Painting a Fiberglass Bathtub: What You Need to Know

by Kelli
5 Materials
1 Day

Hello there. If you have a fiberglass bathtub that has yellowed, this may help you decide on what to do with it.

Here is a brief post on how I updated our manufactured home's garden style fiberglass bathtub with paint. I go into more details over at K's Olympic Nest (link below) so hopefully you will check that out as well.

Fiberglass tub yellowed over time.

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Our garden tub happens to sit below two windows. Over time it yellowed and no matter what I tried, I couldn't bring it back to it's once upon a time shining white.

There is a frugal way to update your bathtub with Rust-Oleums specialty spray paint (this is not an Ad just personal experience). Read on to learn more before you decide whether or not this is right for you.

There are two different Rust-Oleums Epoxy spray paint. One is an Appliance product while the other is designed for Tub and Tile. The first is an option and is more affordable—around $4 bucks a can at Walmart. The other costs more but is designed specifically for heavy water exposure. It runs about $19 dollars a can. There is also the option of paint in a can where you could use a brush and roller. This would be a more cost effective option ($24 for a quart) if you needed to update your shower and the tiles.

Read the label on the can before you decide to do this. It’s pretty toxic and you will want to be able to vent your space.

Another important step is to make sure you prep the surface to be painted (follow the directions on the label) as well as protect everything you do not want spray residue to touch.

Before you apply the first coat, double check that your surface is clean with absolutely no dust, hair, or lint.

It’s important to let each coat dry before applying the next layer. The first application should be a light coat. The next a bit heavier with the final coat smoothing out the look. I gave it about 45 minutes to an hour between each coat.

Here’s what our garden bathtub looks like now that it has been spray painted with Rust-Oleums epoxy Appliance spray paint.

After fiberglass tub makeover

Our total cost for the tub update: $10 (cost of the paint)

Materials Needed

  • 2 cans Rust-Oleums epoxy Appliance spray paint
  • Mask for spray painting
  • Painters tape
  • Plastic sheeting to protect surfaces
  • Light grain sandpaper

It's been several months since this update. So far it is holding up. I have noticed that if you place anything inside the tub, say a plastic laundry basket, you may see some wear. It is very slight and once I noticed it, I did swapped out the laundry basket.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 5 questions
  • Sandee Bishman Sandee Bishman on Apr 27, 2021

    It looks like a time consuming project. So, I'll probably wait until my outside summer projects as completed. But before I have to close up the house I may consider attacking my soaker tub that is fiberglass and has yellowed since it's under a window. Why doesn't the manufacturer warn us of these problems? I will also have to paint the front of my tub. Thanks for an interesting, thrifty project!!!

  • Kristi Kristi on Sep 16, 2021

    Hello Kelli and beautiful job on your tub ! I love the tub surround base ... is that wallpaper and if so, where did you purchase it ?

  • Laurie Walla Laurie Walla 6 days ago

    How can I take care of “peeling paint”. I had my tub redone by a professional and it began to peel off.

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2 of 12 comments
  • Lisadoll Lisadoll on Apr 28, 2022

    This is a great solution! Nothing more hideous than yellowed fiberglass!

    As far as other yellowing plastic in the home- blinds etc…

    I have , in the past, sprayed down some clean plastic items w dollar store degreaser, then left them on the concrete in the blazing sun to bleach out.

    time consuming , but worth a try for small items you are too chicken to paint!

    I have white kitchen appliances. The plastic trim yellowed. YUK.

    at first i painted the fridge trim w craft paint, and then sealed it with grout sealer. That was fine.

    But recently , noticed some scratches on the textured side of the fridge from magnets..hmm..

    i had a quart of rustoleum gloss white paint. So i rolled every which way to blend with a small nappy roller, and VOILÁ!

    Decided to do the dishwasher trim, and fridge trim the same way.

    PERFECTO! Bright white and no sealing required!

    as far as blinds go, id soak them in the tub or steam them clean , then take em in the garage , make a paint booth, and spray em w rustoleum “ specialty primer”. Hang to dry. Then hit thwm w regular RUSTOLEUM WHITE.

    DO NOT USE 3x ULTRA COVER . ITS TOO THICK FOR THIS. You want fine fine spray. Back up further and very light mist.


  • Debra Croxton Debra Croxton 6 days ago

    You might want to add the sanding step in here. The paint will not stick unless you sand it and "rough" it up so it has something to ashere to. But good project!