How To Refinish A Tub

Tell all ya friends and neighbors!

If it’s not in the budget to buy new, why not just refinish a tub you already have? For $50 or less, you can turn your dingy, ugly tub into something fresh and new!

Chugging right along on this master bathroom refresh over here guys and I gotta say – I am loving it! I’m not sure whether it’s just because we are doing this for LITERALLY so cheap it’s comedic or whether because I truly don’t think it will take almost 11 friggin’ months to get this one done.

Speaking of our guest bathroom, I’m not sure if you guys remember this, but we scored a BRAND NEW TUB for $5. Yes. No typo. FIVE DOLLARS. I was so excited I wrote an entire post about it so go ahead and check that out to see that whole story.

Since we weren’t gutting this bathroom, having a brand new tub installed wasn’t an option so we went with our second best option – time to refinish a tub, folks!

Why Refinish A Tub?

Let’s be real. Look at what we were working with. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be this color or if it was just that it was that old but this thing is U-G-L-Y (it ain’t got no alibi, it’s ugly, yeah, yeah, it’s ugly). A tub only a mother could love or something.

It’s hard to tell from the photos but the walls are WHITE so this tub is some weird shade of dingy cream. I think back in the day they called this “almond” but almonds are brown are they not?

Anyhoo, the reason we chose to refinish our tub is mainly because 1) it’s super cheap and 2) it makes a HUGE difference in the look and feel of our bathroom. I’ll show you that a little bit later.

How To Refinish A Tub


*This post isn’t sponsored, but we did recieve the Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile Kit for free, but as always, all opinions are my own.

  • Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile kit
  • Respirator face mask (This one from Amazon is similar and has great reviews!)
  • Paint roller or sprayer. We used our Wagner paint sprayer!
  • Painters tape
  • Abrasive cleaner (like Comet)
  • 400 to 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Bleach


For what it’s worth, we followed the directions EXACTLY as it said on the box. Also, another pro tip: I know we don’t do a lot of things safely (like always wearing flip flops to work in) but I can PROMISE you that you have to have a good mask to do this. The smell is STRONG. We opened all the windows in the entire house and it was STILL really really bad.

Remember that super awesome steam cleaner I used a couple posts back to clean the vanity? Well, I just switched out the end from the small nozzle tip to this larger piece and I was able to use it to clean our tub. It worked like a charm!

I then used a combination of bleach and water in a bottle and scrubbed the tub as much as I could physically scrub.

It was then time for Big Guns to come in and use his height to tape off our tub. We had this tape that actually had plastic attached which was super helpful in this situation.

After everything was taped off, we followed the instructions and mixed it together exactly as it told us to.

Now, honestly the only thing we did was spray this on but when I’m telling you this stuff was strong, I mean it was so strong I could not even be in the room to take a photo because it was so rough. So, I don’t have any photos of the “in progress” but just trust me in that all we did was spray it, let it dry a couple hours and then add another coat on it. Then in a mere couple of hours later, we had THIS!

Y’all, I can not even believe this is the same tub! We actually let this dry for 2 days and I went ahead and painted the walls in the meantime. We used the same color we did in our guest bathroom which was Benjamin Moore Grey Owl tinted 75%.

OH! And want to see a little sneak peak of something else? Look closely at the next photo:

EEK! The floors!!! They’re the exact floors we used for our DIY faux marble chair mat in the office remodel and let me tell you – they’re just as amazing in here as they are up there. I can’t believe how much BRIGHTER this space feels! We do have one window in this bathroom which helps with natural light, but before it just looked like dingy yellow light. But who would have known that to lighten this place up all we had to do was refinish a tub?? I am SO HAPPY with how this turned out!

All said and done, I’m so happy we did this and am ITCHING to get the rest of this room done so I can share it with you.

How To Refinish A Tub

How To Refinish A Tub

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $50


  • Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile kit
  • Respirator face mask


  • Paint roller or sprayer
  • Painters tape
  • Abrasive cleaner (like Comet)
  • 400 to 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • Bleach


  1. Clean your tub extremely well, just as the instructions say.
  2. Using a combination of bleach and water, spray and scrub really good.
  3. Rinse your tub really well.
  4. Sand using your 400 to 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper.
  5. Use a microfiber cloth and make sure all loose particles are gone.
  6. Tape off around your tub using painters tape. If you're using a sprayer, make sure that you cover any surfaces that might get overspray with plastic.
  7. Mix the 2 part solution just as it says on the box.
  8. If using a roller, roll on your first coat. If using a sprayer, spray your first coat and let dry for 1-2 hours.
  9. After the first coat is dry, roll or spray on your second coat.


Please oh please make sure you wear a mask. This stuff smells so strong and will probably make you vom and nobody wants that.

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How to refinish a tub with Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile Kit. Transform the look of your tub for $50 or less!

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    1. Oooo that’s a great question. I’m honestly not sure because it’s not what we had to work with, but I wouldn’t see why not? I might read the package to make sure though!

  1. I was wondering how the shower has held up? I want this to our shower but concerned about the longevity. Thank you.

    1. Funny you should ask, I’m literally working on a post about this because it’s oddly a question I get asked a lot! 🙂

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