Well, there must be loads of ugly bathtubs out there , because my post yesterday on “How To Paint A Bathtub” really struck a chord with a lot of you! And of course, many of you had some follow up questions about the product, the process, the supplies, and much more. So instead of answering those questions individually through comments, emails, and Facebook comments, I thought I’d just lump them all into one post so that they’re all easy to find for future reference.
First, I’ll answer a question that actually made me angry.
Isn’t the tub in the “after” picture a new/different tub?
I actually had
four…make that FIVE…different people insinuate that I’m just a big ‘ole liar who actually replaced my old tub with a new tub, and tried to pass off the new tub as a painted tub. The first one didn’t even ask the question. She just wrote a comment that said, “The one on the right is a brand new tub! Look at the picture closely, people!” To that I say…
Are you out of your mind?
It is the exact same tub! In the “after” picture, the reason the two drains look different is because I painted them!!! I couldn’t get the drains off, so I painted them!
But seriously…I’m a DIY blogger, which means that if I had replaced the tub with a brand new tub, I would have DIYed that process. I probably would have done it all by myself, with no help from anyone else, just like I do all of my other projects around my condo and on my blog. And I would have written a blog post about it!! What possible motivation could there be for me to lie about painting a bathtub? That’s probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard.
Okay, now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s move on to the legitimate questions from the actual normal, rational people among us…
What material is your bathtub made of?
My own bathtub and surround are fiberglass. But the Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit can be used on ceramic, porcelain, fiberglass, and acrylic.
Were all of the prep steps recommended, or did you just do them for good measure?
Every one of the prep steps that I did (washing the tub with water and bleach, scrubbing the tub with Comet, scrubbing the tub with Lime Away and a scouring pad, and sanding the tub with 400/600 wet/dry sandpaper) were all listed on the package. I didn’t add any of my own steps. I simply followed the instructions on the box to a “T”. The top of the box also lists all of the supplies that you’ll need for the process, so there’s no guess work.
How long did the fumes hang around?
As I mentioned, the fumes were so incredibly strong that even with a breathing mask, they still made my eyes burn and water. The lady at Rust-Oleum had warned me, though, so I was prepared. (Please don’t use this product without one of these masks!!!)
But to answer the question…
I finished doing the second coat of paint around 2:00am (yes, I’m a late night DIYer) . My bathroom doesn’t have a window, but I didn’t want the fumes to permeate the condo any more than already had, so I turned on the ceiling fan, turned on the ceiling vent fan, closed the bathroom door, and shoved a towel in the space between the door and the floor.
By 7:30am the next morning, the fumes had dissipated to the point where I could be in the bathroom comfortably without the breathing mask. By that time, the fumes were very mild, and were just about as strong as if I had simply polyurethaned something in there. At that point, Matt didn’t have any issues with the fumes either, and he is very sensitive to fumes.
Did you have any chips in the tub at all?
Fortunately, I didn’t have any chips or cracks in my tub. However, I know that many of you probably will have to deal with chips and/or cracks, and there are steps listed on the instructions on how to take care of those. It recommends using a patching compound such as Liquid Steel. I’ve never heard of that product, but I imagine that any of the metal/fiberglass patching products from your local home improvement store would work. I know I’ve seen small-ish containers of Bondo at Home Depot, and there may be others as well.
Can you use the tub at all during the 3-day curing time?
Nope. You’re not supposed to get any water on the tub at all. The finish is pretty durable as soon as it’s dry, so you don’t have to walk on eggshells around your newly painted tub. I even stood in my tub about an hour after painting the first coat, and then I even sat on the edge of the tub and scooted across the edge with my bum, and the paint was completely unaffected. But to give the paint the best possible chance of performing at its best, I’m going to follow directions and not use the tub for three complete days.
So if you’re a one-bathroom household, that could certainly pose a challenge.
What if you want the finish as smooth as possible? What type of brush or roller would you recommend?
If you want a perfectly smooth finish, I honestly wouldn’t recommend using a brush OR a roller. The paint starts off very thin and runny, but it gets “sticky” very quickly. It’s a self-leveling product, but I still don’t think you’d get a perfectly smooth finish with any kind of brush or roller.
