Bathtubs can last for a very long time. Still, damage can happen. Enamel can chip, metal can rust – a tub’s age starts to take its toll. Replacing a bathtub can be a costly measure. It can also be a lengthy and involved process. Many people are increasingly refinishing their tubs instead of replacing them, but refinishing is not the answer to every issue. Refinishing a bathtub is excellent when wear and tear have worn a tub’s surface but not damaged the structure.

Bathtub Refinishing

To properly refinish a bathtub, the right chemicals are needed. Since chemicals are in use, proper safety gear and procedures are required. Anyone using chemicals to refinish a bathtub should carefully read the instructions and safety guides and follow them strictly.


For bathtub refinishing, three chemicals are used: polyurethane, epoxy, and acrylic polymers. These chemicals are the most common ways to refinish a bathtub effectively and inexpensively.


Polyurethane is pretty straightforward, being the same style of paint for many years. The combination of paint and resin makes for a durable yet simple, stylish finish. The mix of organic and human-made compounds, usually involving plastics and mineral spirits, creates an excellent finish that lasts and restores a bathtub’s worn look to new. Note that polyurethane has a distinct odor, and precautions should be taken when working with such a product. Water-based versions exist and are less odorous but are not ideal for a bathtub refinishing.


Epoxy, a type of adhesive paint, is another excellent refinish option. Epoxy is extremely durable but can be tricky to work with because the process involves a mixture of chemicals.

Acrylic Polymers

One of the best options for bathtub refinishing is acrylic polymers. Acrylic polymers are durable, transparent, and easy to apply. They also lack the harmful chemicals in polyurethane. They don’t yellow like epoxy. Acrylic polymers are the best in terms of health and long-term durability, making for an easy and effective refinish that will last and look good without endangering household residents’ health.

Refinishing a bathtub can be an involved process, but it’s cheaper and easier than replacing a tub and will help ensure the tub you have continues to last. As long as the safety guidelines and instructions followed, refinishing a bathtub is a safe and reasonable alternative to tub replacement.

Call a Professional

If you feel uncomfortable using chemicals or are not the DIY type, call a professional. Professional refinishers can select the right product for your project, and they have experience with the process. They bring all the protective equipment required, ensure that the chemicals are used safely in your home, and clean up all residue afterward. No fuss, no mess. And you are left with a beautifully refinished bathtub.