Can You Paint A Bathtub And Make It Look Like New? Check This!

The focal point of your bathroom is usually the tub. It ought to be gleaming and pristine! If your bathtub is scratched, pitted, chipped, or simply is of a colour you don’t like, you can spare yourself the expense and bother of ripping the old one out and replacing it. You might already know how to clean your enamel bathtub, but what if this isn’t the problem?

A white bathtub standing on a wooden floor

Whether you want to change the look of your bathroom or brighten up an old bath, painting the bathtub is a great way to freshen the space up. It is an easy and fun DIY project that gives you an opportunity to get creative. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about how to paint a bathtub and make it look like new. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Can you really paint a bathtub?

Yes, you can paint a bathtub. However, it isn’t as simple as chucking a bucket of paint over your tub and letting it dry. There are plenty of things you have to consider. Firstly, you have to check if your bathtub is suitable for painting or not. 

You can paint acrylic and cast iron tubs easily. Plus, you can also paint ceramic, porcelain, or fiberglass tubs. You can’t get regular paint for the tub. Tubs are exposed to heat, moisture, etc. daily and standard interior paints will crack and peel under such conditions. 

You will need to buy top-rated epoxy paint from a good manufacturer. Epoxy paint is long-lasting, durable, and has excellent adhesion. If you are only painting the tub, a one-quart kit will do. However, if you are painting the surrounding tile as well, then you should pick up two.

How to prepare the bathtub for the project

As a homeowner, bathroom refinishing may seem a difficult task. However, simply follow the steps in this tutorial and you will be loving your painted bathtub in no time!

Acetone in brown glass

Things you will need

  • Caulk removal tool
  • Scrub
  • Bleach
  • Acetone
  • Bathroom cleanser

DIY steps

1. Remove the Caulk

The first thing that you have to do is remove the old caulk. If you don’t have a caulking tool, that’s alright. You can use a spackling knife or a 5-in-1 painter’s tool instead. You can get a tile refinishing kit as well for tub & tile refinishing, but that is optional. 

2. Remove the Hardware

Remove the drain hardware carefully. Moreover, if there are any fixtures in the tub, remove them using the right tools for the situation. If you can’t remove any faucets, shower heads, sprayers, etc. mask them with painter’s tape to protect them. If you have shower doors, remove them as well since it will make the bathtub refinishing task easier. 

3. Clean the Tub

Now, you have to clean the tub thoroughly using the scrub, diluted bleach, acetone, and cleansers. Open windows and run the exhaust fan before you start to clean the tub. Add a cup of bleach to 10 cups of warm water and make a solution.

Woman cleaning an old dirty bathtub

Wash the tub with this solution, and rinse well. Follow with an abrasive cleaner. Rinse again. Dip a piece of cloth in acetone or paint thinner and rub it over the surface of the tub to remove any grease or cleanser residue. Make sure there isn’t any grime, mildew, grout, etc. on your old tub

4. Repair any Imperfections

If there are any gouges, scratches, or chips in the tub, you have to fill them with tub repair products. Let it dry and then sand these areas. After this, sand the entire tub using fine-grit dry sandpaper. It will rough up the gloss so that paint adheres to the tub easily. Let the tub dry fully before you move on to the painting steps. Apply painter’s tape to protect the tiles around the tub.

5. Choose the Painting Tool

Spray guns give the best looking finish. However, they are pricey! Rollers and brushes may not give a very expensive looking finish, but they are affordable. Moreover, you will not end up covering your entire bathroom – bathroom mirror, tiles, etc. – with paint. 

6. Choosing the Paint

Choose the right kind of paint as this will determine whether your paint job will be a success or not. Make sure that the paint you used is meant for use on bathtubs, tiles, sinks, etc. Also, select the paint which is compatible with the tub you have.

How to paint a bathtub step-by-step

Painting accessories on wooden table

Things you will need

  • Paint brushes/Rollers
  • Bathtub compatible paint
  • Primer
  • Face mask
  • Gloves
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper/Plastic sheet
  • Fine grit sandpaper

DIY steps

1. Wear Safety Gear

Nothing is more important than your health and safety. It is better to be careful around chemicals than risking it. Wear gloves, a respirator mask, etc. Open the windows. If there is a fan in the bathroom, keep it running. To protect the floor, lay down plastic sheets or newspapers

2. Apply Primer

After sanding the tub and cleaning the residue, it is time to apply a coat of primer. Use a roller or paintbrush to apply a thin coat evenly. Let the primer dry completely before you start to paint.

3. Apply the Paint

After the primer dries, it is time to start painting! Carefully apply the first coat of paint, Make sure that the layer is thin, even, and there are no brush marks. Check the drying time of the paint, and let the first coat of paint dry.

Once the stipulated time has passed, gently sand the tub, and clean the residue with a clean cloth. Apply the second coat of paint, and if there is any need later, you can apply one more coat.

Primer is applied in roller

For large surfaces, use a roller or a large brush. For the edges, use a small paintbrush. Usually, two coats of paint are enough. The drying time will vary according to the type of paint you use. 

While the paint is drying, store the paints and rollers in accordance with the given instructions depending on the paint you select. Once the paint dries, remove the masking tape carefully. 

4. Seal the Paint

Once the paint dries, you should seal it with an aerosol sealer. Put all the hardware back in place. Before you use the bathtub, check the paint instructions. It is better to wait instead of literally throwing all your hard work down the drain by being impatient. 

Even after the paint has dried completely, we recommend that you refrain from using the bathtub for a couple of days to be on the safe side. 

Voila! Your bathroom remodel home improvement project is done!

What paint to use for this project

Like we mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t use paint that is not made specifically for bathtubs. It will not stand the heat and moisture, and your hard work will go to waste. Check with your bath manufacturer, if possible, and also what kind of bathtub paint will be best for it.

There are several paints available for bathtubs, tiles, sinks, countertops, etc. You can go with one or two-part epoxy paints or latex paints, particularly if you are painting an acrylic tub. In the case of a cast-iron tub, an oil-based primer, as well as paint, would be a good choice.

White bathtub


Renew the look of your bathroom by giving your tub a fresh, new coat of paint. Before you get started with the bathroom makeover, make sure that you have followed all the steps for safety, checked whether the paint you are using is bathtub friendly or not, etc.Thinking there is a lot to do? Don’t worry – simply follow the steps that we have provided in this comprehensive guide and you can paint a bathtub easily. We are confident that your bath repainting experience will be stress-free, rewarding, and fun!

Happy renovating, folks!

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