How to Paint a Bathtub

7 Materials
3 Days

My bathtub was in pretty bad shape, complete with chips, holes and a corroded drain. Some special bathtub paint and a TON of prepwork later, it looked like a totally new tub!

My bathtub really was in poor shape, so I grabbed some special tub and tile paint to give it a new look.

I wish I could say it was a quick "paint and done" project, but it really wasn't. I prepped the bathtub for two full days before I started painting. Step one was filling the chips with an epoxy putty.

Then there was a litany of cleaning steps: 1) clean with bleach and water, 2) Clean with abrasive cleaner, 3) Scrub with lime-away and an abrasive pad. Since I was really worried about the paint adhering to the tub, I was diligent in doing these steps thoroughly, so it took awhile.

I was worried removing the caulk would take awhile too, but it actually went quickly compared to everything else. After I'd taken the caulk off, I sanded the entire tub with high grit sandpaper.

At this point, I was starting to feel like I was close to actually painting. I removed the drain, and then taped up the faucets and nearby walls.

Finally, it was time to paint. This stuff smells awful, so I put a fan in the window to help ventilate the room.

I used Rustoleum's Tub and Tile kit. It took three coats to cover the bathtub and surround, which used up two kits of the paint. I have plenty of tips and tricks on using this stuff over in the full blog post, so be sure to check it out if you're thinking of doing your own tub!

A few days later, I caulked the tub. Then the bathtub was done!

It looks so much better than before! - no more chips, stains, or holes! I'm not going to say the process was easy, but it was totally worth it!

Plus, it matches my new bathroom super well! I'm not completely done yet, but you can go get a sneak peak of the bathroom over on my DIY Vanity Lights post (which were an amazing scrap wood/items project themselves!)

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Lindsay Fay

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Denise
    on Jun 2, 2020

    Looks great. Was any of your tiles chipped or broken?

  • Brenda Burns
    on Jun 2, 2020

    would painting still work on a bathtub surround?

    The sheet kind?

  • Corrinne Tryon
    on Jun 2, 2020

    Did you need to caulk the tile first. Will this work on tile that needs to be recaulked?

    • JuliaGulia
      on Jun 5, 2020

      do you mean grout - which is what is between the wall tiles? I painted over the grout on my bath walls that didn’t look very good and the paint works great.

Join the conversation

2 of 3 comments
  • Wishy washy maybe
    on Jun 3, 2020

    Barb, I was just going to repeat the exact reply. When I did it, we left on vacation for a week


  • Kat
    on Jun 3, 2020

    We have a shower that was painted. It is difficult to clean soap scum and foot dirt off of. Any advice for cleaning the painted surfaces?

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