If you are renovating your bathroom or simply want a fresh look for your tub and shower, you might be considering changing their color. Replacing a tub or shower can be costly, but painting over a fiberglass tub and shower can be a budget-friendly way to overhaul your bathroom. With the right sort of paint and the proper prep work, you can enjoy a refreshed tub and shower with minimal effort.
Important Safety Considerations
Tubs present a slip-and-fall hazard, especially when wet. Before beginning any painting project in or around your tub, be sure that the surrounding floor and the floor and walls of the tub and shower are completely dry.
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If you'll be using a tub and shower repainting kit, you'll need to wear gloves, goggles and a respirator for your safety. In addition, it's a good idea to open the bathroom window and turn on an exhaust fan whenever possible. You'll need good airflow to avoid inhaling dangerous chemicals.
If using a step stool or small ladder in your tub, be sure that it is even. If your tub bows or is curved, don't let the legs of the stool rest in the center of the tub, as doing so could cause unsafe pressure points that might crack the tub.
Preparing to Paint
As you would for any paint job, tape the edges of the shower and tub so that the surrounding ceiling, walls and floors do not get painted. You will also want to tape off (or even temporarily remove) your faucets and handles to prevent them from getting splattered with paint.
Before you begin to paint, you should buff the surface gently with 100-grit sandpaper. Then, clean your shower and tub thoroughly to remove grime. Home Depot recommends a product like TSP, applied on a rag, to cleanse the area and ensure that all residue is removed. Allow the surface you'll be painting to dry thoroughly before you proceed with painting.
Choose a tub and tile refinishing kit that uses an epoxy acrylic formula. These come in a variety of colors and offer your fiberglass tub and shower a smooth, porcelain-like finish that won't look out of place in a bathroom. Never use latex or oil-based paints in your tub or shower, as they simply aren't formulated to work in such a wet environment or on fiberglass.
Painting Your Shower and Tub
Apply the epoxy to your shower using a brush or roller as you would any other paint. Be sure to follow all package instructions to learn about curing time — Bunnings Warehouse explains that you may need to wait at least 12 hours for your paint to dry. Once the product has dried thoroughly, you can add another coat if you would prefer a deeper color or more coverage. Keep windows open and your exhaust fan on during the curing process to reduce the risk of inhaling volatile organic compounds.
Epoxy paint applied to a tub may last for several years and then began to peel. It's important to remember that your shower is a very wet environment and many products not original to the fiberglass may not hold up over time. Walking on the floor of your shower or across the tub also causes natural bowing and flexing, which can cause paint to weaken.
This is, of course, dependent on how many coats you apply and how often you use your shower. Choosing the right epoxy paint is essential as is following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.