Can You Paint A Plastic Bathtub? (Complete Guide)

by Katie Williams
Plastic Bathtub

Who doesn’t wish for a sparkling clean bathtub that doesn’t wear off the colors? However, that’s quite not possible with all the soap and oil that gets accumulated in it. This may make the bathtub look old and worn out, wanting you to get a new one.

Worry not, because if that’s the case, you can always paint your plastic bathtub (with the right paint, of course) to give it a new look. Bathtubs are always exposed to soap, water, and other harsh materials that can erode their looks, making their use unworthy.

Painting your plastic bathtub can not only give the bathtub a new look, but also the whole bathroom. So, stay tuned till the end to know how to paint your bathtub, what to paint with, and much more!

Best Ways To Paint A Plastic Bathtub

Painting a plastic tub is not easy, it requires some distinctive paint and painting techniques. Covering those stains and dirt can give the bathtub a new look. And for this, you will need some materials, apart from the special paint, to get to work.

Painting your bathtub will be easier with a paint roller than with a classic paintbrush. To make this task considerably simpler, you may also use a spray can. But remember to use water-resistant paint as the tub is always filled with water.

How to Paint a Plastic Bathtub

Here’s a step-by-step guide to painting your bathtub into a completely new one.

1. Clean the Tub

The first step in painting your bathtub is to remove all the dirt, grease, soap, etc properly. Bleach the tub well and rinse it thoroughly using bathroom cleaners. Then, let the tub dry before proceeding with any further steps to ensure there is no moisture in it.

2. Repair If Any Damage

If there are any damages in your tub, make sure you repair them before painting. Once you paint the tub, making any kind of repairs to the damages will spoil the tub and the time and money spent on the painting will become useless.

Hence, the repairs should be made well before painting. Epoxy filler is something that can be used to repair any cracks or dents.

3. Protect the Tiles Before Painting

The tiles around the bathtub do not need your paint. Be mindful of the bathroom tiles while painting your bathtub. The paint can stick to the tiles causing them to become messier.

Therefore, cover the tiles around the bathtub with tape to avoid the paint from sticking to them.

4. Use Primer Before Paint

To get a smooth finishing look for your bathtub, remember to use a primer before you paint. Along with giving a glossy look, it makes the paint stick better to the bathtub. Apply the primer a few hours before you apply the paint, as it can give better finishing.

5. Paint the Tub

After letting the primer dry up, get your special paints out and start painting. Mix the paints in proper proportion and shake them. Transfer the mix into a spray can if you are using one. Apply the paint evenly throughout the bathtub, moving in a single direction that creates a perfect finish. You can also use a paint roller to do the same.

When there are some edges or small places near the drains or taps, you can use tiny paint brushes to cover them with the same paint. Coat the bathtub well with at least 2 coatings of paint, so that it cannot be ripped off easily. However, make sure to leave a sufficient gap between the two coatings as well.

6. Remove the Tape Used to Protect the Tiles

The work is not done after applying the paint. Make sure you let the paint dry thoroughly before starting to use it. Once the paint is left to settle for a few hours, go ahead and remove those protective tapes on your bathroom tiles.

Remember the paint has to dry off completely before you start using the bathtub. Else, all the efforts will go in vain, ripping the paint off.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on a Plastic Tub?

The best suitable paint for any plastic bathtub is acrylic paint. It sits on the surface of the bathtub and does not drain away even when washed. Using acrylic paint after applying the primer gives it a complete glossy look.

You can also use epoxy which is great for plastic tubs and also prevents cracks even if the water is at any temperature. Moreover, it is nontoxic which is another major concern as it cannot harm your skin as well.

Can You Refinish a Plastic Bathtub?

Definitely, you can! A plastic bathtub can be refinished in the same way as any other bathtub. With time, your plastic bathtub tends to be worn out and you feel like you want to replace it. But instead, try refinishing it and it will get a completely new look.

Refinishing a plastic bathtub is very simple. You just have to clean the surface thoroughly and look for any repairs to be done. Let your bathtub dry completely and then apply a bonding agent which can be a primer to let your paint stick properly. After letting the primer dry, apply the acrylic or any special water-resistant paint evenly to the bathtub, giving it a glossy finish.

Can I Paint My Acrylic Bathtub?

Yes, you can paint your acrylic bathtub. But the paint should be such that it sticks to the bathtub and not wash off. Using a primer before painting the bathtub is the best thing to do. This provides a perfect finish to it.

Make sure to give the bathtub a double coating of paint so that the paint doesn’t come off, giving you a long-lasting look. Use acrylic polymer paint for your acrylic bathtub, as that is the most suitable paint.

Before painting make sure you use sandpaper in the bathtub to clean any kind of filth and later clean that as well. Wipe it off with a clean cloth and some water rinsing in the bathtub to make it suitable for painting.

Can You Spray Paint A Plastic Bathtub?

Spray painting may sound all fun until the mess takes over. Spray painting your plastic bathtub can be a good idea but ensure you protect the other stuff in your bathroom before you spray.

Put some tape on your bathroom tiles before you spray and cover all other items that can get the paint spots. And you’re free to spray paint your bathtub with your desired paint!

But using spray paint cannot guarantee an evenly painted bathtub. The spray can be more in some places, whereas it cannot reach a few other places. This will not give you the desired look for your bathtub.

In short, while you can spray paint your bathtub easily, you will need some skills to paint it evenly and give it a glossy finish.

Final Thoughts

Looking at all the above-said information, painting your plastic bathtub might be a perfect thing to do if it looks old and rusty. However, this can be a good idea only if it’s done the right way. Use the right kind of paint, on the right surface, at the right time letting the moisture and primer dry before painting.

I hope this article has given you some ideas on painting your plastic bathtub and given you a proper guide on how to paint it.


What Kind of Paint Will Stick to Plastic?

Usually, paints that are oil-based or acrylic stick to plastic without much effort. However, applying a primer that acts as a bonding agent to the plastic before painting can go a long way in keeping the paint intact.

Is Painting a Bathtub a Good Idea?

Absolutely! Everyone should actually consider painting their bathtub. It can become dirty and old as you use it regularly. Painting your bathtub gives your bathroom a fresh and new look which is hygienic as well!

However, the materials used for painting the bathtub must be specific. With the right materials, you can easily give your bathtub a glossy look.

Can You Change the Color of a Plastic Bathtub?

Changing the color of your plastic bathtub is possible and is not much difficult. Not just plastic bathtubs, but any kind of bathtub color can be changed. You can change the color with some simple steps that are mentioned in this article. The only thing you need is a specific paint that holds on to the plastic and is water-proof.

How Long Does a Painted Bathtub Last?

A painted bathtub usually lasts for about a decade or more. However, when you use ordinary paint to paint your bathtub, it will not last long and might come off in weeks.

Instead, you can use a specific paint that is water-resistant or acrylic that doesn’t wear off, no matter what the temperature of the water is. So, if you use such kind of special paint, it can last for around 10-15 years without any repainting. This time can extend as well depending on the use of your bathtub.

Is Priming Necessary Before Painting?

If you are painting a plastic bathtub, using a primer would be a good option. This will ensure that the paint sticks to the surface, giving it a proper base.

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