There are several reasons why someone might want to repaint a fiberglass bathtub. The most common among these reasons include aging and wear, the desire for a bathroom makeover, or simply because the current color is out of style.
Regardless of the reason, the good news is that yes, you can paint a fiberglass bathtub. However, it’s not as straightforward as slapping on a coat of paint. You’ll need to follow a certain process to ensure the longevity and quality of the finished product.
Can You Paint a Fiberglass Bathtub?
You can paint a fiberglass bathtub. Using a specialty kit designed for tubs and tiles, available at most home centers, you can rejuvenate the color of your tub and achieve a high-gloss finish. This method works for ceramic, porcelain, and fiberglass tubs alike, and is usually quite affordable, typically around $25.
Why Consider Painting Your Bathtub?
If your bathtub is looking a bit worn or outdated, painting it can offer the following benefits:
- Aesthetic appeal: A fresh coat of paint can enhance the overall appearance of your bathtub, making it look brand new.
- Cost-effectiveness: Painting your bathtub is significantly cheaper than replacing it entirely.
- Extended lifespan: A new paint job can help prolong the lifespan of your tub, saving you from a premature replacement.
The Process of Painting a Fiberglass Bathtub
While the process may seem daunting, painting a fiberglass bathtub is achievable if you break it down into manageable steps. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
1. Preparing the Bathtub
The first step to painting a plastic bathtub or fiberglass bathtub is ensuring that the surface is spotless and free of any residue that could potentially hinder the painting process. This step is vital as it ensures that your painting job will last longer and appear smoother. Start by using a bathroom cleaner to scrub away any lingering soap scum, mineral deposits, and grime.
Specialized cleaners are available on the market that target these specific types of residue, ensuring a squeaky-clean finish. Pay close attention to corners, edges, and any indented or raised patterns that could harbor hidden dirt. Rinse the tub thoroughly and let it dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
2. Sanding the Surface
The purpose of sanding is to create a slightly rough surface, enabling the primer and paint to adhere more effectively to the bathtub’s surface. It’s important to wear safety goggles and a dust mask while sanding to protect yourself from dust particles.
Start with a medium-grit sandpaper, such as 120-grit, to lightly scuff the surface of the tub. Make sure to sand evenly across the entire surface, paying special attention to areas that are visibly worn or damaged. Wipe away any dust with a damp cloth and let the tub dry completely before moving on to the next step.
3. Applying a Primer
Primer is essentially a preparatory coating that helps the paint stick better to the surface and provides a smooth canvas for your color application. Choose a high-adhesive primer that is suitable for fiberglass surfaces.
It’s generally best to use a roller or brush to apply the primer, starting from one end of the tub and working your way across, ensuring the entire surface is covered. Allow the primer to dry completely, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight. The tub should look matte and feel slightly rough to the touch when it’s ready for painting.
4. Painting the Bathtub
When choosing your paint, opt for a two-part epoxy paint. Epoxy paint is a type of paint that combines a hardener and resin, resulting in a durable, waterproof surface that’s ideal for a bathtub. Apply the paint in thin, even coats using a brush or roller, allowing each layer to dry completely before applying the next.
This might take patience, as rushing the process could lead to visible brush or roller marks. Two or three coats are typically sufficient, but it can depend on the color of the paint and the condition of the tub.
5. Applying a Topcoat
The final step in this process is sealing the paint with a clear topcoat. This additional layer helps to protect your paint job from damage and prolong its lifespan, providing a glossy, professional finish.
Like the previous steps, apply this topcoat in thin, even layers, allowing ample drying time between coats. The topcoat will not only make your tub look shiny and new, but it also serves as a barrier against wear and tear, resisting chipping and peeling.
It’s important to note that the whole process requires patience, as rushing could lead to a substandard result.
Selecting the Right Paint for Your Bathtub
The type of paint you choose for your bathtub is crucial. Epoxy paint is often the best choice because of its durability and high-gloss finish, which can mimic the look of a brand new bathtub. It’s also water-resistant, making it perfect for a bathtub. When choosing a color, remember to consider the overall aesthetic of your bathroom.
Key Considerations When Painting a Fiberglass Bathtub
Painting a fiberglass bathtub requires careful consideration and preparation. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Safety: Use a mask and gloves to protect yourself from fumes and chemicals. Ensure good ventilation in your bathroom during the process.
