You Can Paint a Bathtub? What?!

Update (2017)...I still swear by this stuff! SO here's the link to Amazon (where I ordered mine MULTIPLE TIMES over the years):

...ALSO... I swear by their other product for counter top paint!

That's what I asked when I read about this stuff a while back.
I've used Rustoleum's countertop paint before in an apartment that we rent to local college students and I was pleased with the results. I was very excited to try Rustoleum's tub and tile paint that I ordered from Amazon. I admit I was a bit terrified of what the outcome might be...but anything is better than that icky old tub I had before.

If we were rich (ha!) I would have begged Caleb to put in a new bathtub, but we're not and that's cool.
So, we have 4 bathrooms in our house and this one is my favorite.
It has gray tiles on the walls and floor. Our house was built in 1954 and I'm so glad the original owners didn't go with blue, pink, or yellow!
The tub is so gross. I've never taken a bath in it. It's so gross.

Anyways, I bought the tub and tile paint for only $24 and ended up using only 1/2 a can.
So for about $12 + supplies I think I got a good deal.

now & then:

Please ignore the dirty floor and the wall tiles since I was in the process of bleaching them when I took this picture of the tub. I also have to scrape up some of the drops I got along the edge.
Darn you painters tape!

 The process was so easy!
The kit comes with 2 small cans that you mix together in the larger size can. It's a very thin paint which worried me at first, but then I realized that it goes on very smoothly and doesn't drip or run hardly at all.

I think I spent a longer time cleaning and prepping the tub than I did actually painting it.

This is after one coat of the enamel paint.

The only step that I skipped was to sand the tub. Here's my reasoning on that:
The reviews online said that the paint creates a really slippery surface - slick like glass. Since the only places on the tub that were rough to the touch were on the bottom of the tub I left those unsanded to add traction for when the shower is used. Hopefully, I won't regret skipping that step, but once I saw how slick the enamel can be after it dried, I'm glad I didn't sand.

The picture on the right is AFTER I scrubbed the tub in preperation for painting.
It was so worn and discolored.

I only put 2 coats on as suggested on the package. I didn't feel that it needed more.
I used a 4" foam roller (door & cabinet kind) and a foam brush. Don't use the foam brushes from the craft store because they are two soft and the paint eats at the foam. Use the ones from the hardware store (I got mine at Ace True Value) that are made from a firmer foam and hold up really well.

By using foam rollers and brushes you get a perfectly smooth finish with no brush strokes or texture.
I bought two roller pads and two foam brushes to use - one for each coat. The enamel paint will eat away at the foam in between coats, so switch out before applying a second coat.

You also want to wear a mask and gloves. Trust me.
I wore a mask, but the fumes were still SO strong. I also opened up the bathroom window and still could barely breath.
The smell was really strong for about 2 days after I was done painting.

The difficult part is waiting for it to be usable again.
The package says you have to wait 3 days before using the tub again, but I'm going to do what the other reviewers on Amazon suggest and wait 7 days.
While the enamel is hardening I'm painting the walls yellow and the trim a fresh coat of white.
Hopefully, I'll post pictures of the finished bathroom soon!

Anyways, so far I couldn't be happier with how it's turned out.
Of course I can't judge it entirely until I see how well it wears once we're able to use it again.

Extra: click here to read about how we painted a maroon tub and sink vanity counter with the same product.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Somewhat Simple


  1. Hi, you did a great job, I did the same thing a couple of years ago to my bath as I couldn't afford to replace three years on still going strong...check it out on my blog

  2. I had no idea you could do that! I'm totally going to give it a try when we get our bathroom update going. Thanks for sharing!

    Thanks so much for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party (and for linking back-I appreciate that!). :)

    PS. Fellow Virginian here!!!

  3. I wonder if it will work on our nasty Cast iron tub from the 1920's. My kids will not use there own bathroom because it's so gross. I'm going to try this out!

  4. i had no idea you could paint over the bathtub. thanks for sharing.

  5. I went and looked at your bathroom and it looks awesome! You did such a great job in there. It looks so fresh and clean and you'd never know that it was before lol

    Tiff - I would think you could easily paint the cast iron tub with this stuff since it's just an enamely paint and that's usually what cast iron tubs are painted with. And I don't blame your kids one bit! I refused to take a bath in tub until it got made over. I've already taken 3 baths this week lol just to make up for lost's such a blessing!

