How to Resurface Fiberglass Shower Base

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Bathing and showering have a surprisingly dirty history, and at times in recorded history, bathing was even considered unhealthy and immoral. For the benefit of noses everywhere, this conception changed and bathrooms and showers are fixtures in most modern homes, but they are not always perfectly clean. If you worry that stepping into your fiberglass shower will make you dirtier than you are now, it may be time to resurface the base for a healthier and more comfortable bathing experience.

Things You'll Need

  • Shower cleaning supplies
  • Towels
  • Respirator
  • Scraper or screw driver
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Sponge
  • Sandpaper or steel wool
  • Trisodium phosphate cleaner
  • Painter’s tape and plastic sheets
  • Paint sprayer
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Wash your shower base as you normally would for regular maintenance. Remove all hair, dirt, soap scum and other contaminants from the shower base. Allow the base to air dry, or dry it off with a clean towel.

  • Scrape away any caulk that contacts your shower pan. Common scraping tools include plastic scrapers, putty knives and flathead screwdrivers. Use what best fits the edges around your shower pan. Paint will not stick to caulk, so it must be removed before you resurface the base.

  • Clean up all caulk pieces with a dust pan and brush. Wipe the shower down with a damp sponge to remove any small remaining pieces.

  • Sand the entire surface of the fiberglass shower base with fine-grade steel wool or sandpaper. Sand only on the surface. Do not press too hard or you risk scratching the fiberglass. You should see a haze develop on the surface of the base. This hazy surface will accept paint better than the glossy fiberglass.

  • Clean the shower again, this time using a trisodium phosphate cleaner. These cleaners are available at most hardware stores, and will remove dust from sanding, as well as any remaining dirt or grime. Allow the surface to air dry completely, or dry it off with a clean towel.

  • Cover the areas surrounding the shower base with painter’s tape and plastic sheets. This will prevent any paint from staining tiles or shower walls.

  • Use spray-on paint cans or a spray gun to apply primer and paint to your fiberglass shower base. Apply one coat of primer, followed by at least two coats of paint. Allow the paint to dry and sand the surface with steel wool or sandpaper between coats for better adherence. Allow all paint to dry completely before using the shower.

Tips & Warnings

  • Follow all instructions on cleaning and painting products. Amount needed and drying times can vary depending on the product.
  • Always use spray paint or a paint gun for an even finish on the shower base. Paint rollers or brushes often cannot fill in the curves and shapes of shower bases appropriately.
  • Open any available windows and wear protective gloves when working with chemicals such as trisodium phosphate and paint.
  • Wear a respirator to avoid inhaling fiberglass fragments when sanding.

References

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