How to Resurface a Bathtub
Over time, the finish on your enameled steel or cast iron bathtub can get dull and even stained. Then the question becomes: Should you reglaze or refinish your tub? Or maybe replacing it is the thing to do. Perhaps an acrylic liner can give your tub a quick facelift. Let’s review each option and see what cost and options to do it yourself look like.
Bathtub liners are typically measured, fabricated, and installed by a company that offers a package service. Home improvement centers may stock liners for a few of the most common bathtub sizes from the major manufacturers, but most homeowners find that it is much better to hire a company specializing in such work. The average acrylic liner, with installation, runs around $1,300.
The cost for removing, replacing, and disposing of your old tub run between $1,500 and $5,000, with the national average at around $3,000. Removing a tub almost always results in collateral repairs that can add up quickly. In addition, you have to pay for demolition and removal.
Reglaze or Refinish
The cost to hire a professional to refinish your tub ranges from $200 to $900 for most homeowners. If you own an antique or specialty tub, you can expect to pay a bit more. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, expect to devote two days to this project. DIY kits can range from $60 to $100 and come with everything you need for the project.
If you decide to do-it-yourself, here are the steps, tools, and materials required.
- paintbrush or sprayer
- drop cloth
- 400-grit sanding block or orbital sander
- utility knife
- putty knife
- caulk gun
- steel wool
- disposable gloves
- dust mask/respirator
- masking tape
- plastic sheeting or paper
- two-part epoxy filler or durable resin
- abrasive cleaner
- tub refinishing kit
Steps to complete the process:
- Check drains and pipes for leaks and repair beforehand.
- Clean the tub thoroughly — remove the hardware and caulk and scrub the tub thoroughly with a degreaser.
- Repair chips — mix a two-part epoxy filler until it forms a paste or use the durable resin that some in your refinishing kit to fill any holes, gouges, or chips. Use a putty knife to fill these blemishes and scrape the excess with the putty knife to reduce sanding time.
- Once the filler material hardens, smooth the rough spot with an orbital sander or sandpaper.
- Scrub the tub again with steel wool or sandpaper three times. Vacuum between scrubbings.
- Cover any areas you will not be refinishing with paper, a drop cloth, or plastic sheeting and tape in place.
- Apply refinishing paint using an air compressor or paintbrush. Wait 15 to 20 minutes for the paint to dry and apply another coat.
- After the refinishing, paint is dry, replace hardware and caulk the areas where it was removed in prep.
With regular use, you can expect the new finish on your tub to last from 10 to 15 years. Not bad for a couple of days’ work.
If you’re looking for a new bathtub, Kingston Brass offers a wide selection of high-quality tubs in a variety of styles. You’re sure to find one that will fit perfectly with your home decor.