    My husband and I are using the same tub paint right now at a rent house we own. We're painting over a GORGEOUS *sarcasm* maroon tub and surround AND an equally gorgeous matching sink. Both are getting a coat of the white. I hope to post pictures of that next weekend once it's dry. That will be a much more dramatic before and after post since it's from maroon to white instead of just white to white.

    My mom was so impressed that she wants to buy some and paint one of her tubs (1940) that is chippy looking.
    I'm also going to try using this on tile in my tiny basement bathroom since the original home owner used random left over tiles to tile the shower unit. The shower ceiling area is mixture of pink, white, beige, black, and blue tiles lol it's AWFUL :)

  6. What a great job. May have to use that in our shower some day where it is getting some bad scratches. Thanks for sharing this at wow.

  7. I am just beside myself here. I have a 1957 house with original tub, commodes bathtub look just about like yours, before you painted. I am going to order this paint right away. I am so excited that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg...we're Social Security age. :))
    Thanks sooo much for all your "how to's" listed..I am pretty sure I can do it, too.
    I'll be sure to post about it, link to you, and let you know when I can do it.
    Thanks again, O, and I am linking up to follow you..come see me when you can.
    xo bj

  8. This was nice to find. I have a bathtub that looks worse than yours and I had no clue what to do. A new tub is out of the question. I'll be following and hope that you post about it after you use it.

  9. Oh my goodness this is wonderful, I have a blue 1970's tub that I was going to have sprayed. This is a much better and less expensive way to go. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  10. This is fabulous! I had no idea you could do anything like this yourself. Thank you for the tutorial. Love your ideas, following you.

  11. I must do this at home! I'm staging a home right now...part of that is overhauling the kitchen and main bathroom.....we are doing this...I've never done it before, but the contractor who did my kitchen remodel (as featured in the September 2011 Romantic Homes magazine) has used it many times!

    Thanks for the tutorial!

    ~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

  12. Sorry...just realized you're from Virginia! Me, too (Richmond area)!!! Now following! I hope you'll stop by! Maybe we can trade favorite places to shop!

    ~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

  13. I definitely going to keep this in mind. What a great product. Thanks for all the info. Your tub looks amazing!

  14. Wow, it looks great, hope it holds up to use.

  15. Looks great! Never knew this could be done. Do you think this paint could be used just on spots and not the entire tub? Or would there be too much difference?

  16. Hi! I'm visiting from the SYS party. I have been looking at this product and debating on it for a bathroom redo that we have in our future. I'm so glad you shared this because I've wondered if it's as good as they say. Your results are amazing! (I read about the maroon tub too.) I'm still wondering if it lasts a long time.... I guess no one has used it long enough ago to determine that. :)

    I'm following your blog now. I'm also pinning it to my 'future projects'. Thanks! ~Rachel

  17. Rachel...this blog ( has pictures up of their bathroom redo from 3 years ago and they say their paint job is still going strong. So far my tub has held up really well to regular use. I'm in the middle of painting the tile and shower unit in our downstairs bathroom. It's coming out really nicely! Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Krista - The tub has held up beautifully! No cracks, chips, or dents of any kind. I still recommend it entirely to anyone looking to update their tub/sink/shower for little money.

  19. Omgosh! This is a godsend! We just purchased a house that has the most horrid blue bathtub, sink, and toilet. I was thinking we were going to have to completely gut the bathroom and spend a fortune remodeling but thanks to this I'm on cloud 9 that we will save money by painting the sink and tub. The only thing that will need replaced now will be the toilet! You just saved us thousands of dollars!

  20. I'm so glad that you found this product info on my blog! it is amazing stuff. It has been about two years since I first redid our tub and I'm just now starting to see some wear and I think I might go ahead and repaint it to freshen it up. Not bad for it to have held up so well to daily use and for over 2 years!

  21. Do you know if it would work on a fiberglass shower? I need to redo my very large (two person) shower that does not come clean with scrubbing, and has a lot of scratch marks from me trying to clean it...we have a lot of iron in our water. So I was hoping to find something that would allow me to just clean it, wipe it dry and then paint to have a freshly looking shower. This sounds awesome, but I'd like to know if it will work with my fiberglass one... Thanks.


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