Reglazing a Toilet

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A reglazed toilet will improve the appearance of a bathroom.
Image Credit: ben-bryant/iStock/GettyImages

Your toilet is one of the hardest-working items in your household, so it's no surprise that over time it can start to look a little past its prime. Older toilet bowls can be susceptible to staining and scuffing, which can make even the cleanest toilet look dingy and unpleasant.

You may see this as the time to replace your toilet with a new model, but this can be an expensive and time-consuming bathroom renovation. It can be simpler, cheaper and quicker to look into reglazing your toilet at home.

Draining Your Toilet Bowl

Before you can begin the reglazing process on your toilet, it's important to first drain your toilet bowl to remove the water. This will give you access to the bowl's surface to apply your new glaze. First, ensure your toilet is thoroughly clean, both within the bowl and on the outside. Rinse any excess product away from the toilet's surface before draining the water.

You should lay down some old towels to protect your bathroom floor; then turn off your water supply by twisting the metal shut-off valve clockwise. You can then flush your toilet, holding down your lever until the water level inside the tank is as low as possible. Soak up any excess water using a rag or sponge.

Next, pour a large bucket of water into your toilet bowl. By filling it up quickly in this way, you will force the toilet to flush. You can then use the same rag or sponge to soak up any last remnants of water within your bowl. Once your toilet is completely dry, you can begin the reglazing process.

Prepping a Toilet for Reglazing

You must always take the right safety precautions when undertaking a do-it-yourself project at home. This includes wearing a face mask, goggles and a pair of gloves to protect your lungs, eyes and skin. You should also protect the rest of your bathroom. Put down a drop cloth around your toilet to avoid paint drips, and apply masking tape to the edges of your toilet to ensure you get a clean edge.

You should then lightly sand the surface of your toilet using fine sandpaper. This will help smooth any unevenness to the surface, plus will help your new glaze adhere better.

If your toilet bowl has any more severe scratches or cracks, fill them in before applying your glaze. You can purchase epoxy-based ceramic or porcelain repair paste specifically for this job. You can then apply your latex-acrylic spray primer to the entire toilet.

Reglazing a Toilet

Once your toilet is clean, dry and primed, you can go in with your acrylic enamel spray paint. Keep the room well-ventilated when working with spray paints and ensure your mask and goggles are firmly in place. Once you've applied a full, even layer of paint, allow it adequate drying time as indicated on the product. It's likely you may wish to apply a second coat to get a full, even coverage of color on your toilet. Again, allow enough time for your paint to dry.

Finish with a layer of clear topcoat. This will add shine to your toilet, plus ensure the new glaze lasts for as long as possible. Give the topcoat time to dry and don't refill or reuse your toilet for at least 24 hours after applying.


Annie Walton Doyle is a freelance writer based in Manchester, UK. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Daily Telegraph, Professional Photography Magazine, Bustle, Ravishly and more. When not writing, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature and mysteries.

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