Can You Spray Paint A Bathtub? (How To DIY Guide)

You just moved into a new home. Everything is perfect except for one thing--the bathtub. However, you don't want to spend a ton of money on repainting. You want to save up as much as you can to focus on redesigning your home just the way you wanted it to be.  

Spray painting is the fastest solution. But can you spray paint a bathtub? Find out in this article.  

If you are on a budget and need to repaint your bathtub, spray painting it would probably be one of your first thoughts. Unlike other painting application methods like brush and roller, it’s relatively easy to do on your own without any professional help. All you need to do is spray the whole bathtub, and you’re on your way to having a new-looking bathtub. But does spray paint works on every kind of bathtub?  

Spray paint is liquid paint that’s conveniently stored in an aerosol can. It comes in an easy-to-use can that has a button on top that lets you dispense the paint hassle-free when pressed down. If you don’t have any idea about traditional painting brushwork, this is an ideal alternative. It also comes in different finishes and textures, such as matte and gloss, allowing you to easily paint almost any kind of surface.  

Compared to traditional paint, spray paint lets you cover different surfaces quickly and evenly. This is why it is an effective way to apply a new layer of paint on furniture, appliances, walls, and more, perfect for many DIY projects. Depending on the surface and the kind of spray paint you use, you might need to use a primer before painting it over.  

Since it can paint almost all kinds of surfaces, does it also mean that it can be applied to all types of bathtubs available? Let’s discuss this below.  

Can You Spray Paint A Bathtub

Can You Spray Paint A Plastic Bathtub? 

Yes, you can use spray paint on your plastic bathtub. However, you need to use a specific kind of paint for this surface. When purchasing an aerosol paint, look for one that says acrylic enamel to ensure that the paint will stick to the plastic surface. To ensure that the paint will last longer, make sure you apply a primer to the bathtub before painting it.  

Can You Spray Paint A Ceramic Bathtub? 

If you own a ceramic bathtub, you need to ensure that you’re using the correct type of paint. Otherwise, you’ll waste money, time, and effort. At the same time, you might harm your ceramic and inflict damage on it. That’s why if you’re planning a DIY on your bathroom, you need to use a specific type of spray paint. Look for spray paint that’s made specifically for ceramics so that you can preserve your bathtub.  

Can You Spray Paint A Fiberglass Bathtub? 

Unfortunately, fiberglass surfaces are nonporous. This makes it difficult for spray paint to stick to the surface. Others mentioned that spraying epoxy paint would work on fiberglass bathtubs, but we don’t think it’s worth the time and effort. If you really want to change the way your fiberglass bathtub looks but don't have the money to hire a professional, you can still paint it on your own. However, you need to consider other paint application methods like traditional brush or roller brush and use epoxy paint instead.  

Can You Spray Paint An Acrylic Bathtub? 

Spray paint works just fine on an acrylic bathtub. You need to use acrylic polymer paint for this type of surface to ensure that it will be coated properly. You also need to put a primer on before spraying paint to seal the surface and smoothen different blemishes. An acrylic bathtub is probably the easiest type of bathtub to spray paint on.  

How To Spray Paint Bathtubs (Step-By-Step DIY Guide) 

If you’re ready to take on this DIY project and ensured that your bathtub can be spray painted, follow the steps below: 

What You’ll Need 

  • Bleach 
  • Scrum remover 
  • Cleaning brush 
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Sandpaper 
  • Cloth 
  • Spray primer 
  • Spray paint 
  • Paper towels 
  • Silicone caulk (if you will remove the bathtub fixtures) 
  • Trash bags (if you’re not going to remove the fixtures) 
  • Mask 
  • Optional: Epoxy putty 
  • Optional: Acetone 

