How to Refinish a Fiberglass Tub Surround

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Fiberglass tub surrounds are favorites among homeowners for many reasons. They can be installed quickly, are easy to clean and with proper care will last for many years. After years of use, however, they can become dingy, stained and sometimes cracked, which diminishes the overall look of your bathroom. If the tub surround is still functioning well, instead of replacing it you can simply refinish it to restore it to a brilliant shine.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic drop cloth or tarp
  • Putty knife
  • Vacuum and possibly hose attachment
  • Primer
  • Fiberglass tub paint
  • Thoroughly clean the bathtub and surround using any standard cleaning solution to remove soap and mildew from the surface of the tub. Use a sponge or brush to scrub the solution into the tub, and rinse with clean water. Use a dry cloth to completely dry the entire surface and walls of the bathtub area to remove all moisture.

  • Using masking tape or painter's tape, tape off the entire area surrounding the tub. Place a plastic drop cloth or tarp on the floor to protect it from paint. Additionally apply tape over the shower drain.

  • Using a lightweight sandpaper, sand the entire surface of the tub and wall surround. The goal is simply to rough up the surface to create a hazy appearance, so do not sand too deeply.

  • Using a cloth, wipe down the walls of the shower to remove all dust. Use a vacuum to remove all dust from the floor of the tub. The easiest way to vacuum the dust out of the tub is to simply stick the vacuum hose into the tub and suction it out. If desired, you may also use the vacuum hose attachments.

  • Apply two coats of an oil-based primer to the surface of the tub and surround using a paint roller. Allow it to dry completely.

  • Using a paint roller, apply two coats of specially formulated fiberglass paint, and allow it to dry thoroughly. Although you can use epoxy paint, it is highly toxic and requires proper ventilation.

  • Allow the tub to cure for 24 hours after the paint is dry before using the shower.

Tips & Warnings

  • Run the bathroom fan the entire time you are working to remove fumes from the area.

References

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