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Bathtub Refinishing 101: Tackling This DIY Project in 7 Steps

Open a window in the room closest to your bathroom and put a piece of cardboard inside with a hole to fit the hose. Pass the hose under the plastic wrap into the next room and through the hole in the cardboard. (My company needed a 25-foot hose to get to the window in the bedroom next to her bathroom.) Use painter’s tape to tape the cardboard to the window frame and hose to the cardboard.

Step 2: Fix any chips or dings using epoxy putty

Follow the instructions on the epoxy product. Once the putty dries, you will likely need to sand these spots with fine sandpaper to ensure that they are completely blended.

Step 3: Clean the bathtub and dry it thoroughly

It is important to Get the bathtub as sparkling as possible To ensure the coating continues smoothly. Weekly wiping won’t work, you’ll need to deep clean before proceeding with refinishing.

Step 4: Sanding, Cleaning, Repeat

Since sandpaper can emit fine particles into the air, you will need to wear a respirator (or at least a high-quality mask such as KN95) before starting this step. Use a sanding tool, sanding block, or steel wool to polish the entire surface of the sink, which helps with sticking. “The surface should be polished and cleaned two or three times to get the best result,” says Carpenter. Each time you sand, remove the residue with warm water, then use a rag to wipe off any residue while the surface dries. When they’re done sanding, some people choose to clean their sink again.

Step 5: Protect the fixtures

Use painter’s tape to cover areas such as the faucet and drain. If the faucet or shower head tends to drip, attach a plastic cup to collect the water.

Step 6: Apply Bathtub Refinishing Product

Put on the respirator, goggles and turn on the fan. Spray or paint over the product of your choice, following the directions carefully. Note that you may need multiple layers, especially if your bathtub is heavily stained or has a dark color. If you are using a roller with a short nap, remove the fluff so it does not mix with your product. “Use a piece of painter’s tape to pull any loose fibers from the roller,” Wilson says. You can also use small foam paint brushes for curves or hard-to-reach areas.

Once you are done, you will need to let it dry completely between coats and should wait a few days before taking a bath in the bathtub. “Let the new glaze dry for at least 72 hours, and do not touch the sink until it is completely dry,” Carpenter warns. Wait to make any blister until after the tub repainting products have dried.

Step 7: Maintain Your Bathtub

Consult the directions for recommendations on caring for your bathtub, but keep in mind that you will likely want to avoid vigorous scrubs or abrasive cleaners after resurfacing your bathtub. “I use Lysol Multi Surface Cleanerbut there are probably some harsher cleaners out there that you won’t be able to use,” Wilson says.

Other things to know about bathtub resurfacing

Before you start dreaming about a leisurely soak, here are a few other things to keep in mind about the refinishing process.

  • When it comes to supplies, round off. Remember that you will likely need more materials than you expect. “To avoid running out of paint or other stuff in the middle of a project, it’s a good idea to buy more than you think, and you can always return unused and unopened products later,” Sherktt says.
  • Don’t underestimate the fumes. This project is best done during the warmer months so you can keep the windows open and have a transportation plan for your crew. “There will be a strong odor for more than six hours after the tub is painted, so wear a quality mask and have family members leave the house while the project is in progress and for several hours afterward,” Wilson says.
  • Watch out for moisture. Although warm temperatures are ideal, you also want to stay away from wet periods, where the paint or glaze takes longer to cure.

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