How to Paint Over a Fiberglass Shower Surround

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Repaint an ugly fiberglass shower surround to restore beauty to your bathroom.
Image Credit: brizmaker/iStock/GettyImages

Fiberglass is a common material for a shower surround as it's very hard-wearing and durable. However, an older fiberglass shower surround may look newer and more aesthetically appealing with a fresh coat of paint. This is also a cheaper alternative to replacing your shower surround outright. Following the proper prep work and correct steps can help you to paint over a fiberglass shower surround at home.

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What You'll Need

Of course, you'll need the fiberglass paint of your choice. Make sure the paint you purchase specifically states that it's suitable for a fiberglass surface.

Many fiberglass paints claim to include a primer, but it can be a good idea to purchase a bonding agent separately. This will help you to apply your fiberglass paint more evenly. It will also boost the adherence of your paint, which will make your work last as long as possible.

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You must also ensure you have adequate safety gear when attempting to paint fiberglass. You'll need to wear a respirator and a pair of gloves while undertaking the task to protect your respiratory system and your skin from any harsh chemicals. Keep the room well ventilated by opening a window or using a vent fan. Ensure you're wearing the correct clothing for the job, including closed-toe shoes and long sleeves. You'll also want to cover your taps and plug holes with masking tape to keep them protected from paint.

Prepping Your Shower

The first stage of painting your fiberglass shower is giving the entire area a deep cleaning. Use a bathroom cleaner and a sponge to remove any dirt or grime from your shower surround.

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Next, use sandpaper to rough up the surface of your shower surround. Wipe down the surface thoroughly after sanding to remove any dusty residue. Allow the area to dry thoroughly before proceeding with the next step, as any moisture can interfere with your paint job.

You should wipe out your tub to remove any traces of grit and ensure it's as dry as possible. Any leftover moisture can interfere with your paint. You should also cover up the edges of your tub or shower stall with tape and cover any metal parts within your tub. Finally, apply your primer. Allow it adequate time to dry and then sand the surface once more to make your fiberglass shower surround surface as grippy as possible.

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Painting Fiberglass Shower Surrounds

Spray paint can be the best way to achieve an even finish on a fiberglass surface. You can also use a paint can and a paint roller, which takes longer but can give similar results. If you're painting with a roller, work in smaller sections using long, slow strokes to minimize dripping.

Once you've applied a full, even coat of paint, allow it time to dry — at least 24 hours. You can then inspect your paint job to check how even and opaque it is. You may require more than one coat of paint to achieve the finish you want. If that's the case, repeat the painting process for a second (or even third) coat until you see the results you want.

When you're happy with the finish, allow your shower surround 72 hours to dry. You can then remove your masking tape and begin using your shower as normal.

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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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