Step-by-Step Guide: How to Paint a Bathtub for a Fresh New Look

Can You Paint a Bathtub

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Is your old bathtub looking dull, discolored, or outdated? Don’t worry! With the right tools and techniques, you can breathe new life into it by giving it a fresh coat of paint.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of painting your bathtub to achieve stunning results that will transform your bathroom with minimal cost and effort.

From understanding the benefits to gathering materials and tackling each step like a pro, our comprehensive guide has got it all covered.

Can You Really Paint Your Bathtub?

Yes, you can paint your bathtub for a fresh new look using the proper materials and techniques.

Key Takeaways – Can You Paint a Bathtub?

  • Painting your bathtub is a manageable DIY project that can give your bathroom a fresh new look without breaking the bank.
  • Rust-Oleum’s Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit provides durable and glossy results that can last for years with proper maintenance.
  • Before painting, it’s crucial to take safety precautions such as wearing protective gear, ensuring good ventilation, and preparing the area around the tub carefully.
  • Proper preparation steps such as cleaning, sanding, and using primer/sealer are essential for achieving professional-looking results and maximizing durability.
Can You Paint a Bathtub

Understanding The Process And Benefits

Painting your bathtub might seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and approach, it’s a manageable DIY project that can breathe new life into your bathroom. The process involves thoroughly cleaning and sanding the tub to create an even surface for primer application, followed by multiple layers of paint to achieve a shiny, like-new finish.

Restoring your tub can have numerous benefits as well! For example, if you’re working with an outdated or fading color scheme in your bathroom – who could forget those classic avocado-green bathtubs from decades past? – painting the bathtub in a more modern hue instantly updates the space without breaking the bank.

Plus, refurbishing not only improves aesthetics but also helps maintain durability by addressing any signs of rust and wear early on.

Factors To Consider Before Painting

Before painting your bathtub, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, you must check the condition of your bathtub. If it has cracks or chips that go through the surface layer, it may not be suitable for refinishing.

Another factor to consider is ventilation in your bathroom area. It’s important to open windows or use fans while painting as some products used can produce harmful fumes.

By taking these factors into consideration before beginning your bathtub renovation project with Rust-Oleum’s Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit or other paints available in the market, you can avoid costly mistakes and achieve optimal results with little effort involved!

Safety Precautions To Take

Before beginning the process of painting your bathtub, it’s crucial to take necessary safety precautions. First and foremost, wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask to avoid contact with harsh chemicals that may be present in cleaning solutions or paint products.

Additionally, make sure the bathroom is well-ventilated by opening windows or using a fan to avoid inhaling fumes.

It’s important also to prepare the area around the tub carefully. Protect floors with drop cloths or old towels and tape them off securely with painter’s tape. Avoid leaving any items lying around that can lead to tripping hazards during the project.

Materials You’ll Need For Bathtub Painting

To successfully paint your bathtub, you’ll need safety gear (goggles and a respirator), cleaning solutions such as Comet or Lime-A-Way, sandpaper, painter’s tape, enamel or epoxy paint, primer, and sealer.

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Safety Gear

Before embarking on the project of painting a bathtub, it is crucial to prioritize safety measures. It’s imperative to wear proper safety gear, including goggles and gloves, as some of the cleaning solutions used can cause eye or skin irritation.

Additionally, using a respirator mask when sanding or spraying paint helps prevent inhalation of dust and fumes.

I remember wearing gloves and goggles when I first attempted to paint my bathroom sink. While working with Comet cleaner around the basin edges, it splashed into my eyes but thankfully did not cause any harm due to the protective gear in place.

Remembering to use sandpaper gently during surface preparation also added another layer of protection for myself and others present in the room during this DIY project.

Cleaning Solutions

Cleaning the bathtub thoroughly with appropriate cleaning solutions is crucial for ensuring that the paint adheres smoothly and looks great. For acrylic or fiberglass bathtubs, it is best to use a non-abrasive cleaner like Comet or Lime-A-Way to clean any dirt, soap scum, or stains before sanding.

When working on porcelain tubs, one can use an abrasive powder cleaner like Bar Keepers Friend coupled with a scrub brush to remove rust stains and other tough marks.

