Whenever you research bathtub refinishing you will see terms such as resurfacing, reglazing, or re-enameling. All of these terms refer to the same process – providing your bathtub with a new appearance. In this article, we will be explaining how the bathtub refinishing process works.
What is Bathtub Refinishing?
The results are exactly the same, no matter what you call it. The surface of the bathtub is refreshed o make it look new once again. There are some important things to be aware of before refinishing your bathtub.
How Does the Process Work?
Whenever possible, the drain will be removed by the contractor. That will allow the coating to last for a longer period of time. In situations where removing the drain is not possible, the contractor will need to work around the drain.
The next step is to check for cracks or nicks. Any damage needs to be filled in with polyester putty and smoothed over. After the putty has dried, the old coating on the tub needs to be removed.
A combination of sanding and acid etching is used by professional contractors to take off the coating. Because they are non-porous, this treatment can be used on enamel, fiberglass, and porcelain tubs. If this step is not done, the new layer will be unable to adhere to the tub’s surface.
Some new processes have been developed so that the etching can be skipped. If you would like to go that route, be sure to hire a reputable contractor. If the surface is not degreased and it is not prepared properly, eventually the new coating will end up peeling off.
Preparing to spray the bathtub is the next step. Before that begins, the areas where any overspray may reach will be masked off by the contractor. From that point on, the process starts to become hazardous since the chemicals that are sprayed on the tub are highly flammable and toxic.
An exhaust system needs to be set up by the contractor that is strong enough to be able to clear away the fumes. An exhaust system removes particles out of the air so the contractor can see what they working on. Contractors must wear a specialized breathing apparatus and gloves.
A primer will be sprayed on by your bathtub refinishing contractor. It takes skill and experience to be able to get a fine, even layer. After it has dried, usually a second or even third layer will be applied if necessary by the contractor. The extra prep work is worth it since it helps to ensure that the results will last longer.
Applying the topcoat is the next step. Two or three topcoat layers should be used by the contractor to achieve optimal results. The new coating needs to be 5 mm thick at least in order to create a durable finish.
After the topcoat has dried, the drain will be replaced by the contractor and the caulk line will be refreshed as necessary.
Can I Do This Job Myself
There are kits available at hardware stores to help with this type of project. However, they are not as effective when it comes to gripping the bathtub. Usually, those coatings will deteriorate more quickly than professional finishes will. If you don’t have the right equipment for spraying it on, it could result in brush marks being left behind.
Consider the nature of this type of work, as well as the hazardous materials that are used, it is best to allow a professional to handle the job of bathtub refinishing. In the meanwhile, find a different DIY project to work on.