10 Steps to a Quality Refinishing Job

New refinished tub, after completing a 10-step punch list
Newly refinished tub

Here is a quick rundown of the 10 steps for a quality tub refinishing job. Paint removal and shower doors are additional steps not included here.

1.- PROTECTION

Upon entering the property Cover carpets and hallways with a drop cloth, paper, or plastic.

Cover floor tile with 4 mil. plastic and tape

Cover walls, vanity, and mirror with 1 mil. painter’s plastic

2.- VENTILATION

Set up exhaust ventilation; either use the bathroom window (if to the side of the tub) or connect to vent hoses and run to the nearest window.

3. SILICONE AND CAULK REMOVAL

Using a heavy-duty scraper, remove all silicone and acrylic caulk. Use a heat gun if necessary to soften the caulk; it will remove all traces of caulk.

4.- CLEANING

Scrape the tub surface with razor blade scrapers (2″ and 4″), remove most dark deposits, and then vacuum. Wash the tub with a soap remover and a green heavy-duty scrubber pad, remove all leftover deposits, and rinse with plenty of water. Remove excess water.

5.- ACID ETCH

With the respirator on, apply an acid etch with a 4″ paint brush covering all tub areas, beginning with the top. Work your way to the sides, then the bottom and the outside, being careful not to drip acid on the floor. Allow 15 minutes before rinsing with hot water. Rinse several times to remove all residue, using a scrubber pad to make sure no residue remains on the tub surface.

6. SURFACE REPAIRS

If rust is present, treat with a rust inhibitor, allow to dry, fill chips, cracks, and damaged areas with a fiberglass body filler, allow to dry and sand smooth.

7.- MASKING

Completely mask and cover surfaces with masking paper and tape. Using sandwich bags and tape, attach 1 bag to the shower head and to the tub spout. Remove all loose materials, sandpaper, and vacuum area completely.

8.- PRIMER

Mix primer and spray one full coat; allow to dry for 15–30 minutes

9.- TOPCOAT

Mix the topcoat, reduce accordingly, and carefully tack down the primed surface with a tack cloth using a flashlight to inspect the area thoroughly. Spray 2-3 coats, allowing 3-5 minutes in between coats.

10. CLEAN-UP AND CAULKING

Remove all tape, paper, and plastic and dispose of them in a trash bag. Apply GE silicone caulking to all three sides.

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