DIY Bathtub Refinishing
Years of use can cause your shower stall to become cracked, chipped, and stained with soap scum, rust, etc. The result is an eyesore that makes your bathroom look less inviting.
Give your bathroom a new makeover and make your shower more welcoming by repairing and refinishing the shower stall.
Resurfacing is one of the best options to renew a shower when the surface is worn with damage scattered over the entire area. Since it is performed on-site, you can save a significant amount of time and money.
Our article walks you through the process of refinishing your shower or tub using a Tub-and-Tile kit and epoxy, cost, and much more.
How to Refinish Your Shower
Shower resurfacing, also referred to as refinishing, is one of the easiest ways to renew a shower stall. Refinishing can help bring a new look, refresh a worn-out shower, change the color, or even repair the damage.
However, you may want to remember that resurfacing is better done by an expert for a longer-lasting fresh look. Here’s how you go about a resurfacing process.
The first step is to do a good clean and get the stall ready for the process. To start with, use a professional-grade cleaning agent to remove rust, lime, mold, mildew, soap scum, and other deposits that have built up over the years.
Then, you need to remove it as much as possible to get the surface ready for refinishing.
As the years go by, your shower stall is sure to sustain some damage in the form of cracks or nicks. You can repair most cracks with epoxy. First, open the crack with a rotary tool to create surface area. Next, pack the crack with epoxy and paint it over with a gel coat.
Cracks in fiberglass stalls require a filler specially designed for fiberglass. Apply the filler to the crack and allow it to dry. Finally, sand it to a smooth finish.
Refinishing a shower or a bathtub is the work for professionals since any error can lead to the finish peeling within a short period.
However, if you are a DIYer, you can buy a refinishing kit from home improvement stores. It contains paint, primer, bonding agent, and an instructions booklet.
Read the instructions carefully; With a patient and steady hand, you can achieve professional-looking results. You can also opt for a spray-based resurfacing kit.
Bathtub liners are products that line the inside of your bathtub. A silicone adhesive and two-sided butyl tape hold the liner in place.
However, it’s a project you are unlikely to be able to do yourself. You may need the skill of an expert. While it is more expensive than spray refinishing, it is inexpensive than replacing your bathtub.
Protect Against Future Damages
Ensure that you protect your new finish by protecting it against future damage. Prevent the accumulation of mold and mildew by keeping the shower cleaned.
You can also add a layer of topcoat to provide an additional layer of protection.
Furthermore, do not use abrasive cleaners such as Comet or Ajax.
Why Should I Resurface My Bathtub or Shower?
After all the years of usage, the original finish of the tub wears off, leaving it porous. The result is that your surface becomes dull and is difficult to clean.
The dirt, grime, and hard water stains get trapped in the pores. You may have to resort to more abrasive cleaners and a lot of scrubbing, which removes the finish further.
During resurfacing, the professionals apply a new finish coat that turns non-porous as it dries. As a result, resurfaced showers last longer, look better, and can be cleaned much more easily.
Finally, refinishing is less expensive than a total replacement.
Can Plastic, Acrylic, or Fiberglass Bathtubs or Shower Stalls be Refinished?
Any experienced bathtub refinishing company worth their salt can resurface both acrylic and fiberglass shower stalls.
Considering that most bathtubs nowadays are made of plastic, they can also be resurfaced with the help of an expert.
They use one or a combination of polyurethane, epoxy, and acrylic polymers.
Is Bathtub Refinishing Worth It?
Yes! Your bathtub is worth refinishing as long as it is in good working condition. A pro can remove any shallow nicks, scratches, and stains during the refinishing process.
What if My Tub Has a Crack, Chip, or Hole in It?
Any skilled and experienced person can fill in any significant chips in a tub. In the same way, he can also fix any lack of support underneath it with inlay. A lack of support can be determined by checking for the ‘give’ when pressure is applied to the crack. If this is the case, they use an inlay to give extra support.
However, those on the sides of the shower are not a result of a lack of support. Repairing cracks, holes, or chips is a part of the normal resurfacing process.
DIY Shower & Bathtub Refinishing
To begin with, experts do not advise you refinishing your bathtub or shower by yourself. But, on a positive note, you can save quite a bit on a DIY project.
