Note: This bathroom remodel is now finished. Don’t miss the updates at the end of this post!
I did it! I painted my bathtub! The process wasn’t fun, but it also wasn’t too terribly difficult, and I’m quite pleased with the result. I used a bathtub paint from Rust-Oleum called Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit*.
It’s a two-part epoxy paint that you mix together in the one-quart container (no additional container needed…just use the Part B container). You can use it on porcelain, ceramic, and fiberglass.
I treated the tub just like I was painting a wall. In other words, I used my 2″ Purdy sash brush* to do the “cutting in” on areas that I knew couldn’t be reached with a roller, and then I painted all of the big areas with a 6.5″ roller.
As you can see, I didn’t use a foam roller. (I’m not a fan of foam rollers at all.) Instead, I used a regular roller with a 3/8″ nap for smooth to semi-smooth surfaces.
It gave the paint a really nice subtle texture, which you can see here…
I used a bright white paint, and as soon as I started on the first coat, I could tell a huge difference between the original bathtub color and the color of the bathtub paint.
The overall working time was about 4 1/5 hours, but the overall time from start to finish (including drying time after the prep work, and drying time between coats of paint) was around 8 hours.
The prep work took about 1.25 hours, and was a multi-step process that included:
- Washing the tub with a water and bleach solution to remove any mildew,
- Scrubbing the entire tub with Comet,
- Scrubbing the tub with Lime Away* and a scouring pad, and
- Sanding the tub with 400/600 grit wet/dry sandpaper*.
After all of that, I brought a fan into the room to dry the tub completely. I let it dry for about an hour and a half while I had dinner, and then it was ready to paint. I wiped it down really well with a dry cloth before painting, and then did the “cutting in” with a brush, and followed up with the roller on the large areas.
The one thing that I absolutely must warn you about is the smell.
Oh my gosh…the smell!!!
It’s so bad. I mean, really, really bad. Do not even consider taking on this project without using one of these painters masks*…
But even though I was wearing this mask the entire time, and I couldn’t actually smell the fumes, they were still so strong that they burned my eyes and made my eyes water.
After the first coat of bathtub paint was applied, I let it dry for about 1.5 hours before applying the second coat. At that point, the first coat was completely dry, and the paint was very durable…so much so that I stood in the tub with my bare feet to reach some areas of the tub while applying the second coat, and it didn’t mess up the paint at all. In fact, I even sat on the edge of the tub at one point, and even scooted my bum across the edge of the tub, and the paint was perfectly fine. So I have no doubt that after the required 3-day drying/curing time, the paint will be incredibly durable.
So that’s it! That’s my experience with painting a bathtub! If I’ve left out any info that you want, or if you have any questions, just let me know and I’ll do my best to answer!
Edit: I had quite a few questions about the process, the product, etc., so instead of trying to answer them all individually, I decided to write a follow up post to answer all of the questions.
Here’s a little video I made of my bathtub painting adventure…
- Is that really the same tub in the before and after picture?
- What material is your tub made out of?
- How long did the fumes hang around?
- Was your tub chipped or cracked? And how would you take care of chips and cracks?
- Will this work on cultured marble?
- How much did this project cost?
- And many more…
Click here to see more DIY projects for this bathroom. Here are some of my favorites…
This bathroom remodel is finished! Click here to see the finished bathroom.