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Can You Refinish A Fiberglass Hot Tub?
A fiberglass hot tub is a portable hot tub that uses an insulated shell to warm the water.
Fiberglass is not made of “glass” but acrylic; it’s also not heat-resistant like glass, meaning it’ll soften when the water reaches 115 degrees F.
Hot tubs like this are usually installed in-ground or on raised surfaces where they’ll be less exposed to potential heating problems (like sun exposure).
Yes. Fiberglass hot tubs are durable, and one can easily refinish with a few coats of gel-coat paint. Fiberglass pool requires regular chemical treatment to avoid calcium buildup, which weakens polyester foam in the pool’s surface during normal use.
This is a popular DIY project that saves on labor costs.
Fiberglass hot tub lasts for decades when properly cared for and maintained.
A fiberglass hot tub is much less likely to have these issues since it does not use chemicals and does not get as much use.
Still, the hot tub’s exterior must always be clean, polished, and protected from harsh weather.
Refinishing a fiberglass spa with gel-coat paint is a popular do-it-yourself project that can save on labor costs. Gel-coat paint is easy to apply and provides a durable, glossy finish.
Every few years, the extra effort in painting your spa is well worth the results.
Most hot tub owners want their spas to keep their original color, so they continue to look fresh for years.
How To Refinish A Fiberglass Hot Tub?
Remove the spa cover and hardware, including the knives. Remove any loose debris or dirt. Brush away excess dirt with a broom.
Remove all the clutter from around the tub so you can easily access the area where you plan to paint.
Sweep under and around a wood or cement floor to get any gravel or other minor hazards out of your way.
Protect the area you will be painting by covering any flooring and furniture.
Using a paint roller, apply two coats of gel-coat paint over your fiberglass hot tub.
Use a small brush to apply gel-coat(Amazon Link) over any cracks or other imperfections in the fiberglass surface.
If you are using a colored gel coat, ensure to look at the packaging and select a color that matches your existing hot tub color.
After applying two coats of gel-coat paint, remove the plastic over the spa by removing screws and covers.
Check the area for any chips or scratches that may have occurred during assembly. Apply a coat of paint to fill in these scratches.
Wash your hot tub and shampoo it with a cleaning solution (with bleach if necessary). Ensure that everything is clean, dry, and free of chemicals.
Using a medium-grit sanding block, sand the top of your hot tub with 100- to 120-grit paper. Sand until the surface is smooth.
Vacuum the area with a soft-bristle attachment. This will remove any sanding, dust, and debris. Use a tack cloth on a rag to remove any loose dust particles.
Apply at least two coats of clear enamel to protect your newly painted hot tub from chipping, cracking, or fading.
Is It Worth It To Refurbish A Hot Tub?
Yes. If you boast of an old hot tub, it is worth refurbishing it. It is an intelligent investment, as refurbished hot tubs can last many more years than those neglected.
Here are some benefits of a refurbished hot tub:
- You save money you could use to buy a new one
- It’s a healthier option
- It is an eco-friendly choice
- You get to enjoy your hot tub for years to come
- You miss out on the hassles of buying and installing a new one
However, how can you refurbish your hot tub? There are two ways to do it. One is to have your hot tub professionally serviced.
Here, all you have to do is schedule an appointment with your local service provider and pay the price, including parts and labor.
The second is the DIY option. Here, you take apart each hot tub component manually and get down to cleaning it.
If you are going the DIY way, consider using the following tips and get your hot tub looking its best in a short time.
How Do You Resurface A Hot Tub?
Here is how you can resurface your hot tub and make it like new:
What you need:
- Fiberglass Resurfacing Resin (available at your local pool store)
- Mixing bucket and a drywall trowel.
- Latex gloves. – Safety goggles or glasses to protect your eyes from resin splashes.
- Razor knife for cutting the old coating off the hot tub before applying a new coating.
- Sponge (for washing off resin from the tub).
- Roller applicator pad (available at your local pool store)
- Hot water – if you are having trouble getting the new coating on.
Step 1: Safety First. Ensure you wear safety goggles or glasses to protect your eyes from resin splashes.
Also, wear latex gloves to protect your hands from the hot resins and drywall trowel for mixing and smoothing the coating.
Step 2: Clean. Determine the floor where you will apply the coating. Wash it thoroughly with hot water and soap to remove all sawdust, dirt, and grime.
