As a professional kitchen and bath refinisher, you know that the products and equipment you use are crucial. In other words, using the right bathtub refinishing products can save you valuable time and money. But how much do you really know about bathtub refinishing primers? 

Can You Use Primer on a Bathtub?

There are many primers that are safe and beneficial to use on bathtubs. Depending on the material and conditions of the bathtub you are working on, there are different types of bathtub primers to consider. So, let’s look at some NAPCO favorites and when to use them.


Bathtub Refinishing Primers Compared: NAPCO’s Top Picks


NAPCO Gorilla Grip
Wipe-On Primer

NAPCO’s Gorilla Grip Wipe-On Primer is revolutionary. Five minutes with Gorilla Grip Wipe-On Primer replaces one hour of prep. Simply clean the tub with our Piranha Prep, rinse and dry, wipe on Gorilla Grip Primer, and save an hour or more of tough prep work on every job. It's that simple.

NAPCO High-Build Primer

There are all sorts of issues that can be thrown at you on a job. For example, the original tub color could bleed through, you may have difficulty covering wood grain or some other type of pattern, or you might be tasked with refinishing a tub bottom that is covered in pits. Our High Build Primer will take care of all these problems—saving you time, money, and frustration. With NAPCO’s High-Build Primer, we make it easy to prime and fix imperfection at the same time. Our High Build Primer requires no induction time, and conveniently mixes with Universal Catalyst.

NAPCO Epoxy Primer Resin

Porcelain, cast iron, steel, and ceramic surfaces require a low-build primer system designed to adhere tightly to the surface while retaining flexibility that resists cracking. NAPCO’s Low-Build Epoxy Primer Resin is just that product. This fast-dry tub epoxy primer is applied in 3–4 light tack coats without worry of unevenness or runs—and it takes just 10 minutes to tack. It even covers up minor pits or imperfections!


Which Bathtub Refinishing Primer Is Best?

Our extensive testing has proven Gorilla Grip provides as good or better bond than conventional etching and primer. And with NAPCO’s Gorilla Grip, there’s no etching, no sanding, no loading time, no spraying primer, and no gun cleanup—meaning you save valuable time and money. 

On average, a NAPCO-certified refinisher will complete two tubs per day. Imagine what you could do with an extra 1-2 hours or $200 in your pocket every day. Add another refinishing job to your day? Keep your labor costs to a minimum? Use the time saved to grow your business? With Gorilla Grip, you can do it all!


How Do You Prep a Bathtub for Refinishing?

To prep a bathtub for refinishing, you’ll need to:

  1. Remove the Bathtub Hardware
  2. Clean the Bathtub 
  3. Mask and Protect Areas Around the Bathtub

The rest of the necessary preparation and surface preparation will be based on the type of primer that is best for your project. You will need to follow the specific instructions based on your chosen bathtub primer.


Is It Worth It to Refinish a Bathtub?

Refinishing a bathtub is more cost effective than replacing it, saving customers time and money. It is by far the least cost option to change the color or repair a damaged tub—and as a professional refinisher, you can earn more than $100 per hour doing it!


How Long Does Bathtub Refinishing Fumes Last?

The odor from the bathtub refinishing fumes will be strongest within the first few hours, but the smell could last for up to 24 hours. Thankfully, NAPCO’s products have very low smell when compared to other bathtub refinishing products.


What Do Professional Tub Refinishers Use?



Professional bathtub refinishers use high-quality products that contain harsh chemicals. Due to the chemical nature and particular handling of many of our products, NAPCO does not sell to the public. We are concerned for your safety and want to make sure you are educated on the products you are using. However, prospective customers can contact us to see if they qualify to become a NAPCO dealer.


Get the Best Bathtub Refinishing Primers on the Market from NAPCO!

Have you wanted to try a different bathtub primer or line of refinishing supplies but been held back because of the cost of switching? NAPCO will buy your entire refinishing supply inventory and replace it with NAPCO bathtub refinishing products—one for one with no restrictions. When you partner with NAPCO, we also offer a customer loyalty program that helps refinishers like you stay on budget and save even more on top-tier refinishing materials. So, what are you waiting for? Take advantage of our trade up offer today!

Not a professional refinisher yet? Attend one of our training programs, led by highly experienced trainers and including extensive hands-on experience. By attending NAPCO’s training class, you will learn the proper procedures and processes required to have full success in refinishing bathtubs (along with tile, cabinets, countertops, and more)! Additionally, you will learn about the best coatings and chemicals in the refinishing industry that you may have never used before or may not be familiar with. 


Are you a refinisher in need of a quality supplier and/or partnership?


Ready to take the next step to become a NAPCO qualified refinisher?