DIY Bathtub Restoration Guide

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If your bathtub is starting to look old and has chipping paint, you can refinish it for the fraction of the cost of installing a new bathtub.

In this guide we will go show you how to restore your old enameled bathtub to a great, like new condition, without hiring a contractor, for less than $100 in materials.

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Bathtub Refinishing Cost

Typically, a bathtub restoration costs $1,500-2,300 when you hire a contractor.

Replacing an old bathtub will cost much more as it well involve removing walls / tile, plumbing, opening the floor joists below the tube to disconnect and reconnect the drain, and then installation on new tub as well as new tiles. Shall we say this can easily cost over $4000-5000.

DIY Tub Reglazing

Old Bathtub Restoration

At the same time you can do this all yourself in 3-4 days (including 72 hours drying time for the surface epoxy), using HOMAX Tough as Tile DIY bath restoration kit, and all for less than $100!

Let’s first take a look at how much this will really cost:

  • HOMAX Bathtub Restoration Kit: $40-45
  • Chemical Respirator Mask: $15-30
  • Cleaning sponges: $1-5 ($1 if you go to the Dollar Store, and $3-5 at Home Depot / Lowe’s)
  • Dish Soap: $2
  • Two Gallon Bucket: $5
  • Razor Blades and Painter’s Tool: $5-7

Most of these you will have at home anyway, but if you don’t, prices are above, and total is at, or below $100.

Here is a quick video overview of what the final result looks like:

In my particular case, our tub already had an old coating / paint which I had to remove, and this took most of my time.

In your case, chances are that you will not have to deal with it, thus your time to restore your bathtub can be cut to just a few hours + 72 hours for coating to fully cure and dry.

Honestly, most people can do this in less than a day!

How To Restore A Bathtub Yourself – Step By Step Guide

1) Preparation: As mentioned above, our tub already had some sort of coating / paint on it, and it was a pain to remove it, and that’s why it took me 2 days to clean it out. For most of you the tub will not be coated, and prep will be much simpler.

What you will need is a cleaning solution for bathtubs, and a few scrub pads. Make sure you clean the ENTIRE surface really well with solution and scrub pads. Do it 2-3 times and put some hard work into it – when done well, the restoration product will stick very well!

Next, use steel wool provided with the KIT, and brush entire surface for the tub multiple times, flipping and turning the steel wool inside out several times. Wash the shavings down and do the process again 2-3 times.

2) Taping off the walls and applying HOMAX bathtub refinishing product: Once above cleaning steps are done, use painter’s plastic sheets and masking tape, to cover all walls and floors around the tub.

You may get some dirt inside the tub during this, so wash the tub again with warm water, let it dry for 15-20 minutes and then wipe it clean with MICROFIBER cloth. Do not use paper towels or cotton cloths as they will leave lint in the tub. Use gloves as not to leave fingerprints on tub surface.

Once tub is clean and dry, put on your RESPIRATOR before you start applying the coating! HOMAX spray on compound is VERY TOXIC and will burn your throat of you do not use a mask!

3) Applying the HOMAX Tough As Tile DIY Bathtub Refinishing Coating

1 – FIRST COAT: Shake the spray can WELL for 1 minute. Then, starting from the top, hold the can 8-10 away from tub surface, apply thin coat, using horizontal motions.

Make sure to avoid runs and drips of wet coating. DO NOT OVERSPRAY. Work your way down, making sure that you spray evenly.

Cover entire surface of the tub, and let dry for 15 minutes. Do not try to cover every single spot, as this may cause runs of wet coating.

2 – SECOND (FINAL) COAT: Using the same technique, apply second and final coat. Now make sure you completely cover entire surface. Once again, try to avoid runs.

I recommend that you wear a hat, to prevent sweat drips onto tub surface and to prevent your hair from getting painted.

Once you completely coat the bathtub surface (you will use about 1.5 cans) leave the tub alone, close bathroom door and tape around the door with masking tape, to prevent HOMAX fumes from entering into the rest of the house. Otherwise you will have a strong chemical smell everywhere.

Make sure you do not expose children or animals to these fumes.

Also, the application should take place at about 72F degrees, for proper curing.

Once everything is done, let the coating dry for AT LEAST 72 hours. Do not splash water or take showers in the tub, until it is completely dry!

All set – you’ve just restored your bathtub and saved about $1500-2000 by doing this yourself! Congrats – you are a PRO!

About Leo B

Leo has been a contractor since 2003, specializing in: roofing, siding, general contracting (GC) and residential remodeling. Leo is also a Certified HVAC, Oil & Gas Heating Technician/Installer. In addition to roofing and remodeling, Leo is passionate about Solar, green building and energy conservation, so a lot of my time and energy goes to installing energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

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