How to Paint Your Bathtub for the Bathroom of Your Dreams

The right bathtub will help you soak in serenity

Lydia Schapiro
Written by Lydia Schapiro
Updated July 6, 2022
A retro bathtub in a spacious bathroom with lots of houseplants
Photo: brizmaker / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images


Learn a new skill while beautifying your home.

Time to complete

72 hours



Doing the labor yourself goes a long way.

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What you'll need:


  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint rollers
  • Paint pan
  • Painter’s tape
  • Caulk-removing tool
  • Lint cloth
  • Mask
  • Sandpaper


  • Primer or epoxy
  • Refinishing paint (or a kit)
  • Epoxy putty

If you’re a sucker for a long, bubbly soak at the end of the day, having a bathtub that you enjoy–functionally and aesthetically–is essential. Luckily, if your tub love has gone lukewarm, you can pull out your DIY toolbox and get to work.

Prepping to Paint Your Bathtub

While you’re gathering all the necessary supplies, make sure you’re content with your new bathtub paint color. There’s nothing worse than taking a bubble bath in a brownish-green tub that makes you think of a swamp. You can paint it a color that matches your bathroom walls, or use color theory to make the tub pop with something complementary. 

There’s some additional prep work to do before you get to painting. You’ll want to remove the old caulk in your bathtub, which you can do using a caulk scraper. If you don’t have this tool, a sharp razor edge is a good alternative. You can also use a spackling knife or various painter’s tools.

4 Steps to Paint Your Bathtub

To thoroughly paint your bathtub, follow the steps below. Remember: if you have questions or concerns, it’s okay to call in the big guns and hire a local bathtub refinishing expert.

  1. Clean The Bathtub

    The first step is to thoroughly clean the entire bathtub. You can use a cleaning solution, or you can create a mixture of bleach and water. Afterward, wipe the tub entirely dry using your lint cloth. If there’s any dust or debris left, you can use a small vacuum to remove it all. 

    Although it can be tempting to just jump to the painting, this step is essential, since any debris or dust will get in the way of the paint sticking.

  2. Repair Damage

    If you see any imperfections—scratches, holes, chips—you’ll want to repair them to the best of your ability before applying any paint. After all, you want the final look to be smooth and intact. You can use epoxy putty or a tub repair product to fill the holes or dents. After allowing the tub to fully dry, use sandpaper to sand any areas necessary. 

    To remove any residual debris or dust, rinse the tub and fully let it dry before getting started.

  3. Mix Epoxy

    A violet bathtub in a bathroom filled with candles
    Photo: RossHelen / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

    Epoxy is a common tool used for adhesive purposes—for this project, it’ll help your paint stick to the bathtub. Carefully follow the instructions on whichever type of kit you purchased.

    Usually, with epoxy, you’ll need to combine it (in two parts) with paint. Because epoxy has a strong odor, consider wearing a mask while doing this step and make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated. 

    If you’re noticing that the mixture seems abnormally thin, continue mixing for up to a few minutes.

  4. Start Painting

    Use your rollers to apply the paint. It’s often easiest to start in one corner and then work your way across to the other side. 

    You’ll want to apply at least two coats and allow ample time for drying in between—most bathtub paint products will have instructions indicating how long you should wait.

  5. Allow Paint to Dry

    You’ll want to let the paint dry for up to three days (depending on how many coats you applied). After it’s sufficiently dry, you can re-caulk the tub, reinstall your faucet, and take a bubble bath as a reward for all that hard work.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.