How to Paint a Fiberglass Tub


The finish of fiberglass tubs can dull and get surface scratches over time with constant use. The expense of a new tub is not always a viable option. There is an alternative that most homeowners can do themselves. Revitalize the shine and update the look of your bathroom with a little sanding and urethane paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Respirator mask
  • Screwdriver
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Washing soda
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Hand sander
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Soft cloth
  • High volume-low pressure paint sprayer
  • Primer
  • Paint brush
  • Aliphatic acrylic urethane paint
  • Silicone caulk
  • Caulking gun

Giving the Tub New Life

  • Use a screwdriver to force out all old caulking material. Wipe these areas well with isopropyl alcohol to ensure all traces of silicone caulk are gone. Paint will not adhere to caulk.

  • Clean the surface of the tub with a mixture of ¼-cup washing soda and a gallon of warm water. Scrub with a clean sponge. Rinse well with water. Washing soda is available at most grocery stores in the laundry products isle.

  • Use a hand sander to roughen up the surface in preparation for painting. Sand enough to remove the outer gloss finish. Do not over-sand or you will have to do fiberglass repairing before painting. Rinse off the dust and dry.

  • Wipe the surface with lacquer thinner and follow up by painting a layer of primer with a paintbrush. Allow recommended label drying time.

  • Spray the aliphatic acrylic urethane paint with the high-volume, low-pressure paint sprayer. Apply three layers, lightly sanding between each layer. This will create a high-gloss finish. Allow the paint 48 hours to dry and re-caulk the edges using a caulking gun and a high-quality silicone caulk.

Tips & Warnings

  • An informative read regarding the cost-effectiveness of painting the tub rather than replacing is located at Test the paint sprayer by spraying paint on a large piece of cardboard to get the feel for the operation of the equipment.
  • Use these chemical products in a well-ventilated area. Wear safety glasses and respirator mask while completing this project as the fumes can be harmful.

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  • Photo Credit tubbin/
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