Bathtub refinishing also known as bathtub resurfacing, bathtub reglazing or bathtub re-enameling is the process of refreshing the surface of a worn, damaged bathtub to a like-new condition. This process typically involves repairing any damaged areas. Chips or cracks are repaired using a type of polyester putty. After repairs are made the surface is prepped with an acid etching. Etching provides “Mechanical Adhesion” porcelain, enamel, fiberglass tubs are non-porous and do not provide a good substrate for the new coating to attach to. Etching the surface provides a porous surface the second method used is applying an adhesion promoter bonding agent silane to the surface before applying the coating. The two methods are used either in unison or independently. With the greatest adhesion achieved by using both methods. Some new refinishing processes do not require the use of etching, by relying on silane alone. After preparing the surface primer is applied, followed by a top coat. Generally, a catalyzed two component cross-link synthetic white coating is applied, but the coating does not have the durability or abrasive tolerance of the original glass-enamel coating of a factory-new bathtub.
Coatings used to create a new bathtub finish can be epoxies, urethanes, hybrid polyester-polyurethane, or polymers. These coatings may be rolled, brushed, or sprayed on.
Bathtub refinishing is possible using Do It Yourself bathtub refinishing kits from hardware stores, but is often left to a professional service company offering refinishing services due to the hazardous materials that sometimes must be used and the level of training required to do it properly. Do It Yourself bathtub reglazing kits generally do not offer either form of adhesion i.e. etching or silane but rely on epoxy adhesion only. Without professional spray equipment the final aesthetic look will show brush or roller marks.