Can You Spray Paint A Bathtub – Spruce Up Your Bathroom

jared rice PibraWHb4h8 unsplash Can You Spray Paint A Bathtub - Spruce Up Your Bathroom

The bathtub is the focal point of your bathroom, so if it’s covered with marks and the paint looks old and shabby, it’s time for a change. There are two solutions: a professional reglazing of the tub or a replacement. Both options are on the pricier end, but luckily, there’s an easier way to refresh your bathtub at a fraction of the price: Spray paint!

Yes, you can spray paint a bathtub, provided you use spray paints designed specifically for bathtubs and tiles. It’s imperative to select a paint that can withstand humidity and moisture, which is common in bathrooms.

Remember that painting a bathtub requires more than just a tub and tile spray paint. You must ensure that the surface you’re painting is adequately prepped to make the paint last. Let’s discuss the nitty-gritty details of spray painting your bathtub.

What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On A Bathtub?

Your bathtub isn’t a regular object on which you can use any spray paint. Instead, it requires specific paint that is completely waterproof and resistant to cleaning products. You must look for a variant designed to stick to the bathtub’s surface properly.

Most bathtubs are either made of cast iron, acrylic, or fibreglass. Before you begin the painting project, find out what the material of your bathtub is so you can choose a paint that adheres to that surface.

Bathtub spray paint kits like the HT HOMETINKER Tub, Tile and Shower Repair Kit, and Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile Refinishing 2-Part Kit are popular options for refinishing bathtubs that need some TLC. Most kits include everything you need for a DIY bathtub paint job.

Epoxy acrylic paint formula mimics porcelain coating and can be used on different bathtub materials. You can either buy it in a kit or purchase it separately. If you decide to go down this route, you will need a bonding agent to be used as a primer.

The Rust-Oleum Specialty Tub & Tile Spray Paint is a good option if you have a ceramic, porcelain, or fibreglass bathtub. It is a one-step epoxy acrylic formula that withstands humidity and extremely hot temperatures.

Is It Better To Roll Or Spray Paint Your Bathtub?

The method you ultimately choose will depend on your personal preference and budget. Using a brush or a roller to paint your bathtub means there will be less cleanup after you finish. However, spray guns and paints generally give the most professional-looking finish.

Spray paints and guns can cost more than rollers and brushes, so if you’re on a budget, you can go the other route. However, you should remember that professional reglazing is much more expensive than spray painting your bathtub.

Therefore, spray paint is a better option for the job if you want results that look good and last.

How To Prepare Your Bathtub For Spray Painting

The secret to a perfectly painted bathtub is preparation. So, before you start spraying, it’s essential to get the surface ready for maximum adhesion.

1.      Remove the tub’s hardware and old caulk

Remove the old caulk using a caulk removal tool. If you don’t have a specific tool, a spackling knife can also do the trick. Next, remove the drain hardware and any fixtures you don’t want to paint along with the tub.

2.      Ventilate the bathroom properly

Before you start cleaning the bathtub, open the windows and run the bathroom’s exhaust fan to create adequate ventilation. The reason is that chemical cleaning agents have strong fumes that can be harmful to health.

3.      Clean the tub thoroughly

Now you need to clean away any grime, mildew, and soap scum from the rub. You can start by washing the tub with 10% bleach in a water solution. Rinse well after you’re done, and follow with an abrasive bathroom cleaner like Soft Scrub or Comet.

Once you’ve scrubbed the tub’s surface clean, rinse the cleaner thoroughly. Next, use a solvent such as acetone or paint thinner to wipe the entire area so that any remaining grease or cleanser residue comes off.

4.      Fill in scratches and chips

If there are any chips or scratches on the tub’s surface, fill them up with an epoxy putty or any other tub repair product. Allow the putty to dry completely.

5.      Sand the surface of the bathtub

After the putty is dry, sand the entire surface of the tub with wet/dry sandpaper. Start with 400-grit paper and follow up with the finer 600-grit paper. Sanding the surface will rough up the gloss on the tub and create a base for better paint adhesion.

