5 Fiberglass Tub Painting Tips

paint brush
  • 2-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • $0-60
What You'll Need
Caulk removal tool, putty knife or screwdriver
Fine grit sandpaper
Baking soda
Epoxy or acrylic paint

When a fiberglass tub color just isn’t right for you, the tub does not need to be replaced. Painting it with a new color is fairly easy. When deciding to paint the tub, here are some tips that may be helpful

Remove Caulking

Check the edges of the tub to find the beads of caulk. Use a caulk removal tool, a putty knife or a screwdriver for this purpose. Keep in mind that the paint will not stick to the caulk, or if it does, it will peel off easily anyway. After removing the caulk, clean the surfaces with cloth dabbed in isopropyl alcohol. When the painting is done, reapply the caulk.

Clean the Shower Thoroughly

A dirty tub is not fit for painting. Scrub and clean every square inch of the tub to remove any dirt and grime sticking to it. Remove soap scum, calcium deposits, and water marks as well. Vinegar and baking soda paste can be made into a paste, scrubbed lightly onto the tub and washed off. If not, use TSP for thorough cleaning. Be sure to wash the tub thoroughly with water after using any type of cleaner. Wipe the tub dry with an old towel or cloth.

Sand the Tub Lightly With Fine Grit Sandpaper

Do not use coarse sandpaper to roughen the surfaces or else the bathtub will get damaged. Use fine grit sandpaper. If not, use a fine steel wool. Do not rub the sandpaper with too much pressure. Simply rub it lightly to create a rougher surface where the paint can easily stick to. Wash the surfaces after sanding to remove the residue.

After coating the bathtub with a primer or paint and decide to add another coat, make sure to sand the coat lightly as well before applying the next coat. Always make sure that paint is dry before doing so.

Always Provide Ventilation and Wear a Respirator

The fumes emitted by the paint are not good for the health. Be sure to open the windows and the door when working. Turn on the exhaust fan as well to ensure the vapors do not stay inside the room. Wear a respirator for maximum protection against the toxic fumes. The respirator is also useful when sanding the fiberglass tub. The fibers from the tub pose a health risk once inhaled.

Use Epoxy Paint or Acrylic

Epoxy paint is ideal for fiberglass tubs because it offers the best resistance to water and damage. Because the paint hardens after curing, it is scratch-resistant. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before application of epoxy paint. This type of paint becomes useless hours after mixing. In addition, look for paints with fewer odors and designed for easy application. It may be harder to apply the paint, but it does provide the most durable coat.

Acrylic is another paint that is best for fiberglass tub. It is hard-wearing and water resistant; however, it must be applied on top of latex primer.