How to refinish a bathtub with paint
An ugly bathtub can ruin the look of your bathroom, but covering or replacing a bathtub can cost thousands of dollars when you consider the cost of installation. If you are willing to do some work over the weekend, you can remodel your bathtub with nothing more than paint. Just pick up a bathtub paint kit at your local home improvement stores and follow these steps to get a new-looking bathtub for hundreds less.
Before you can paint your bathtub, it needs to be clean. Start by scrubbing the bathtub with the chemical cleaner in your paint kit. This cleaner is typically an acid and is therefore much stronger than regular household cleaner. So, be sure you are wearing gloves and a mask when you are working with this cleaner. Once the bathtub has been completely cleaned, rinse it out with water and wipe it dry with a towel.
Next, you are going to want to sand down the bathtub with 150 grit sandpaper. Do not skip this step, sanding down the bathtub will remove the shiny, slick coating that is hard for paint to stick to. By taking the hour it will take you to sand down the bathtub, you will extend your refinishing job by years. Once the surface has been roughed up, remove any debris the sanding caused by wiping down the tub.
Once the tub has been completely sanded down, you are going to want to cover up anything in your bathroom you do not want paint on. Get several plastic tarps and tape to cover the walls, floor, fixtures and even your toilet. This is especially important if you will be using a paint sprayer to apply the new finish to your bathtub. However, even if you are planning on using a paintbrush, paint can still get where you do not want it to go. So go ahead and cover it up if you do not want paint on it.
Make sure that the bathroom is well ventilated before you open up the paint. The acrylic paint that is used to paint bathtubs has more potent fumes that traditional latex paint. So be careful to inhale as little of these fumes as possible. If necessary, bring in a fan to help push some of the fumes out of the bathroom.
Using either a paint sprayer or a paintbrush, depending on the method you choose, apply the acrylic paint provided in your kit in light coats. Let each coat dry completely before applying the next. These light coats will help give a more smooth and even finish. After the final coat of paint has dried, apply three coats of clear epoxy to the tub in the same way you did with the paint. Once the last coat of epoxy has dried, let the bathtub sit unused for at least 36 hours to make sure the finish has had time to bond to the bathtub.
When the 36 hours have passed, you can start using and enjoying your bathtub. Sit back and enjoy the new look your hard work has created. If you want, you can even use this same technique on porcelain tile and sinks in your home.