Do the job yourself
If your budget is small and you want to attempt the job yourself, it’s doable. But it isn’t on par with painting your bedroom walls—it requires much greater attention to detail, considerable down time while the paint cures, and ample ventilation. Convinced you want to give it a shot? Here are your dos and don’ts:
- Buy a prepackaged tub and tile kit. Both Rust-Oleum and Homax sell kits that include epoxies designed to work for the job, a complete list of necessary tools and supplies, and step-by-step instructions that you should follow to the letter.
- Sand like a maniac. With a home epoxy kit, your job is only as good as the time you spend cleaning and sanding, because a rough surface is your primary source of adhesion. Don’t skimp on this step. The better your prep, the less likely you’ll have to redo in a few years.
- Wear a respirator mask and use a fan. Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. Epoxy is vile stuff to breathe in.
- Use a spray gun. Brushing and rolling can work, but a spray gun gives the best finish — use a pro-grade model if you can swing it.
- Use regular spray paint. It will look just as expensive and elegant as when you spray-paint a pair of old lawn chairs.
- Use water-based paint of any kind. It should go without saying, but water-based paint will disintegrate faster than you can say, “Why me?”
- Take a long, hot bath — at least not for a while. Follow instructions about how long the epoxy should cure before you use the tub, and if you can wait even longer, do. Online reviews of kits suggest that impatient users end up with wrinkled surfaces ... and sadness. If you don’t want a permanent print of your rear end on your newly finished tub, postpone a protracted soak as long as you can.