For a perfectly smooth finish, I’d recommend buying, borrowing, or renting a sprayer. I think this product would do amazingly well with a sprayer. If I use the product again, I’m definitely going to try to get my hands on a sprayer. The finish would be absolutely beautiful!
How do you think this paint would work in a sprayer? Would it be more prone to drips and runs?
The instructions tell you how to mix the paint if you’re going to use it in a sprayer. I personally think that would be the absolute best way to use it. You’d get a gorgeous, factory-like finish with a sprayer. Of course, you do have to know how to use a sprayer. Just like spray paint, if you’re a newbie, you definitely might get some runs and drips. But if you know what you’re doing with a sprayer (e.g., you understand not to put it on too thick, and to do smooth, even motions, etc.), then it would work beautifully.
How long do you have to work with the paint once the two parts are mixed?
The instructions say to use the paint within six hours of mixing the Part A and Part B together.
On tile, what kind of brush would you use?
If I were painting large, flat sections of tile, and I didn’t have access to a sprayer, I would absolutely use a roller. Of course, I would use the brush first on the areas where I needed to “cut in” (i.e., areas where the roller won’t reach, such as corners), and then follow up with the roller on the large areas.
Would this work on faux (cultured) marble?
I actually called Rust-Oleum to ask this question. Their answer…this product isn’t made for cultured marble. BUT…that obviously hasn’t stopped some other daring DIYers from trying it. So the official answer from Rust-Oleum is “no”, but I’m generally the kind of DIYer who uses that information more as a suggestion than a rule.
How much did this project cost?
Rust-Oleum provided the refinishing kits at no charge for my bathroom. But my tub and surround required two of the kits, so if I had purchased them myself, that would have cost about $52 for the two kits (they’re $25.97 each at Home Depot).
The rest of the supplies (brush, roller, roller covers, Comet, Lime Away, scouring pad, sandpaper, etc.) cost me about $75, including the $30 breathing mask. But I bought everything new. In other words, I generally have Comet on hand at home, but I was completely out, so I bought a new huge container of it. I generally have scouring pads at home, but I had just thrown out my last one, so I bought a new package of seven (and only needed one for the project). I actually have a 6.5″ roller cage, but I saw this new kind and wanted one, because I’m a sucker for shiny new products. I actually already own two of the breathing masks, but because I’m an irresponsible DIYer who can’t seem to keep up with the shiny new tools that I buy, I couldn’t find either of them. (And those are $30 each!)
So in other words, it’s very likely that you’ll already have some of the supplies on hand, especially if you do DIY projects regularly.
Can you use this product on a bathroom sink?
The box says that it can be used on ceramic, porcelain, fiberglass, and acrylic. Since most sinks are made of one of those things (unless you have a cultured marble sink), then yep, you can go for it!
What kind of cleaner can you use on the painted bathtub?
I’ve actually looked all over for this information, and I can’t find it anywhere. I do remember years ago, I had a client who had her tubs professionally sprayed, and they told her that she shouldn’t use any types of harsh abrasive cleaners on it (like Comet or Ajax). Just keep in mind that it is a painted surface.
How long will the finish last?
Again, it is a painted surface, so common sense will tell you that it won’t last forever. But I think the amount of time that it’ll last is completely dependent upon each household, and the wear and abuse that you dish out to your bathtub.
I think this question is probably impossible to answer…almost like, “How long will the finish on a painted coffee table last?” Obviously that answer would be much different for a single woman than it would be for a married couple with five young boys.
Can you use this bathtub paint on garden tubs with jets?
I called Rust-Oleum about this question also. Short answer…YES! You just want to be really sure that you tape off the jets prior to applying the paint so that the paint doesn’t get on/in the jets.
Phew! I think I got all of the questions answered, but if I’ve forgotten something, or if you’ve thought of another questions, just leave it in the comments below and I’ll add it to this post.
And if you missed the original post (or the video that I added later in the day), you can see that here.