Over time, bathtubs can start to look dingy and uninviting. Scuff marks, stains and discolorations can make your tub look past its prime. When things get to this stage, it may be tempting to replace your tub with a new model, but this can be an expensive, disruptive and time-consuming process. Luckily, you can change your bathroom tub color with a fresh coat of paint.
The process for changing the color of a bathtub is much the same whether the tub is porcelain, fiberglass or acrylic. You do, however, need to purchase the correct refinishing products for the job.
Prepping Your Tub
The first stage of painting your bathtub is removing old sealant and cleaning the tub thoroughly. No paint will adhere if your bathtub has traces of residual grime and grease. Use a bathroom cleaner and an abrasive sponge to completely clean the entire surface; rinse thoroughly and repeat the cleaning sequence if necessary.
Repair cracks and gouges using a tub and shower repair kit that's formulated for your bathtub surface. Then use wet/dry sandpaper to roughen the surface of your tub. Sanding so the surface is less glossy will help give the refinishing products something to grip. Not only will it help with adherence, but it will also ensure that your new color lasts as long as possible. Wear a dust mask when sanding to protect your respiratory system. After sanding, wipe out your tub to remove any traces of dust. Give your tub adequate time to dry, as any leftover moisture can interfere with your paint.
Before using any resurfacing or painting products, you'll want to lay down something to cover your floor in case of paint drips (newspaper is a good choice), in addition to covering your tub hardware and plugging holes with masking tape to keep them free of paint. You should also cover the edges of your tub with tape.
Using a Refinishing Kit
You may choose to use a refinishing kit to change the color of your bathtub. Refinishing kits contain everything you need to recolor your bathtub and include specific directions, depending on the brand. These kits are best used with a small roller for an even, streak-free finish.
When undertaking the task of refinishing a bathtub, use the correct safety gear. Wear a respirator and a pair of gloves to protect your respiratory system and skin and keep your bathroom well ventilated by opening a window or turning on your exhaust fan. Also wear the right clothing for the job, including long sleeves and knee pads, if necessary.
Painting Your Tub
Mix the paint and apply it to your bathtub as directed by the product instructions. Take your time applying the first coat of paint to your entire tub, working in small sections for an even application. Apply paint to corners and other hard-to-reach areas with a foam brush.
Allow the first coat time to dry and then apply a second coat to build opacity. When you're happy with your tub's finish and it's fully cured, remove the masking tape and apply fresh sealant. Leave your tub alone for at least three days before running water into it.