A bit like kitchens, bathrooms can be extremely pricey to update or completely renovate, so why not paint a bath for a quick refresh?
Most bathtubs come in white, so painting your bathtub any colour you wish, will give you a unique design in the bathroom.
When we renovated our house, we completely gutted our bathroom and started again.
The bath was leaking, there were holes in the walls to the point where you could see through to the outside world and a lot of the tiles were either chipped or falling off.
Read More on Our Bathroom Renovation >>>
I had a huge bathroom board on Pinterest when we started looking for ideas for the renovation.
They all consisted of monochrome bathrooms with a white suite, a different coloured sink unit and monochrome tiled floors.
I’d never really given much thought as to how I wanted the walls, other than subway tiles to keep it watertight.
Don’t get me wrong, I love our bathroom but I started wishing I’d injected a bit more colour in there.
Painted Roll Top Bath Inspiration
I started seeing all these wonderfully painted roll top baths on Instagram and knew that’s what I needed to do!
It would help to keep the costs down but totally transform our bathroom.
How to paint a bath
If you want to repaint a bathtub, it’s quite simple to do.
Acrylic and cast iron baths can easily be painted over, as long as you prepare them properly.
Best paint for a bath
Choosing the correct paint is key to having a good finish on your bath.
Acrylic polymer paints are the best options for an acrylic bath and for a cast iron tub, make sure it is suitable for metal.
Starting with an oil-based primer and paint will work on most types of baths.
What you will need
Paint sheets or old newspapers
Clean sponges or cloths
Sugar soap or normal soap
Masking Tape or Frog Tape
Quality Paint Brush/Roller
Rough and Fine Sandpaper
Bath enamel Paint!
First of all, give your bath a good clean and scrub!
Give the area of the bath you are painting a good scrub, making sure it is clean.
I used sugar soap as it prepares surfaces and cleans off grease and grime.
Not that my bath is particularly dirty, but I have small children who like to use bath crayons!
Once you are happy it is clean, make sure it is completely dry.
Before you begin to paint a bath, prepare!
Prepare the rest of the bathroom by laying down paint sheets or old newspapers around and under the bath where you will be painting. You don’t want to get paint on your expensive tiled flooring or vinyl do you?
As our bath has claw feet, I made sure I wrapped tape around the feet and also put tape around the edge of the roll-top tub (as I’m definitely a messy painter!)
Give it a good sand
Sand down the outside of the bath where you will be painting.
To give the smooth outside of the bath a rough surface so the primer can adhere to it, sand down the bath using rough sandpaper.
This will also help the paint to take hold. I used Diall Hand Sanding Sheets, 1 x 120 grit and 1 x 40 grit.
Once you have finished sanding down the bath and you are happy that it is rough enough to the touch, give the bath a clean again with either warm water or sugar soap.
Make sure that the bath is dry once it is clean and that all sanding residue has been cleared.
Prime the bath ready to be painted
Apply a good primer (I used Rust-oleum Surface Primer in grey so I could see where I had sprayed the primer), by either spraying it or using a brush or roller evenly over the bath.
This will help to fill in minor irregularities and give you a smoother paint finish.
You can apply the primer a few times until you are happy with the result, making sure the layer is dry before you apply it again.
Get ready to paint!
Once you are happy with the primer finish and it is completely dry, you can start to repaint a bathtub.
Make sure you choose an acrylic polymer paint so that it sticks to the tub and it is best to use either a spray painter or a small paint roller to give it an even finish.
My bath tub was always going to be pink so I went with Dulux Burnt Autumn 5.
Apply a few more layers
Leave the first application of paint to dry and then give it a very light sanding to make sure the paint is smooth.
If you have applied the paint with a paintbrush, make sure there are no streaks. It is a good idea to do the top coat with a roller as this leaves a better finish.
Apply the paint again and repeat this process until you are happy with the finish, but do not sandpaper the final application.
Never use the bath again and just admire its beauty!
Haha, only kidding.
Do not use the bath for around 48 hours whilst you wait for the paint to set and dry out completely.
You can, however, stand back and admire your new bathtub in all its glory and plan how to accessorise to make the most of the new colour.
When I spoke to a few paint manufacturers, they didn’t want to recommend their paint 100% as acrylic is not really meant for painting on.
But I think this is only because they can’t guarantee a perfect finish. As long as you know that your bathtub will not be completely flawless, then go for it.
I’m so glad I did mine and I am incredibly pleased with the results. It would have cost me several hundred pounds to buy a new tub, not to mention the plumbing in costs, so I think this is money very well spent!
If you repaint a bathtub yourself, don’t forget to tag me if you put it on Instagram!
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