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How to Refinish Plastic Bathtub

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An image capturing the transformation process of a plastic bathtub refinishing project

Are you tired of looking at your worn-out, stained plastic bathtub? Don’t fret! You can easily transform it into a sparkling oasis with just a few simple steps.

Refinishing your plastic bathtub might seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and tools, it’s a breeze. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process, from preparing the surface to applying the refinishing coating.

Get ready to revive your bathtub and enjoy a luxurious bathing experience once again.

Key Takeaways

  • Clean the bathtub thoroughly using a mild detergent and warm water.
  • Choose the right refinishing kit based on material compatibility, longevity, clear instructions, necessary tools, and color choices.
  • Use cleaning solutions like baking soda and vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar, or lemon juice and salt to remove stains.
  • Apply multiple thin layers of a high-quality refinishing coating, following the contours of the tub, and allow sufficient drying time.

Preparing the Bathtub Surface

To properly prepare the bathtub surface, you’ll need to clean it thoroughly using a mild detergent and warm water. Begin by filling the bathtub with warm water and adding a few drops of mild detergent. Use a sponge or soft cloth to scrub the entire surface, paying special attention to any areas with built-up soap scum or stains.

Rinse the bathtub with clean water to remove any residue from the cleaning solution. Next, dry the bathtub completely using a clean towel or cloth. This step is crucial to ensure proper adhesion of any repair or refinishing products that will be applied later.

Choosing the Right Refinishing Kit

When choosing the right kit for your project, make sure to consider the type of material your bathtub is made of. Different materials require different refinishing products and techniques.

Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the right refinishing kit:

  • Material compatibility: Ensure that the kit you choose is suitable for the material of your bathtub, whether it is acrylic, fiberglass, or porcelain.
  • Durability: Look for a kit that provides long-lasting results and is resistant to chipping, peeling, and fading.
  • Ease of application: Opt for a kit that comes with clear instructions and all the necessary tools for a smooth and hassle-free application.
  • Color options: Choose a kit that offers a wide range of color choices to match your bathroom decor and personal preferences.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Consider the cost of the kit and compare it to the cost of replacing your bathtub entirely.

Refinishing your bathtub can be a cost-effective alternative to replacing it entirely. By choosing the best color and a high-quality refinishing kit, you can transform your worn-out bathtub into a fresh and stylish centerpiece for your bathroom.

Cleaning and Removing Stains

Cleaning and removing stains from your tub can be made easier with the right cleaning products and techniques.

When it comes to cleaning techniques, you have several options to choose from. One effective method is to use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Simply sprinkle baking soda onto the stained areas and then spray vinegar over it. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a non-abrasive brush.

Another DIY stain removal option is to create a paste using hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar. Apply the paste onto the stains and let it sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing off.

For tougher stains, you can also try using a combination of lemon juice and salt.

With these cleaning techniques, you can easily say goodbye to stubborn stains and keep your tub looking clean and pristine.

Applying the Refinishing Coating

Once you have prepared the surface, it’s time to apply the refinishing coating to your tub. This step is crucial in restoring the look and durability of your plastic bathtub. Here are some expert tips to ensure a successful application:

  • Clean the tub thoroughly: Remove any debris or dust particles that may interfere with the coating’s adhesion.

  • Choose the right coating: Select a high-quality refinishing product specifically designed for plastic surfaces.

  • Apply multiple thin layers: Instead of a single thick coat, apply several thin layers to achieve a smooth and even finish.

  • Use the proper technique: Apply the coating using long, even strokes, following the contours of the tub.

  • Allow sufficient drying time: Give the coating ample time to dry and cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

By following these applying techniques, you can avoid common mistakes such as streaks, drips, or uneven coverage.

Remember to work in a well-ventilated area and wear appropriate protective gear for your safety.

With patience and attention to detail, your plastic bathtub will soon look brand new.

Finishing Touches and Maintenance Tips

To maintain the newly refurbished tub, it’s important to follow these finishing touches and maintenance tips.

After refinishing your plastic bathtub, it’s crucial to repair any cracks or chips immediately. Use a two-part epoxy adhesive that is specifically designed for plastic surfaces. Fill the cracks with the adhesive and smooth it out with a putty knife. Once the repairs are done, allow the epoxy to cure completely before using the tub.

To prevent future damage, avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes that can scratch the surface. Instead, use a mild non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth to clean the tub regularly.

It’s also essential to avoid placing heavy objects on the tub as it can cause cracks or damage the surface.

With proper care and maintenance, your newly refinished plastic bathtub will continue to look great for years to come.


In conclusion, refinishing a plastic bathtub is a cost-effective and efficient way to give your bathroom a fresh and updated look. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can achieve professional-looking results without the need for expensive professional services.

Did you know that according to a recent study, refinishing a bathtub can save homeowners up to 80% compared to replacing it? So, why spend a fortune on a brand new bathtub when you can easily refinish your existing one and enjoy significant savings?

Give it a try and see the amazing transformation for yourself.