How to Fix Bathtub with Enamel Paint

Over time, an enamel bath may lose its original appearance: chips and cracks appear on it. However, they can be easily removed if the tub is covered with enamel. In this article, we will talk about which restoration method is better to choose and how to restore the bathtub correctly.

Why renovate a bathtub

How to Fix Bathtub with Enamel Paint

After a long operation, imperfections may appear on any, even high-quality bath. For example, if you drop something heavy on its surface or scratch the coating. In this case, there are two ways out: try to hide the damage yourself or replace the bowl.

Of course, buying a new bathroom will require money. Especially a lot of problems will bring a bowl that is tiled. Its installation and dismantling is more complicated than a conventional bath, so the services of a master will cost you more. The apartment’s location also affects the cost of work since it is the most expensive thing to take out a bath from the last floor.

Therefore, before you go to the store for a new bathroom, try to cover the old enamel. If the damage on the bowl’s surface is small, such as a network of cracks, the home restoration will help save the situation. Plus, it’s inexpensive and easy. Most likely, you will not even need to seek help from specialists. But even the services of a bathtub restoration specialist are much cheaper than its complete replacement.

Types of enamels for bath restoration

How to Fix Bathtub with Enamel Paint

In the production of bathtubs, they are coated with a special enamel at elevated temperatures, which ensures the durability of the coating. At home, of course, this will not work. All bath restoration products operate according to the same principle: the bath surface must be carefully prepared, and then enamel is simply applied with a brush or a special gun.

After the new coating has dried, the bath can be used again. Several enamels are suitable for returning the tub to its original appearance.

Epoxin 51 and 51C

The composition of such enamels includes a hardener, which gives the coating strength. Thanks to this, a restored bathtub can serve you for at least another seven years if you treat it with care and clean it only with detergents without abrasives in the composition. The bathtub’s surface must not be cleaned with hard sponges and stiff brushes not to scratch the coating. Also, in the composition of epoxin, some components prevent the yellowing of the bath.

The main difference between Epoxin 51 and Epoxin 51C is that the first composition dries longer. As a rule, its complete hardening must have waited for two days. The second enamel dries faster: the bathroom can already be used in a day.

Reflex 50

Among bath enamels, this one is the most expensive. However, its cost fully pays off: Reflex 50 is used in cases where damage to the baths is significant. For example, the enamel will help hide large chips and cracks. The composition also contains a hardener.

A significant drawback of such enamel is its long solidification. Reflex 50 can dry out for a whole week, and you should not take a bath at this time.


Suitable if the bathroom has minor damage. Glass alone cannot hide damage, so problem areas of the bath must be puttied before using it. The glass will help to level the surface and give the bowl a snow-white color. Enamel must be applied quickly, accurately, and hardened very quickly.

Please note that enamels are pretty toxic. During the restoration of the bath, be sure to wear personal protective equipment and do not close the door. When the composition dries, also keep the entrance to the room open. If you want to update not only the bathroom coating but also the interior of the room, you can add tinting paste to the enamel composition. This coloring composition will give your bath an updated, fresh and original look.

How much enamel is needed to restore the bath

How to Fix Bathtub with Enamel Paint

First of all, consider how large the damaged area is. Also, the application method plays an essential role in the composition’s consumption. It is more economical to apply it with a pneumatic gun: for 1 m2, approximately 150 g of the composition will be required. Using a brush, you will need a little more enamel: about 170 g will be spent per 1 m2.

Buy the smallest can of enamel if you need to hide minor damage, such as a single chip or a small network of cracks. If you need to restore the full bath, purchase at least 700 grams of enamel. Also, remember that the composition must be applied in two or three layers.

