Do you have a bathtub that doesn't look so great these days? If so, you're probably wondering what's involved to refinish the bathtub to get it looking great again. Here is an overview of the steps that you'll need to go through if you decide to take on this task by yourself.


Start by preparing the top for the refinishing process. You'll need to remove all of the caulk from around the tub's rim by using a putty knife to get it all loose. Next will be to degrease the surface of the bathtub, which is to remove any layer of soap scum on it that can cause a problem with the refinishing process.

The surface of the tub must then be etched in order for the new material to stick to the surface. If you have a porcelain tub, this can be done by using a special type of acid that is mild and specifically made for use on porcelain surfaces. If you have a fiberglass tub, the surface can be etched with sandpaper. Rinse down the tub and degrease the surface one more time to ensure that it is clean. You can use a special tack cloth to get rid of dust that is on the surface from sanding. 

Finally, use painters tape to mask off the area around the tub. It also helps to put down paper on the surrounding surfaces to ensure that you do not damage the floor or wall that surrounds the tub.


You'll use a primer with an epoxy base to cover the tub's surface. You will need to apply multiple coats of primer according to the directions, with some primers requiring more coats than others. Wait for the primer to dry completely, then use your tack cloth to clean the surface.

Multiple coats of aliphatic polyurethane will then need to be applied to the tub's surface. Once again, the amount of coats that you use will depend on the type of aliphatic polyurethane that you purchased. Allow the material to completely dry before deciding if you are satisfied with the finish. If not, try applying another coat of the aliphatic polyurethane to the surface. 

Finish by removing the masking material around the tub, and applying caulk to the space between the tub and the surrounding tile.

Seem like a lot of work, or not comfortable doing this all on your own? Reach out to a professional that specializes in bathtub refinishing in your area for assistance.