Make sure your floor is spotless.
Step 3: Select a location – This first coat of resin will have a solvent-based mix in it, thus making sure that your floor is well sealed from the concrete wall to the tub itself.
There should be no holes or grommets where the tub leaks resin and ruins your floors. Also, make sure the floor is dry before applying the first coat.
Step 4: Clean and Replace – After the floor has dried (at least 24 hours), clean the wall area where you are applying the coating.
Remove all debris, loose plaster, or old paint around fiberglass tubs.
Ensure you have no scratches or nicks in your tub, for this will be a chemical mix and can damage your tub if there are any imperfections.
Step 5: Resin primer. Before applying the resin, you need to prime the tub with a primer. For this, you can use a color called “White,” but paint matching the tub’s color is better.
Using a roller applicator pad and good old-fashioned elbow grease (and maybe some chemical mixing), mix up a bit of resin and apply it to the entire tub/underbody of your tub. Let it dry overnight.
Step 6: Resin. The next day, mix up more resin and apply it to your entire tub with a roller applicator. Let the resin dry for almost 24 hours.
It should be completely dry before applying layer 2 of the resin.
If you have trouble getting the new coating on, you can use hot water to help you mix the resin and make it easier for you to apply with your roller applicator.
Step 7: Sand. After applying the first coat and dried, sand off any bumps/imperfections to further cure the coating.
You can utilize a drywall trowel or a special floor sander for this job. Make sure you wear your gloves when you are doing this.
Step 8: Primer – Using your roller applicator again, roll on some primer onto the sanded area using your primer color (or white). Let it dry for 24 hours.
Step 9: Resin – Now that the primer is dry, mix more resin and coat your entire tub. Apply a thick layer and let dry for 24 hours.
How Do You Resurface A Fiberglass Tub?
Step 1. Resurface the edge.
Now that you have a tub all ready to go, put some caulk underneath the edge of the tub and give it a few minutes so that it gets nice and dry before you sand;
This will prevent the problem of bubbles. Use 80 or 100-grit sandpaper to remove any flaking or chipping paint. Seal the edges of a fiberglass tub with caulk.
Step 2. Clean the surface with an alkaline cleaner. Use Hexylene-glycol with a 5:1 ratio of water to Hexylene-Glycol;
This is the best cleaner to use because it will remove any grease, soap scum, and tough grime without harming the surface your tub.
Scrub clean with a plastic or nylon brush if you feel you are doing something constructive.
Once you finish scrubbing, rinse thoroughly with warm water and dry the surface thoroughly.
Step 3. Sand out all excess paint. This stage is crucial because if you don’t remove all excess paint.
You risk having an uneven surface, especially for a smooth finish when it comes to your tub’s surface. Use a sanding block with 150, 220, and 320 grit sandpaper.
Run the paper lightly from the center of your tub to the edges and across the edges of it.
Step 4. Paint your tub. Use a quality acrylic paint that will adhere to your tub’s surface like a sealant and give it a nice finish that will make it look brand new again, replacing none of its parts.
Step 5. Add a protective coating to your tub. This step is optional and will probably be a matter of personal preference.
Still, many people like to add this protective layer because it makes the tub’s surface softer, easier to clean, and will protect it from future chips and scratches.
The protective coating recommended for fiberglass tubs is a polyurethane-based finish in an eggshell or satin.
Step 6. Enjoy your tub.
Can You Refinish A Hot Tub?
Yes. If you know your tub is in good condition but needs some work. Here is how you can achieve it yourself.
- Remove all the grout from the tub with a grout knife or putty knife.
- Mix water and Trisodium phosphate to create a light paste, then scoop it onto the surface with a paintbrush, spreading it evenly with your hand.
- Wait for about 10 minutes, then scrub with an abrasive pad to remove any residue until the surface is clean and dry (before starting this step, some people like to cover their tub in layers of old sheets or tarp before cleaning it).
- Apply tub refinishing compound and a high-quality roller covered in plastic, smoothing the compound as you go.
- Once dry, sand the area smooth using some wet/dry sandpaper, and then apply more tub refinishing compound and roll it out again until there are no loose or higher areas than others (if this happens, use some fine-grit sandpaper to sand it down).
- Paint the tub with an excellent quality white latex paint and allow it to dry overnight.
