Can You Reglaze a Plastic Tub?

We asked Durabath Reemaillage de Bain Montreal this question.

The short answer is yes. Traditional baths are made of metal or cast iron and these can definitely be reglazed. The newer tubs today are made of fiberglass or acrylic which most people think is plastic.

There’s not too many companies on the market that make plastic tubs and if you go to your local hardware store or bath supplies store, most will have either an acrylic, fiberglass or metal tub for sale.

Do not resurface any baths made of acrylic or fiberglass if you have any of the following problems.

The foundation is not solid

You should never refinish the bath if the foundation isn’t solid. If you hear a lot of cracking noises at the bottom of your bath then this is a possible sign that the foundation is weak.

When the  contractor installed the tub they may not have installed it properly.

If you paint a bath with a weak foundation, the paint may crack eventually and you will be left with the same problem. The best thing you can do in this situation is either to replace your bathtub completely or to solidify the foundation before painting it. The preferred option here is to rip it out and install a new one. It will cost more but you will be much happier. Plus if you don’t solidify the foundation properly, you’ll end up with a new set of headaches.

You have a big hole that goes through the tub

Never refinish a tub that has a large hole. There are ways to seal and close the hole using fiberglass material. One possible problem you may encounter is water infiltration. This can cause mold. It may also create water buildup below without you even knowing this.

In this situation, it depends on where the hole is and how big the hole is. If it is a tiny little hole, then it can easily be patched up with a fiberglass kit.

If you have a huge hole at the bottom of the tub, it’s best to completely replace the tub. You can try patching up the hole with a fiberglass kit but if you don’t do a good job then it will cause other problems you may not see. Water can seep through which will eventually cause mold and possible rot.

How to resurface an acrylic or fiberglass tub?

Once you have determined that you don’t have any of the problems mentioned above then you can proceed to refinishing your bath. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Prepare the bath:

  1. Remove drain overflow.
  2. Completely remove any old caulking around the tub. Paint will not properly stick to caulking.
  3. Using an 80 grit sandpaper, sand the entire tub. Inside and out. This will help the bath paint to adhere to the surface of the bath.
  4. Use a degreaser to clean the bath.
  5. Dry the tub completely.
  6. Protect around the bath so you don’t get paint on the tiles or the floor. Cover the drain overflow and drain with tape.
  7. Paint the tub.
  8. Wait 2 days.
  9. Re-install the drain overflow and apply new caulking around the tub.

So the short answer is yes, you can refinish a plastic tub. But that tub that you thought was plastic is probably made of acrylic or fiberglass.

Now you just need to decide if you want to try doing this yourself or if you want to hire a professional bath refinishing company.

Companies like Durabath Reemaillage de Bain Montreal can easily do this for you. But make sure you ask them the right questions and see what they say.

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