How to prepare a bath for enameling

How to Fix Bathtub with Enamel Paint

For the coating to last as long as possible, it should only be applied to a carefully prepared surface:

  • First, you need to remove the rust. Treat the affected areas with acetic acid and wait half an hour. Try to clean off the remaining rust spots with some tools.
  • The next step is polishing the enamel. Be sure to wear a protective mask because the process is very dusty. The bath needs to be cleaned with a grinder with a particular grinding wheel. If you don’t have a grinder, you can also use sandpaper.
  • Deep cracks need to be filled. Apply the composition to the damaged area, level it, and wait until the putty hardens. Next, sand the area.
  • It is important to degrease the surface of the bath. This can be done in several ways. You can purchase a special degreaser or make your own from water and baking soda.

After treating the bath, wash it with hot water and dry it. Then it must be rinsed again to remove all small impurities. Also, remove the drain and tape the walls next to the tub.

Restoring the enamel in the bathroom can be different. There are three ways that you can handle yourself.

Bathtub restoration with enameling

How to Fix Bathtub with Enamel Paint

The method is inexpensive and simple. It consists in painting the bathtub with an enamel composition that hardens and hides damage. Enamel is sold in two types: cans and emulsion. In the first case, you need to spray the composition onto the surface, and in the second, use a brush to apply it.

A bathtub renewed in this way will serve you for about five years. Of course, the service life of the coating depends on the operating conditions. Choose quality enamel because some cheap compounds can turn yellow over time. A significant disadvantage of enamels is their long hardening—some dry for a day and some for a week.

Enamel is applied as follows:

  • Apply a primer to the bath.
  • If the enamel instructions say that it should be applied to a warm surface, then fill the bath with hot water and drain after 15 minutes.
  • Start applying the first layer from the sides, sinking to the bottom. Be careful not to make the coating too thick.
  • Then apply two more layers. Make sure the enamel is applied evenly.
    After the enamel hardens, polish the bath with a special polishing paste.

Bathtub restoration with liquid acrylic

How to Fix Bathtub with Enamel Paint

This enamel restoration will allow you to get a durable and perfectly even coating lasting about ten years. For acrylic to stay for a long time, the bath must be protected from substantial impacts and contact with aggressive chemicals with abrasives on the coating.

Acrylic does not smell, so when applying it, you can not use a protective mask—also no need to close the bathroom door when it dries. Otherwise, dust may get on the new coating.

Acrylic application steps:

  • Solution preparation. A solvent must be added to the preparation. Do this gradually, constantly stirring the composition. The solution will be ready when the mass becomes completely homogeneous.
  • Add paint to the solution if you want to give the bath color.
  • Close the drain with a plastic cup.
  • Pour acrylic from the edge, moving around the entire perimeter of the tub.
    Wait until the acrylic reaches the middle of the rim. Then start pouring the composition again, but now from the middle of the side.
  • Spread the solution over the surface of the bath. Rinse excess composition down the drain.

Acrylic dries in about a day. You can see the exact time on its packaging.

Acrylic bathtub restoration

How to Fix Bathtub with Enamel Paint

The easiest and fastest way. An acrylic liner is a bowl that completely repeats the shape of your bath. It needs to be fixed with glue, after which the bathroom can be used almost immediately. Liners serve for a long time, more than ten years. The only drawback of this method is the difficulty in choosing the size of the liner, especially if it is selected for a custom-shaped bath.

Insert fixing process:

  • It is necessary to free the bath from all edges. If there is trim around the edges, remove it.
  • Treat smooth enamel with sandpaper. This will help improve the adhesive’s adhesion to the bath’s surface.
  • Try on an insert. If there are extra parts, cut them off with a jigsaw and drain holes with a drill.
  • Apply sealant to the edges of the drain, overflow, and sides. Treat the rest of the surface of the liner with special foam.
  • Press the liner firmly against the tub.
  • Install a drain and fill the tub with water. It will help to fix the liner evenly. After a day, it can be drained.

Cracks and scratches on the bathtub are easy to repair. Minor damage can be hidden by applying enamel or acrylic to the bath, and special liners are suitable for those who do not want to spend time applying compositions. Self-restoration of the tub is much cheaper than a complete replacement.

How to Fix Bathtub with Enamel Paint