Remember that using acid-based cleaners like vinegar may cause damage to the surface of your bathtub over time. It’s always essential to stick to recommended products when cleaning your bathtub so that you don’t cause any harm inadvertently during the process.

Additionally, ensure you wear protective gloves while handling these chemicals as they may be harsh on your hands.


I highly recommend using Rust-Oleum’s Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit for painting your bathtub. The kit includes a two-part epoxy acrylic paint that provides a durable and glossy finish, perfect for giving your tub a new look.

Before applying the paint, it is important to properly clean and sand the surface of the bathtub to ensure that the product adheres well. Additionally, it is recommended to apply at least two coats of paint with a four-hour drying time in between each coat.

Taking these steps will help to avoid any peeling or chipping of the paint over time.


To achieve a smooth and even surface, sanding the bathtub is an essential step before painting. The type of sandpaper needed depends on the condition of the bathtub’s surface.

Generally, 220-grit sandpaper works well for removing any rough patches or stains on porcelain bathtubs while coarser grits may be necessary for deeper scratches or rusty areas.

I found that using wet/dry sandpaper with water helps to prevent dust particles from being released into the air during the process.

Painter’s Tape

During the preparation stage of painting your bathtub, it’s essential to use painter’s tape to protect any areas you don’t want to be painted. This type of tape is specially designed not to leave a residue or damage surfaces when removed.

It can be used around the edges of the tub and on fixtures like faucets and drains that you want to keep paint-free. When using painter’s tape, make sure the surface is clean and dry before applying it for maximum adhesion.

From personal experience, I found that using high-quality painter’s tape like FrogTape worked best when painting my bathtub as it prevented leaks and made clean-up easy.

Primer And Sealer

One of the most crucial steps in painting a bathtub is applying a primer and sealer. These products help the paint adhere to the tub’s surface, ensuring that it lasts much longer than if you were to skip this step.

A quality primer acts as a base coat by filling in any imperfections on the tub and providing excellent adhesion for your topcoat.

I highly recommend using Rust-Oleum’s Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit, which includes both primer and sealer in one package for your convenience. Be sure to read through these instructions carefully before starting your project so that you understand how long each product should dry before moving on to the next step.

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Step-by-Step Guide To Painting Your Bathtub

This section provides a detailed guide on how to paint your bathtub, from the preparation steps to adding the final touches. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to update your bathroom or simply want a fresh new look, this step-by-step guide will help you achieve beautiful and long-lasting results.

Preparation Steps Before Painting

To ensure a successful bathtub painting project, preparation is key. Firstly, remove all caulk and silicone from around the tub. Using sandpaper or a scouring pad, scrub the surface of the bathtub thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris that could compromise paint adhesion.

Next, cover any surfaces surrounding the bathtub with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect them from any potential drips or spills.

It’s important to note that some bathtubs require a primer coat before painting for better adhesion.

By taking time and care during each stage of preparation, you’ll be well on your way toward achieving professional-looking results for your newly painted bathtub!

Applying The Primer

Before applying the primer, make sure the bathtub is thoroughly cleaned and dried according to instructions. Then, begin by masking off any areas you don’t want to be painted using painter’s tape.

Next, mix the primer according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it evenly onto your bathtub using a brush or roller in long strokes.

One thing to keep in mind is that some primers require two coats, so be sure to read the label carefully before starting. Also, let each coat dry completely before moving on to prevent smudging or peeling later on.

Taking these steps will help ensure a smooth surface for your paint job and maximize durability over time.

Applying The Paint

The moment has arrived to transform your bathtub with a fresh coat of paint. After completing the preparation steps and applying the primer, it’s time to apply the paint.

With Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit, mix both cans of paint together thoroughly before pouring them into a roller tray. Starting at one end of the tub, use a 4-inch foam roller to apply an even layer of paint using long strokes.

Be sure not to let the paint pool or puddle in any area as this will form drips that can’t be fixed. Once done, wait for four hours for the first coat to dry completely before recoating with another layer of paint using the same technique as before.

Did you know that taking extra care when painting around hard-to-reach areas like drains and overflow prevents clogs? You can also spruce up your bathroom’s look by painting tiles around your bathtub or shower! Use oil-based paints if hair products tend to hit these surfaces often since they’re easier to clean compared to latex paints.

