the items you need. Always follow the directions for the specific brand of bathtub refinishing kit you select.

Repair a Bathtub Finish
  1. Clean your bathtub with a bathtub cleanser and a sponge. Use a clean rag and the cleaning solution provided in your bathtub refinishing kit to wash away any leftover soap scum or residue from the bathtub cleanser. Let the tub dry before proceeding.
  2. Use the sandpaper to sand the entire bathtub. Rinse off the sandpaper with water. Use another application of the cleaning solution kit, this time using the cleaning pad that came in the kit. Rinse off the bathtub with water and dry it out completely with an old towel.
  3. Apply primer to the bathtub using paper towels. Let it dry.
  4. Apply putty with a putty knife to any cracks or pitted areas on the tub. Sand it with the sandpaper when it dries. Rinse off the sandpaper grit with water and dry out the tub with a towel.
  5. Tape off the bathtub fixtures with tape and a protective paper. Pour the base paint in the kit into a paint sprayer. Spray the bathtub with the base paint. Let it dry completely; this should only take about 30 minutes.
  6. Pour the topcoat of paint into the paint sprayer and spray over the base paint. Spray evenly so you don't leave any streaks. Don't plan on using your bathtub for at least three days so it can thoroughly dry.

Things You Will Need

  • Bathtub refinishing kit with cleaning solutions, primer reducer and pad
  • Sandpaper, grades 220 and 240
  • Rubber silicone putty
  • Putty knife
  • Masking tape
  • Coated paper (large sheets)
  • Plastic spatula
  • Low pressure, high-volume paint sprayer
  • Bathtub cleanser
  • Sponge
  • Old towel and rag
  • Paper towels
  • Protective eyewear
  • Respirator
  • Rubber gloves


  • Wear the rubber gloves, protective eyewear and a respirator when using chemicals and paint.

About the Author

JIm Cooper is an attorney and business consultant. He serves on the board of many corporations. He is also a published writer with more than 30 years of experience. Cooper's articles have been published in "American Executive," "Men's Health" magazine, "Newsweek," "Marie Claire" and "Mademoiselle" magazines.

Photo Credits

  • baby girl playing in bathtub image by jedphoto from Fotolia.com