General Question

newtscamander's avatar

Is it possible to paint a bathtub and shower?

Asked by newtscamander (2843points) July 29th, 2012

The bathtub and shower in my new apartment are a murky pea-green from the sixties that doesn’t really appeal to me. I just browsed around for ideas to refurbish the bathroom and found out that there seem to be some ways to paint the tub and shower white. Has anyone tried this? I would like to find out whether the appliances turn out looking “painted” or if the surface stays smooth and shiny?

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16 Answers

Judi's avatar

It is possible but it really needs to be done by a professional refinisher, with a product specific for that purpose.
In my experience as a property manager trying all sorts of ways to refinish old tubs and showers, they never really last.
If you are a renter, the expense probably wouldn’t be worth it and your manager probably would want to have evidence of workers comp and liability insurance of any contractor you hire to do it, if they even allow it.

filmfann's avatar

We had our bathtub repainted by a professional a dozen years ago. It lasted about 2 years before it started pealing, and looked like shit again.

newtscamander's avatar

Do you know anything about the costs? I guess they differ regionally, but a general estimate might be nice…

woodcutter's avatar

Having an old tub refinished is really expensive if done professionally. I think part of what drives the cost is knowing it would be much, much more to have a tub replaced with all the peripheral work in the bathroom done in order to do that. Most of the time it won’t hold up for long. Those DIY kits are a joke.

jca's avatar

My mom had it done a long time ago and she couldn’t use any cleansers on the tub. It’s nothing like buying a new tub. I realize a new tub has considerable expense attached to the tub itself, plus the plumbing. I say just deal with the tub you have and accessorize by having shower curtain and towels that are nice and the colors you like.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I have seen many bathtubs/shower areas refurbished by professionals when I was a hotel inspector. @filmfann is right…it starts to chip and peel over a short time.

The type of tub described is probably a metal base with an enamel finish on top. It is similar to fingernails. If you have ever had a manicure, the polish doesn’t last, even if done professionally.

If you are renting, listen to @Judi, our Fluther apartment owner and manager. It is not worth the personal expense to have it done. Even if you do it yourself, it could cost you the deposit, plus an additional fee when moving out.

How about embracing it as a retro look? Also, most people can adjust to surroundings after getting used to them.

jca's avatar

You can get some towels that have shades of green, brown, and gray, to go with the tub. It seems 70’s colors, which were popular when I was a kid (in the 70’s) are back again.

Sunny2's avatar

I agree with @jca that accessories can be the most practical way to make it different for you. Many tile colors other owners have chosen are hideous to new renters or owners. I would look for wall paper patterned with an element that has a tint or shade of the green of the tile in it. Then use other colors in the wall paper for towels, rugs, and other accessories: laundry basket; waste basket; tooth brush holder; soap dish; etc. The green tub would lend itself to a floral theme, but use a theme and color scheme that you would like.

Judi's avatar

@Sunny2, but she needs to be sure to get the Landlords permission first. B

Sunny2's avatar

@Judi True re the wall paper. The rest doesn’t need approval. It can be carried out.
A shower curtain, if one is needed, could partly do the job of distracting one’s eye, which is what I’m suggesting the wall paper could do.

rooeytoo's avatar

I tried it once and it was a hell of a job. The paint was extremely thin and it was almost impossible to eliminate brush strokes. And if I loaded the brush more it ran like mad. I am sure the pros spray to make it look good but what is said above sounds logical, it wouldn’t last very long especially if you scrubbed.

jca's avatar

For a rental, I wouldn’t put wallpaper in as it’s a bitch to remove, and unless you want to lose your security, you’d have to remove it.

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newtscamander's avatar

These are great responses. I will just take some time to think about a few possible designs and then invest the money in them rather than the painting job! Thanks a lot!

jca's avatar

If you have a shower curtain closed, the tub is mostly not even visible.

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