How to Refinish a Fiberglass Tub

Written By: Nathan Justice
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: May 19, 2021
Last updated: November 11, 2023

Over time, it’s natural for your fiberglass bathtub to start becoming dull, develop cracks, or have unsightly chips. Although your first step might be to contact a professional for a quote, depending on the type of damage your tub has sustained, you might be able to refinish it at home with some refinishing kit and some extra tools. 

Similar to the process of making your fiberglass tub sparkling white, refinishing a fiberglass tub may be time-consuming for beginners, but you’re sure to appreciate the financial savings in the long run. After all, patching up any vulnerable areas can reduce the likelihood of water leaks in the future while giving you a sense of pride and accomplishment. 

How to Refinish a Fiberglass Tub at Home 

If you plan on refinishing your own fiberglass tub in your bathroom, there are many DIY bathtub refinishing kits available at The Home Depot or Amazon. However, you should also note that the results might not be as polished or durable compared to those of a licensed professional, especially if you’re new to the process. 

On the other hand, there are many budget options that are relatively safe to use as long as you follow the instructions. For maximum safety, here is a step-by-step: 

  1. Ensure your bathroom has proper ventilation and that you wear safety equipment, including a respirator mask, goggles, gloves, and knee pads for comfort.
  2. Examine the fiberglass tub and repair chips and cracks with a patching compound that is heavy-duty, allowing it to cure as needed.
  3. Remove metal hardware from the tub and clean it using a bleach and water solution, rinsing with water.
  4. Remove caulk and let the tub dry.
  5. Use a small palm sander with fine-grit sandpaper to sand down the tub.
  6. Tape off the area surrounding the tub and use a drop cloth for added cleanliness.
  7. Depending on the product you purchase, follow the instructions in applying layers of paint or resin.
  8. Wait until each coat is dry before applying a new one.
  9. Once the final coat is dry, remove the tape and reattach hardware along with the caulk.
  10. Before using the tub, ensure that the coating has completely cured and avoid any harsh cleaning materials.

For homeowners seeking professional aid or intensive fiberglass tub repair, looking up trained professionals on the Better Business Bureau can provide some peace of mind when it comes to the reglazing or refinishing of your bathtub.

Interested in buying a bathroom upgrade? Read about the benefits of a walk-in tub for seniors on Senior Strong.

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Nathan Justice manages community outreach programs and forums that help many senior citizens. He completed a counseling program at the University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology.
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