On the other hand, it needs quite a bit of elbow grease and is not for someone with disabilities. The below method uses refinishing kits.
Clean the Surface Thoroughly
Start with removing the shower door and all the fixtures inside. Next, thoroughly clean the deposits off the floor and the wall. Finally, use abrasive cleaners and follow with a razor scraper.
Ensure that you do not wash the shavings down the drain. Instead, gather it and collect it using a damp paper towel.
Etch and Sand the Surface
Rub down the shower with an etching power to making the coating stick to the walls. Follow it with sandpaper. A dull surface helps the paint to stick better. It also removes the previous coatings.
Clean the Dry Tub with a Tack Cloth
Let the shower dry completely. Then, lightly wipe the shower with a tack cloth to ensure that it is dry.
Use the tack cloth to prevent the water from coming out from the tub or shower. At this point, cover the areas that are not resurfaced with a painter’s tape.
Cover and Replace the Caulk
If your caulk is in poor condition, you may want to replace it before refinishing. Use a razor blade scraper to remove the old caulking.
Use a caulking gun to lay down a new bead. This is a relatively simple step that yields better results.
Use a chip filler to fill holes in your shower or tub. Once dry, use sandpaper to give it a smooth feel.
Wipe On the Liquid Primer
You do not want any water in the shower or bathtub during this step. Wipe the priming product on the shower surface with a paper towel.
Apply the Refinishing Paint with a Roller
Use a roller and a brush to apply two coats of refinishing paint to the surfaces, walls, etc. You can also use a sprayer for the more intricate areas.
How to Renew a Shower with Epoxy Paint
Refinishing a shower with epoxy paint involves painting a tub and shower surround with two-part tub-and-tile epoxy paint. It is normally done by pros who specialize in this service.
However, DIY products are widely available at home improvement stores, paint stores, and online retailers. They are often marketed as shower kits rather than paint. Even though they are said to work on various surfaces, they are more successful in fiberglass and acrylic than ceramic tile and metal.
The epoxy paint sold in the kit contains two cans of paint material – Part A, a resin, and Part B, a hardener or catalyst. Once you mix them, they undergo a chemical reaction and begin to harden. The chemical reaction makes epoxy a permanent and more robust option.
For best results, epoxy refinishing paint should be applied between 50°F and 90°F with a humidity level below 85%. Epoxy paints emit strong fumes which is why they must be applied in a well-ventilated area.
Tile Shower & Shower Pan Refinishing
Refinishing a tile shower and a shower pan is similar to that of a bathtub refinishing. Firstly, a two-step cleaning process is used to clean the soap scum, dirt, and other contaminants. Then a new layer is applied.
The process includes, float in new grout, repair any chips, and change the color.
Cost to Refinish a Shower
According to the HomeGuide, a shower and/or bathtub refinishing can cost anywhere from $275 – $1,200. However, if you plan to do it yourself, you can limit it to $100, which is the price of the materials alone.
How Long Will the New Finish Last?
A quality finish will last between 10 and 20 years before it needs to be touched up again. Of course, as with every surface, the coat will eventually wear away. However, a professionally resurfaced shower or tub can last longer.
The company may also provide a guarantee ranging between 3 to 5 years.
How Long Does it Take to Refinish a Tub or Shower Stall?
Refinishing a tub or shower doesn’t take longer than a day. An experienced company may take just 4 – 6 hours, while a DIYer may take as long as one day.
However, you cannot use the shower for 24 – 36 hours after the refinishing is complete. However, for the latter case, it may take as long as 48 hours.
Replacing a bathtub is a large, multi-day, expensive project. On the other hand, refinishing is cheap and is done within a day. While you can probably refinish a shower by yourself, hire an expert technician for a better and long-lasting finish.
You also need to be aware that some companies use inferior products to lower costs. Ensure that the technician uses a high-quality 2-part urethane. Even though it is expensive, it can keep your bathroom looking fresh for a long time. Call a refinishing technician for a free estimate for refinishing your shower and bathtub.
If you are interested in having your shower completely restored, contact CleanBright carpet and floor cleaning specialists for a free quote today. CleanBright has over 10 years of experience in professional shower and tile restoration, and all their services are backed by a complete satisfaction guarantee, so they’ll give your money back if you’re unhappy.