Adding The Final Touches

After applying the second coat of paint, it’s important to let the bathtub dry for at least 24 hours before adding any final touches. Once fully dried, remove any painter’s tape and gently sand away any imperfections or areas where the paint may have dripped.

Next, apply a clear sealer to protect your newly painted bathtub from wear and tear. Make sure you choose a product specifically designed for bathroom surfaces.

Finally, replace the hardware such as knobs and spouts with new fixtures that complement your refreshed tub.

Remember, with proper maintenance like using non-abrasive cleaners and avoiding harsh chemicals on your newly painted tub, you can enjoy its fresh new look for years to come!

Proper Bathtub Maintenance

After painting your bathtub, it’s important to maintain its new look and durability. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing too hard as they can damage the paint finish.

Instead, use a non-abrasive cleaner like dish soap and water to clean the tub regularly.

Additionally, avoid placing heavy objects on the painted surface as they may cause chipping or scratching.

Proper maintenance of your freshly painted bathtub will ensure it lasts for years to come without needing any touch-ups or repaints.

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FAQs About Bathtub Painting

Some of the frequently asked questions about bathtub painting include: How long will the paint last? Can I repaint my bathtub later on? How do I clean and maintain a painted bathtub, and what should I avoid doing after painting it? Read on to find out all the answers you need to know before taking on this DIY project.

How Long Will The Paint Last?

After painting your bathtub, you might be wondering how long the new finish will last. The durability of the paint largely depends on the quality and brand of paint used, as well as how well it was applied.

But generally speaking, if properly maintained, a newly painted bathtub can look fresh for up to five years or even longer.

To ensure your newly painted bathtub lasts as long as possible, make sure to regularly clean it with non-abrasive cleaners and avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the finish.

And remember that after about two weeks from the application date is when you can use cleaning products on your freshly-painted tub. Additionally, avoid leaving heavy items in the bath for an extended period such as full-sized shampoo bottles or metal objects like razors which may chip or scratch away at the finish over time.

Can I Repaint My Bathtub?

Yes, you can repaint your bathtub if necessary. In fact, many people choose to repaint their bathtubs as a way of updating the look without having to do a complete renovation.

It’s important to note that you’ll want to ensure that the previous paint job is removed and surfaces are properly prepared before beginning a new coat of paint for longevity purposes.

If you’re unsure about how to properly prepare your bathtub for repainting, there are several resources available online with step-by-step instructions on how best to approach this DIY project.

Additionally, choosing a high-quality paint designed explicitly for bathroom use will help ensure that the end result looks great and lasts longer – using products such as Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit can provide long-lasting results at an affordable price point.

How To Clean And Maintain The Painted Bathtub?

Cleaning and maintaining a painted bathtub is essential to keep its fresh new look for an extended period. To clean the painted surface, you’ll need to use non-abrasive solutions and avoid acidic cleaners that can damage the finish.

A daily cleanup after each shower or bath helps prevent grime buildup on the surface.

For long-term maintenance, avoid using sharp objects or abrasive materials that can scratch or damage the paint’s protective layer. Using bath mats at the bottom of your tub will provide extra protection from scratches.

Keeping your painted bathtub well-maintained will prolong its life and save you money in repairs or replacement costs in the future.

What To Avoid After Painting Your Bathtub?

After painting your bathtub, you’ll want to avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads as they can scratch and damage the new finish. Instead, use a mild cleaner and soft cloth to clean your bathtub.

It’s also important to avoid using bath mats with suction cups as they can pull up the paint and cause peeling.

One more thing to keep in mind is that while your newly painted bathtub may be tempting to use straight away, it’s important to give it time to fully cure before taking a soak.

This typically takes around three days after the final coat of paint has been applied according to Rust-Oleum Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit instructions.


Painting your bathtub is an affordable and simple way to give your bathroom a fresh new look. With the right materials, safety precautions, and step-by-step guide in tow, you can transform your dingy old tub into a beautiful and modern piece of art.

Not only does it save you money compared to replacing it entirely, but it’s also an easy DIY project that anyone can do themselves.

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