6.      Give the bathtub a final rinse

After the previous step, it’s essential to clean the bathtub thoroughly with water and remove any sanding dust and debris. Wipe the surface with a clean towel or rag to speed up its drying process. Allow it to air-dry fully before moving on to the painting part.

It’s Time To Start Painting the Bathtub!

How do you spray paint an old bathtub? Follow the instructions below to get near-professional results and transform the color of your worn-out bathtub.

Step 1- Cover the area around the bathtub

Spray painting can get messy, so you should cover the area around the bathtub with old towels and drop cloths. It will help protect your floors and other nearby surfaces from accidental paint splashes.

Before you move on to painting the bathtub, create adequate ventilation by opening a window and switching on the exhaust fan.

It is recommended to wear a respirator or mask because spray paint has a very strong odor, and the fumes can be detrimental to health. Since bathrooms usually cover a small area, painting your tub inside can make breathing difficult without a mask.

Step 2- Tape off areas you don’t want to spray paint

Apply painter’s tape to any fixture or places you don’t want to paint. Remember to tape off the floor around the bathtub to ensure clean paint lines.

Step 3- Start painting the bathtub

Now that you’ve thoroughly prepped the tub’s surface and covered the surrounding areas start spray painting the tub. Make sure to keep your hand moving with a consistent speed. You should aim for thin coats of paint rather than a single thick layer.

Begin by spraying the inside of the tub at the top in one corner and slowly work your way across and down to the other side. After you’ve painted the interior completely, move onto the outside walls of the tub.

Allow the first coat to dry before going in with the second one. You should apply at least two layers of paint for an even coverage.

Step 4- Remove the tape from surrounding areas

Allow the final coat of paint to dry for at least 24 hours. Although, it would be best to wait 48 hours or more before using the tub. Once the paint has had enough time to cure completely, remove the tape from surrounding areas and enjoy a warm bath in your freshly-painted bathtub.

How To Maintain The Look of Your Painted Bathtub

Now that you’ve successfully painted your bathtub and given it a brand-new look, you need to ensure that it’s properly maintained for lasting results. Here are a few ways you can extend the life of your spray-painted bathtub.

  • Clean your tub on a regular basis to prevent the build-up of soap scum.
  • Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive cleaning materials, as they can damage the tub’s surface.
  • Don’t use cleaners containing ammonia or bleach.
  • If you need to clean the drain, use a funnel to pour the liquid drain opener and avoid spilling the product on the tub.
  • Fix any chips immediately to maintain its new look.
  • Do not leave metal items on the tub, as it can cause surface rust.
  • Be careful not to drop heavy items in the shower to evade chips and dents.


Does painting on a bathtub last?

Yes, spray painting on a bathtub delivers lasting results that stay the same for 3-5 years if cared for properly. Just make sure to follow the correct procedure to prep and paint its surface.

What kind of paint do you use on a bathtub?

The paint should be designed specifically for bathrooms because it must withstand moisture and humidity. Do not use regular spray paint on the bathtub, as the result will not last.

Is painting a bathtub a good idea?

Painting your bathtub is an excellent idea if you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend on remodeling your bathroom or replacing the tub.

How can I change the color of my bathtub?

The aesthetic appeal of your bathroom is very important, and your bathtub can make or break its overall appearance. You can easily change the color of your bathtub to match your current mood with a DIY spray paint job.

How do I know if my bathtub is acrylic or cast iron?

The best way to check the material of your bathtub is to take a magnet and place it on it. If the magnet sticks, it is made of steel or cast iron. But if it doesn’t stick, the material must be acrylic or fibreglass.


Repainting your bathtub is the best way to refresh its appearance and change the overall feel of your bathroom. The process outlined above should clear any confusion about ‘can you paint your bathtub?’ and ‘how to paint your bathtub?’

Be confident and give your bathroom a budget-friendly remodel.

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