How to Re-Paint and Re-Glaze an Enamel Bathtub

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No matter how well bathtubs are maintained, they are susceptible to losing their shine and over time can gather rust and mold. Replacing a bathtub is an expensive proposition, not to mention the hassles of plumbing and remodeling. Repainting bathtubs with enamel is a simpler and cost-effective alternative for renewing old bathtubs. Most bathtubs are made from cast iron and a coat or two of enamel can make them look near new.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid cleaner
  • Paint brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Palm sander
  • Rags
  • Enamel paint
  • Acrylic topcoat
  • Clean your bathtub with off-the-rack liquid bathroom cleaner. Patches of oil grease, mold or soap scum stains will not allow enamel to bond with the surface of the tub, and will leave a visible mark even after repainting. Scrub thoroughly and remove as much surface grease as possible.

  • Sand the tub surface with a medium grit sandpaper or palm sanders. The idea is to smooth and level out the entire surface evenly. Once finished, wipe off the sanding dust using a damp rag.

  • Cover the surrounding areas, bathroom floor and walls, with newspapers. Tape off areas of the bath that you don't intend to paint.

  • Paint the tub using enamel paint. Enamel paint will not just give a glossy look, but also will weather the wear and tear. You can either use a paint brush or a high volume low pressure spray gun. Paint your surface in a uniform back and forth motion to retain an even coating. Let the base coat of enamel paint dry, and apply a second coat to get a smoother look.

  • Apply acrylic paint as topcoat. Follow the same procedures as before. Apply two coats of acrylic. Let the first coat fully dry before you apply the second coat. The final coat of paint may dry in a couple of hours, but give the bath surface 24 to 48 hours to fully cure before stepping in.

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