How To Paint Your Bath and Transform Your Bathroom

A bit like kitchens, bathrooms can be extremely pricey to update or completely renovate. When we renovated our house, we completely gutted ours and started again as 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. I wrote about our bathroom renovation here.

 From this… From this…  To this! Our bathroom renovation complete. To this! Our renovation complete.

I had a huge bathroom board on Pinterest when we started looking for ideas for the renovation and pretty much all of them 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.

I started seeing all these wonderfully painted bath tubs on Instagram and knew that’s what I needed to do to keep the costs down but totally transform ours and thought I’d write a quick blog post on how I did it.

 One of my favourite colourful baths on the gram! Instagram: @the_idle_hands One of my favourite colourful baths on the gram! Instagram: @the_idle_hands  Katie showing us how to have the perfect pretty bathroom! Instagram: @comedowntothewoods Katie showing us how to have the perfect pretty bathroom! Instagram: @comedowntothewoods  Ultra stylish black bath. Instagram: @styletheclutter Ultra stylish black bath. Instagram: @styletheclutter  The perfect shade of pink. Instagram: @faulk.house2home The perfect shade of pink. Instagram: @faulk.house2home

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

  • Surface primer

  • Paint!

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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, I have small children who like to use bath crayons! Once you are happy it is clean, make sure it is completely dry.

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Before you begin painting the bath tub, 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!)

 Dust sheets and frog tape wrapped around the feet. Dust sheets and frog tape wrapped around the feet.

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.

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Give it another clean

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 again.

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 The first layer going on. The first layer going on.

Get ready to paint!

Once you are happy with the primer finish and it is completely dry, you can start painting the tub. 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 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.

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 First coat going on. First coat going on.

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 paint brush, make sure there are no streaks. Apply the paint again and repeat this process until you are happy with the finish, but do not sandpaper the final application.

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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 bath tub in all its glory and plan how to accessorise to make the most of the new colour.

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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 bath tub will not be completely flawless, then go for it.

I’m so glad I did mine and I am extremely 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!

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If you have a go yourself, don’t forget to tag me in if you put it on Instagram!

Mel x

4 Comments

  1. Claire
    March 29, 2020 / 8:21 pm

    Hi Mel, where was your bath from? I like the acrylic, roll top that can go against a wall without the weight of cast iron! X

    • Melanie Boyden
      Author
      May 1, 2020 / 11:50 am

      Hi Claire
      I got this bath from bath store, the space is really small so it was perfect !

  2. Amrit Purba
    May 3, 2020 / 6:41 am

    Hi Mel, what colour is the paint on your wall and sink unit?

    • Melanie Boyden
      Author
      May 5, 2020 / 2:49 pm

      Hello

      The sink unit came like that, it’s from Bath Store. The colour on the bathroom wall is Warm Pewter by Dulux UK

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