- Quality of materials: Invest in high-quality paint, primer, and tools to ensure a smooth, long-lasting finish.
- Time: The process requires several hours spread over a few days to allow for drying between coats. Make sure you have a secondary bathroom to use during this time.
Best Paint For Fiberglass Bathtub
Here are the top five paints that are best suited for fiberglass bathtubs. These selections are based on durability, ease of application, finish, and customer reviews.
1. Rust-Oleum 7860519 Tub and Tile Refinishing 2-Part Kit
The Rust-Oleum 7860519 is a leading product in the bathroom refinishing category. Designed specifically for tubs and tiles, this 2-part epoxy paint works well on fiberglass surfaces.
- Superior Performance: This paint offers excellent adhesion and color retention in high moisture areas. It’s designed to withstand moisture exposure, making it perfect for bathroom use.
- Finish: It leaves a glossy finish that looks fresh and is easy to clean.
- Application: Rust-Oleum offers easy application with a brush, roller, or sprayer, and dries to touch in 1-2 hours.
2. Krylon K04502007 Tub & Tile Ultra Repair Finish Spray Paint
The Krylon K04502007 is a high-quality spray paint suitable for fiberglass tubs.
- Ease of Use: As a spray paint, it offers easy application without the need for brushes or rollers. It’s great for those hard-to-reach corners.
- Finish: It offers a bright, high-gloss finish that’s both durable and appealing.
- Quick-Drying: This paint is quick-drying, allowing for multiple coats in a shorter timeframe.
3. Homax 720773 Tub & Sink Brush-On One-Part Epoxy
Homax 720773 is an all-in-one paint that’s perfect for fiberglass bathtubs.
- Convenience: It comes pre-mixed, making it a hassle-free choice.
- Finish: This product offers a hard, protective finish that can withstand the daily wear and tear of a bathroom.
- Application: Despite being brush-on paint, it provides a smooth, porcelain-like finish when applied properly.
4. Magic Tub and Tile Refinishing Kit
The Magic Tub and Tile Refinishing Kit is an excellent option that delivers professional-looking results.
- Coverage: This paint covers up to 100 square feet, making it a cost-effective choice for larger projects.
- Finish: It delivers a high-gloss, porcelain-like finish that gives your tub a new look.
- Durability: This paint is designed to resist peeling and holding up well against regular use.
5. Giani Granite Countertop Paint
Though primarily designed for countertops, the Giani Granite Countertop Paint also performs well on fiberglass tubs.
- Versatility: This paint’s ability to adhere to various surfaces makes it an excellent choice for your bathtub.
- Finish: It delivers a high-gloss, waterproof finish that’s both attractive and durable.
- Environmentally Friendly: This water-based acrylic paint is low odor, making it a greener choice for your renovation.
Can you change the color of a fiberglass tub?
You can change the color of a fiberglass tub. This involves using a special tub and tile paint that’s designed to adhere to fiberglass surfaces.
How do you prepare a fiberglass tub for painting?
Prepping a fiberglass tub for painting involves a few steps. First, clean the tub thoroughly. Next, sand it down lightly to remove the glossy finish. Then, tape off any areas you don’t want painted.
Is there a way to paint a fiberglass tub?
Yes, painting a fiberglass tub is possible. After preparing the surface, you apply a primer, then a specialized tub and tile paint. This paint is often epoxy-based for durability and water resistance.
Is painting a bathtub a good idea?
Painting a bathtub can be a great idea if it’s done correctly. It can breathe new life into an old, faded tub. However, it’s a process that requires patience and careful attention to detail to ensure a smooth, lasting finish.
Here is the conclusion:
Finally, if you have a fibreglass tub, painting it is a simple and inexpensive method to update your bathroom. However, it takes time, careful attention, and the right tools to complete.
While working, it is important to always think about safety and make sure there is adequate ventilation. Keeping these things in mind will help you revitalise your tub and restore its place in the modern bathroom.
- If you have a fibreglass tub, you can paint it.
- The importance of preparation and the correct tools cannot be overstated.
- Most bathtubs benefit most from being painted with epoxy.
- Keeping everyone involved safe is a top priority.
Amanda has been designing and installing bathtubs for over 15 years. She first got interested in the bathtub industry while working as an interior designer right after college. During her years as a designer, Amanda was frustrated by the lack of high-quality, unique bathtub options for her clients. This passion led her to start her own bathtub website in 2009.