- Once dry, apply 2-3 coats of white sealer in a well-ventilated area, then allow it to dry for approximately 24 hours.
- You can then apply your own choice of finish, applying a fresh coat of sealer after every application if desired (for example, you could use a satin or gloss Armico product).
- Allow every coat to dry well before applying the next one to achieve the best result possible.
How Can I Change My Fiberglass Tub Color?
You can change the color of your fiberglass tub by using a unique process that uses a non-toxic and non-corrosive “neutralizer” to change the tub’s color.
You can then clean the desired surface with soap and water, making it ready for fresh paint or sealant.
To restore the color to your tub, remove all loose paint, then reapply neutralizer using a clean rag. Neutralize the paint several times until the desired color has reached.
After that, clean the surface with soap and water.
You can install a brand new surface for your tub by applying a resin-based primer and topcoat to it. Just paint over your tub using enamel-based paint and apply two coats.
Make sure that you sand away any bumps or ridges before you apply paint to your bathtub so that the surface is even.
After you have completed your first coat of paint, take a piece of masking tape and tape it to the front edge of your tub so that you can see when the second coat is dry.
Then wait at least 48 hours before applying the third coat.
Can You Paint An Old Fiberglass Tub?
Yes. You can paint an old fiberglass tub following the below steps.
The first step to painting your fiberglass tub is to use an oxygenated cleaner to remove any mold or soap scum.
Spray the cleaner on the tub’s surface, wait 20-30 minutes for it to work, and scrub off anything that has come loose.
Next, rinse all cleaning products with water and dry the tub before painting it.
Next, prime your fiberglass tub with paint specifically made for use on fiberglass surfaces. This will get the paint to stick to the tub better and prevent chipping or peeling.
You should also choose a paint color specifically formulated to work with fiberglass surfaces.
When you are painting a fiberglass tub, the paint has to be thick enough so that when it dries, it still feels very smooth, like when it was new.
Once your tub has primed, you can then paint the surface of your tub according to these instructions.
Paint the area of your tub that you want to paint first.
You can paint inside out or outside in, but be sure to provide plenty of ventilation when you are painting because the fumes from the paint will make it very hard for you to breathe.
For painting in an outside place, do not cover your windows or doors with a tarp because this will trap the fumes inside and make it very hard for someone to get in and out of your house.
If you want to look professional, then consider using a sprayer.
Is There Paint For Fiberglass Tubs?
Yes. If you are searching for a paint made explicitly for fiberglass, you will want to look into the specially formulated PWR-150 by Porter Paints.
This paint will last a long time because it is high heat and UV resistant. It also contains a superior quality epoxy that is not toxic when mixed with water.
These properties make it ideal for their use in bathtubs and showers where moisture may get into the fiberglass, as well as showers and tile floors in your house.
You can purchase this product at your local paint store or the manufacturer.
Does Painting A Bathtub Work?
Yes. Painting your bathtub is a great way to add color, prevent mildew and mold, and clean your tub. However, the process might not be worth it.
You can use the time and cost spent in painting in other ways. If you’re going to paint your tub anyway, try adding some nice wall stickers on the walls in different types of patterns or prints instead.
Many home improvement stores also sell vinyl with patterns that you can use to trim around the windows or hide electrical boxes with little effort.
A tub may be a hassle to paint, as it’s quite a large piece of furniture. If you’re looking for a new tub, consider buying easy to clean and maintain one.
You will not only get to save time and money, but you won’t have to paint it.
What Is The Best Paint You Can Use On A Fiberglass Bathtub?
Here are the top 8 brands of paint for fiberglass bathtubs based on reviews from Amazon customers who have bought these products in question.
- Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X High Heat
- Behr Premium Plus Ultra
- Graco Premium Plus Ultra High-Heat Interior Paint and Primer
- Rust-Oleum Professional OXYDYNAMIC 1500 RTU
- Rustoleum ProLuster Primer Plus Ultra High Heat 500732
- Rustoleum Pro 1500 Ult
- RUST-OLEUM Painter’s Touch Ultra Painted Finish 893104K
- Behr Premium Plus Ultra High Heat Interior Paint & Primer in One
You can quickly see which brands are more popular than others by looking at the number of reviews on amazon.com.
I hope this article has been of great help with much information about hot tubs, spas, and saunas.
It’s an excellent idea to take advantage of the benefits of hydrotherapy and relax in your very own hot tub.