Stain, scratches and divots in your bathtub can all negatively impact the cleanliness factor in your bathroom space. Despite employing all the cleaning methods and products on the market, your efforts may make little to no effect on the overall appearance of the bathtub surface. When this happens, the temptation to toss out your bathtub and replace it with a new one may feel overwhelming. Unfortunately, the cost to fully replace the bathtub can blow your renovation budget out of the water for the year.
Instead, you can actually reglaze the bathtub surface to restore its perfectly clean shine. When performed correctly, the reglazing process removes imperfections and restores the surface to like-new condition. You must head into the bathtub reglazing process with a clear plan in mind to avoid costly and time-consuming missteps. Read and follow the guide below to easily approach the process of reglazing a bathtub surface.
Assess Your Drains and Pipes Before Refinishing a Bathtub
Before you dive into the process of refinishing a bathtub, you must verify that the drains and pipes are in optimal condition. If these components show any wear or damage, you must replace the affected parts to keep your tub in excellent shape. Otherwise, your bathtub could fail to drain properly or even leak, which would likely lead to further damage in the future.
You can check the drains and pipes by performing a brief visual inspection with the bathtub empty, and then again with it filled with an inch of water. Verify that the drains and pipes operate as expected without leaking any fluid or showing signs of strain. Note any problems you see during this inspection to obtain the right replacement parts later on in your bathroom remodeling project.
Obtain Professional Assistance with Cleaning a Bathtub
The bathtub surface must be 100 percent free of debris before you begin the actual reglazing procedure. Since the process of adequately cleaning a bathtub requires the use of methylene chloride, you may want to acquire professional assistance for this important step. Your bathtub renovation experts will utilize the best safety equipment and tools to mitigate the risk of working with this harsh chemical.
Bathtub cleaning professionals will typically prepare the bathroom by setting up a ventilation fan in the window. Additional local ventilation devices are set up as well since this chemical can displace breathable air in and near the bathtub. After donning a protective suit, gloves and mask, the cleaning professionals spray or pour the methylene chloride solution into the plugged tub and brush it evenly across the entire surface. The cleaning solution quickly evaporates as it is wiped up, leaving a workable tub surface behind.
Eliminate Divots and Cracks in the Bathtub Using Body Filler
You must press body filler into the deep scratches and divots in the bathtub to create a smooth surface. On a scrap piece of tile, mix together a one to one ratio of hardener and filler until the mixture looks well combined. Scoop a small amount of the body filler mixture onto your plastic spreader and firmly draw it across the damaged areas in your bathtub. Make sure to completely fill the divots and scratches without leaving excess filled behind. Any filler left on the surface of the tub after it dries will need to be removed by sanding.
Allow the filler to dry for at least four hours before beginning the sanding process. Use 600-grit sandpaper to smooth out the entire surface of the tub, paying close attention to the filled areas. If the tub does not feel completely smooth, repeat the filler application and sanding steps until you have a uniform tub surface. Once you are happy with the surface smoothness, wipe down the entire tub with lacquer thinner to prepare it for the reglazing step.
Acquire Your Materials, Including Epoxy Paint for Bathtubs
You will need a roller, paintbrush, protective equipment, masking tape and paint for the reglazing step of the tub refinishing process. You must use epoxy based paint, not oil, to create a hard, waterproof bathing surface. Your protective equipment should include a filtered mask, eye goggles and thick gloves to shield your skin, eyes and respiratory system from the paint fumes. Make sure to have paper towels and shop rags on hand throughout this process.
Although bright white is most commonly used for tub reglazing projects, you can find epoxy-based paints in a wide variety of colors, from rich jewel tones to light pastels. You should reflect on your existing bathroom décor and future renovation plans to determine the best paint color to use for your bathtub. Although you can find epoxy paint for bathtubs in a spray can, you will achieve a better finish by using regular formulas designed for brush and roller applications.
Perform the Glazing Bathtub Process with Care
Depending on the condition of your bathtub, you will need to apply one to two three coats of epoxy paint to create the glazing bathtub finish you desire. Determine if you want to use a roller or brush for the application process before mixing up the epoxy paint. Apply the paint in a thin, even layer to the entire surface of the tub.
Make sure to always work in the same direction to keep the strokes looking completely uniform. Do not worry about bubbles in the paint, as those will pop and disappear as each layer dries. Allow each layer to dry for at least an hour to give the paint a chance to set up and harden. Repeat the application process until you are satisfied with the appearance of your bathtub surface. Allow the final coat to dry overnight, and then complete this project by replacing the caulk around the edge of the tub at the wall and floor surfaces.
If you want your refinished bathtub to have a professional touch, contact the experts at BathPro for assistance with this bathroom renovation task. You can call 407-869-8696 or fill out the online contact form to obtain a no-obligation estimate for your bathtub refinishing project.