Instructions 

  • 1
    The first and most important thing you need to do before painting your tub is to clean it thoroughly. Don’t just wash it over. You need to remove the grime and any other stain you see on it. If you don’t, the paint won’t attach properly to the surface, and the output will not be visually pleasing. To do this, diluted bleach to remove mold from it. If there’s grime on it, use a soap scum remover. For oily or waxy stains, use acetone. Make sure to rinse the cleaners if you are using more than one of them. You also need to scrub it thoroughly with a brush to ensure everything is clean.
  • 2
    If there are any large cracks or scratches, fill them with epoxy putty. Don’t worry if it doesn’t match the tub. You’ll paint over it anyway. The most important thing is to fix the scratch and cracks before it becomes a significant problem. Once the epoxy putty is cured, sand it.
  • 3
    Next, remove the bathtub’s fixtures if you can. It will make it easier to spray paint the tub without them. Otherwise, use a trash bag and painter’s tape to cover them.
  • 4
    After that, protect the surrounding area with more trash bags and painter’s tape. You want to cover everything you can as much as possible to ensure that the paint won’t get through them.
  • 5
    Once you’ve protected the surrounding area, lightly sand the entire tub with sandpaper. This ensures that the paint will stick. Then, remove the dust with a cloth.
  • 6
    Next, ensure that the tub is completely dry. Then, wear your protective mask and start the painting process. First, you need to spray it with the primer. This will make the paint last longer. Wait for the primer to dry. It’s best to let it cure for 24 hours before painting over it.
  • 7
    After 24 hours, spray paint the tub. This won’t be an easy process, and once you start spray painting, you shouldn’t stop until you are finished with everything. Ensure that you have enough bottles of spray paint, or your whole effort will go to waste. The spray coats usually dry within 10 minutes, and you won’t be able to spray paint over it after 6 hours, so you have to work quickly. It’s best to have someone help you throughout the whole process to ensure a seamless spray painting session. 
  • 8
    Once you’re done, let it dry for at least 24 hours. Then, reinstall the fixtures; if you’ve removed them, then you’re all set. You now have a newly painted tub.  

Why Use Spray Paint On Bathtubs?

The convenience of spray paints is nothing new. Everyone is familiar with how easy it is to use compared to other types of paint. So, it’s natural for many people to choose them over other paint types. However, spray paint isn’t always the best choice when it comes to bathtubs. Spray paints can’t be used on some tub surfaces like fiberglass.  

At the same time, you need to act quickly when spray painting a tub. It requires you to finish the coating in a specific amount of time, or else it won’t give you the output you’re looking for. Only commit to this type of paint if you have the time and money, as it will require a lot of spray paint bottles to finish a whole tub.  

While spray paint is a convenient choice, it's still best to weigh out all your options before committing to this painting method right away. Some surfaces are better with other types of paint, even if you can use spray paint on them. So, it’s best to do more in-depth research on the kind of surface your bathtub has and what paint is better on it.  


Important Tips To Know

Before spray painting your bathtub, make sure you wear a protective mask, as the smell can be intoxicating. If there are windows in your bathroom, open them to let the smell out and create as much ventilation as possible. You can also use a special mask for odor if you can't tolerate the smell of the paint. Wear gloves as well to keep your hand from getting painted.  

Another thing that you should not miss when painting a tub is the cleaning process. While it’s easier to skip this part, it will ruin the whole paint job. That’s why you need to scrub your tub clean and remove any dirt and grime you can find.  

Additionally, always sand your tub before painting it. This allows the paint to stick better to the bathtub and keeps the paint longer. Don’t forget to seal cracks and scratches, as it will help preserve your bathtub longer.  


Spray Painting Bathtubs (Before & After Results) 

Spray paint can be an excellent way to update your existing tub, especially if it has an unsightly color that has yellowed or faded over time. 

bathtub before

Before spray painting a bathtub.  

bathtub after

After four coats of spray paint, the bathtub is now fresh-looking! 


Spray Painting Bathtub FAQs 

Does spray painting a tub last? 

It depends on how you spray-painted the bathtub and what paint you’ve used. But some can last for at least two years.  


Can I paint my bathtub with Rustoleum spray paint? 

Yes, you can. In fact, there’s a Rustoleum spray paint that’s made specifically for tubs, sinks, and showers. 


Can I paint my tub with oil-based paint? 

Yes, you can paint your tub with oil-based paint if it is a cast iron bathtub. The type of paint you’ll use on your tub depends on its surface.  


How much does it cost to spray paint a bathtub? 

Spray painting your bathtub can cost between $300 and $600, depending on the type and amount of paint you use.  


Conclusion

If you want to save money, you can spray paint your bathtub. However, you need to check the surface material of your tub before committing to this DIY project. As mentioned, not all surfaces can be coated with spray paint. You're all set if you're using acrylic, plastic, or ceramic tubs. But if you have a fiberglass bathtub, unfortunately, spray paint won't be ideal.  


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