How to Paint a Bathtub? Tools and Tips to Do It Yourself

paint bathtub feature
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Has your bathtub is a little worn out? Yes! So, what are you going to do about it? Would you replace it with a new bathtub? If you are thinking alike, we request you to stop, at least for now. Replacing your old bathtub with a new one is an expensive option. By taking a few hours out of your routine you can bring your bathtub back to its gleaming finish. To do this, all you have to do is repaint it with good-quality paint. Don’t worry, we’re here to teach you how to paint a bathtub while keeping the expenses to a minimum.

how to paint a bathtub

Can You Paint a Bathtub?

Yes! You can paint the bathtub but remember that painting it is not the same as painting a wooden or iron material. Bathtubs have a shiny surface that tends to wear over time. You may need to repaint bathtubs if they have lost their aesthetic appeal. Whether it’s a corner bathtub or a freestanding bathtub, reglazing a bathtub is a professional service that restores its glass-like surface. Let’s find out what you need and how to do it below.

Tools and Materials for Painting a Bathtub

To paint a bathtub you will need the following tools and materials.

  • Painter’s tape
  • Plastic sheets to cover the bathroom walls.
  • 400 and 600 grit sandpaper
  • Epoxy putty
  • Paintbrush and a small roller
  • Gloves and mask
  • A respirator (optional)
  • Rustoleum bathtub paint refinishing kit
paint bathtub

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Paint Your Bathtub

After gathering your tools, you are now ready for the specific steps on how to paint a fiberglass bathtub.

 Prepare The Bathtub Surface

  1. Clean the bathtub thoroughly with bleach and use limescale remover to remove hard water stains.
  2. After cleaning the bathtub, wipe it with a clean cloth and allow it to air dry for an hour.
  3. When the bathtub is completely dry, start sanding its surface with 400-grit sandpaper.
  4. Once you finish sanding the surface with 400-grit sandpaper, sand it again with 600-grit sandpaper.
  5. Now, clean the bathtub with a damp cloth only, so that all the powder dust gets removed from its surface. Do not use water to clean the bathtub at this point as its surface may absorb it and that may take several days to dry.
  6. Let it dry for half an hour.

 Repair The Bathtub If Needed

  1. If your bathtub has cracks, then use epoxy putty to fill them.
  2. After filling the cracks with epoxy putty, let them dry completely, and then use the 600-grit sandpaper to make them smooth and even.

 Prepare The Paint

You can use a rust-oleum bathtub paint refinishing kit which comes in two parts – an activator and a base. You have to mix these two evenly to make the color. Don’t keep the consistency too thick. Some bathtub paints also come pre-mixed, so buy them as per your needs.

Start Painting Your Bathtub

  1. After mixing the paint, start fixing the plastic sheets to the bathroom wall with painter’s tape. These plastic sheets are essential to protect the tiles and walls from painting mess.
  2. Begin painting the bathtub at this point. Apply a thin layer of paint and wait for it to dry completely.
  3. Use a roller to apply a second coat because this time you don’t want brush strokes to appear on the surface of the bathtub.
  4. Let the second coat dry. If your bathtub needs a third coat, do not think about skipping it to save the paint.
  5. Allow the bathtub to dry for at least 3 to 4 days after the final coat. Do not use water on its surface during this period.
  6. Reapply bathtub sealant (caulk) after the paint has dried. Then it’s done.

Tips And Warnings

You need to heed the following tips and warnings for painting your bathtub.

  • Make sure your bathroom has proper ventilation.
  • Epoxy paint for bathtubs has an unpleasant odor, so we recommend you use a good-quality mask to protect yourself from breathing in the fumes. If you have a respirator, use it instead of a mask.
  • Do not apply a new coat until the previous coat is dry.
  • Bathtub paint dries faster than regular paint. Therefore, after applying it, smoothen it as soon as possible.
  • Wear gloves because you do not want the paint to stick to your hands. Also, do not forget to wear protective glasses.
  • Never use regular paint on your bathtub.
  • Bathtub spray paint may seem convenient to use at first, but they are expensive compared to their tub variants, and also harder to keep them sprayed evenly. Therefore, use them only when you cannot devote much time to painting your bathtub.


If you have made it to this part and are thinking to follow this post, congratulations! You are about to save thousands of dollars that you could have spent replacing your old bathtub. It is not wise to replace your old bathtub just because it has lost its color and shine. Repaint your bathtub instead of replacing it. If repainting a bathtub doesn’t work out to your expectations, you can replace it. But first, follow this tutorial on how to paint a bathtub and try to save your money.

FAQ about How to Paint a Bathtub

 What Kind of Paint Do You Use on a Bathtub?

The best paint to use on a bathtub is epoxy enamel, which is specially formulated for bathrooms and provides a glossy finish for lasting results. It’s easy to apply and comes in various colors so you can achieve the look that suits you best.

Do You Have to Sand a Bathtub Before Painting?

Yes! The most important step is to sand your entire bathtub before painting. This will help ensure that your coating of paint will adhere properly, and look beautiful and professional once you are finished. Sanding down to obtain a smooth and even texture may seem like an added hassle, but taking extra time with this step of the process will pay off for years to come!

How Long Does a Painted Bathtub Last?

If you have repainted your bathtub with good quality epoxy acrylic paint and applied 2 to 3 coats, expect the paint to last 3 to 5 years. Bathtub paint is affected by hot temperatures and humidity. If you keep your bathroom dry, bathtub paint can last more than five years.

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