How to Refinish a Bathtub
Here at NAPCO, we frequently get calls regarding how to refinish a bath tub, how to reglaze a bathtub and how to resurface a tub. Refinishing, reglazing and resurfacing all refer to the same process.
Bathtub refinishing, also known as bathtub reglazing, is the process of making an old bathtub look new. If properly done with quality materials, by a professional refinisher, the result will be a tub with a durable, like-new finish.
NAPCO offers the best supplies, equipment and training for bathtub reglazing in the industry - click here
Your bath reglazing business can go a whole lot smoother with a professional company like NAPCO backing you up.
How to Refinish a Bathtub 1st Step: Site Preparation
The first step in how to resurface a bathtub is site preparation. The surrounding walls, floors, sink, toilet and windows need to be protected.
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How to Refinish a Bathtub 2nd Step: Damage Repair
The second step in how to refinish a bathtub is repairing damage. Your tub may be chipped, pitted, cracked, rusted or even burned. Chips are filled in with special putty, as are pits in the floor. Cracks may be fixed with an inlay. Rust needs to be cleaned out. Burns are sanded down, and then filled in.
Chemicals are used throughout the process and some of them are quite strong with potential serious health side effects. Personal protection is essential to your well being. Methylene chloride, a chemical frequently used in strippers, can cause serious headaches, dizziness, eye, nose and throat irritation. Exposure to high concentrations in an enclosed area can even be fatal. Please see this paper by the California Department of Public Health (PDF).
Paper or cartridge masks are not sufficient to protect you. A fresh air breathing system is recommended by professionals. A professional exhaust system is also recommended. NAPCO offers a stripper free of methylene chloride; ask your professional refinisher to use it.
How to Refinish a Bathtub 3rd Step: Etching
The third step in how to reglaze a bathtub is etching. This step achieves a surface that coatings will adhere to. If this isn't done correctly, using top-grade materials, the final coating may very well peel in the near future requiring complete rework. Professional refinishers have the knowledge and skills to get this done right.
How to Refinish a Bathtub 4th Step: Primer
The fourth step in how to resurface a tub is priming the surface. Primer can be applied with a brush, but the final result will look like it has been painted on. A trained technician will apply the primer with a professional-grade air brush system. These systems usually run about $750 to $2,000 but are well worth it.
How to Refinish a Bathtub Final Step: Final Coat
The final step in how to resurface a bathtub is applying a final coating. This can be white, bone or a custom mixed color. The coating is applied with the same airbrush as described above. With training and extensive experience a technician learns to spray evenly, resulting in a drip-free and evenly coated surface. Again, this coating can be applied with a brush or small roller, but the result is almost never satisfactory.