How to Strip Enamel Coating From a Bathtub

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Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape

  • Safety glasses

  • Protective gloves

  • Chemical paint remover

  • 2 small damp towels

  • Sandpaper

Strip the surface enamel layer from your tub with chemical paint remover and a little bit of scrubbing.

Once bathtubs that were originally finished with a porcelain enamel glaze become chipped, professionals had to treat the tub with acidic chemicals to refinish the tub. In the process of refinishing the tub, enamel paint was applied to the tub, which is different than the original porcelain enamel. The enamel paint, although glossy and appealing, is not as strong as the original porcelain enamel and can still chip and crack over time. When this happens, the enamel paint coating must be removed so another layer of enamel paint can be sprayed onto the tub.


Step 1

Apply masking tape around the tub fixtures to protect them from the paint remover. Be especially sure to cover the base of the fixtures where they meet the tub itself since this is where the chemical remover is most likely to come into contact with the fixtures.

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Step 2

Put on your safety glasses and your protective gloves.

Step 3

Read the instructions of the chemical paint remover and begin to apply the solution to the tub. Make sure to cover the entire tub. Follow instructions on the time the chemical remover should remain on the tub for best results.

Step 4

Remove the debris of paint and chemical remover with a small, damp cloth.


Step 5

Use a piece of sandpaper to finish removing any residue or paint that the chemical paint remover left behind.

Step 6

Use another small, damp towel to remove any residue left behind from the sanding.


You may have to apply the chemical paint remover more than once to get rid of all of the enamel paint.


This process is designed to remove enamel paint from tubs that have been treated with enamel paint spray. If the original porcelain enamel is damaged, contact a professional for assistance in removal. The porcelain enamel originally placed on tubs is in powder form and hardened by being fired at extreme temperatures. It will require a very acidic chemical treatment to remove the original porcelain enamel, and this can be very dangerous for a do-it-yourself project. Be sure to dispose of the paint remover safely. You will probably need to place the waste in a container. If you are unsure, check the instructions on the paint remover or contact your local authorities for more information on the proper way to dispose of it.


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