How to Paint a Bathtub

Replacing your old bathtub is a very expensive proposition, but fortunately it can be painted to look like new. Remember, there are really no shortcuts to refinishing a bathtub. Anything short of a full removal of the old surface and repainting just won't work [source:Munro]. So roll up your shirtsleeves and start refinishing your bath tub.

Materials needed:


  • Industrial cleanser
  • Palm held sander or lots of sandpaper
  • Newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • Porcelain bonding agent
  • Acrylic paint or top coat
  • Primer
  • Face mask

Here's what to do:

  1. Make sure the bathroom is well ventilated, by opening all the doors and windows.
  2. Clean the tub thoroughly with industrial cleanser. The cleaner the tub, the better the acrylic paint will adhere and the less you will have to sand.
  3. Sand the tub. This will create a rougher surface, which will help the paint stick more readily. Be sure to wear a face mask while sanding.
  4. Rinse the tub with warm water and wait for it to dry.
  5. Cover the bathroom floor with newspaper.
  6. Put on your face mask for the next steps.
  7. Apply a coat of bonding agent with a clean cloth. This will dry in about 5 minutes.
  8. Mix the primer as per the manufacturer's instructions.
  9. Apply a thin, even coat of primer on the tub, using a brush or a spray gun. Make sure that there are no drips. If there are any drips, you will have drips on the tub when the primer dries.
  10. Apply a second coat of primer when the first coat is dry.
  11. Apply three coats of acrylic polymer paint after the primer dries, with either a paint brush or a spray gun. Let the paint dry for 30 minutes between each application.
  12. Let the top coat of paint dry for 48 hours before using the tub [source: Repair Home].