How to Paint a Plastic Bathtub + Best Paints

Plastic is frequently used to make bathtubs and showers sturdy and long-lasting. Nevertheless, even the most durable materials are prone to deteriorate with time. Luckily, you can paint it to restore its color in a few steps.

Prepare the tub’s surface, then choose the right paint for it. Tape the bathtub off, cover the unwanted areas with plastic or paper, apply the paint, then the finishing touches before letting it dry. The best paints for plastic tubs include epoxy, acrylic, and spray paint.

Plastic bathtubs and showers can look scuffed, faded, and past their prime due to stains and discoloration. While replacing all of your bathroom fixtures may be tempting, doing so can be quite time (and money) -consuming.

A bathroom that needs updating can be given new life by learning how to paint plastic showers and tubs at home. This can be an excellent method to hide old stains. Additionally, painting your plastic bathtub and shower will give your bathroom a new look if you choose a brand-new paint color.

Painting a Plastic Tub

Can you paint a plastic bathtub?

Yes, plastic bathtubs can be painted with excellent results as well. A plastic bathtub is often a fiberglass tub that is available in a variety of sizes and forms. Although made of plastic, they’re safer than vinyl curtains, which can contain toxins.

Some have more straight lines than others, while others have more bends. Despite being white or off-white, they are easily paintable.

How to paint a plastic bathtub?

Follow these steps to paint your plastic tub:

1. Prepare the surface

Start by cleaning the tub thoroughly and removing any dirt, soap scum, or other contaminants that could interfere with the paint’s ability to adhere. 

A mattifier can remove any gloss or shine from the tub’s surface, which will help the paint stick better. 

You can lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper to create a rough surface for the paint to adhere to.

2. Choose the right paint 

Once the surface is prepared correctly, choose the right paint. Regular wall paint is unsuitable for a plastic bathtub; instead, use a unique tub and tile refinishing kit or a plastic-specific paint. 

They’re formulated to adhere to plastic surfaces and resist peeling and chipping.

3. Tape off the bathtub

Use painter’s tape to mark off such places to keep unwanted paint from harming the walls and flooring of your bathroom (or any other rooms of your home, for that matter).

4. Cover the unwanted areas with plastic or paper

It’s time to choose whether to use a plastic or paper drop cloth now that you’ve painter-taped over your preferred locations. But first, think about the hues of your current paint.

If you paint the tub a dark color, paper drop cloths are the finest option.

Use plastic sheets if you’re painting the tub a light color, like white. Additionally, plastic drop cloths offer additional defense against splattering.

5. Apply the paint

Once you have the right paint, it is vital to apply it correctly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using the paint, including any necessary priming and drying times. 

Use thin, even coats and allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. This will help ensure that your paint adheres properly and creates a smooth, even finish.

6. Apply the finishing touches

Once your paint is dry, apply a clear coat to protect it and give it a glossy finish. This can be done using clear polyurethane or another protective coating for tubs and tiles.

It’s important to note that painting a plastic bathtub is not a permanent solution, and the paint may peel or chip over time. 

If the bathtub is heavily scratched or damaged, it may be more affordable to replace it rather than trying to repair it with paint. 

However, painting can be an effective and inexpensive option if the tub is in good condition and you want to give it a fresh look. Just follow the above-mentioned steps to ensure that the paint adheres properly and lasts as long as possible.

Let any silicone caulk used dry properly dry before using the bathroom.

How long does it take to paint a plastic tub?

The amount of time taken to paint a plastic tub will depend on several factors, including the tub size, the type of paint you are using, and the condition of the surface you are painting.

After about 4 hours of stripping the old bathtub’s finish, painting a plastic bathtub can take one to two days for the paint to dry completely. Remember that the more time you spend sanding and cleaning the existing surface before painting, the better the paint will last.

Best paint for plastic tubs

When it comes to painting a plastic tub, it is essential to use a paint that is specifically formulated for use on plastic surfaces. Several different types of paint can be used on plastic tubs, each with unique benefits and drawbacks.

Some of the best paints for plastic tubs include acrylic paint, epoxy paint, and spray paint.

1. Acrylic paint

Acrylic paint is a good choice for a plastic bathtub because it adheres well to plastic surfaces and is relatively durable. In addition, acrylic paint is water-based, which means it is easy to clean up and won’t damage the bathtub if it gets wet. 

It is also resistant to fading and discoloration over time, and it is available in a wide range of colors.

2. Epoxy paint

Epoxy paint is a good choice for a plastic bathtub since it’s durable and resistant to chipping and scratching. It is also fade-resistant and doesn’t discolor over time. 

However, it can be more challenging to apply than other types of paint, and it may require a primer or exceptional prep work.

3. Spray paint

Spray paint is a fast and easy way to apply a finish to a plastic bathtub and is available in many colors. However, it may not be as durable as other types of paint, and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application to avoid drips or overspray.

Regardless of the type of paint you choose, it is essential to thoroughly clean and prepare the surface of the plastic tub before painting to ensure that the paint adheres and looks its best.


Several different types of paint can be used on plastic tubs, each with unique benefits and drawbacks. Acrylic paint is a good choice for its ease of use and durability, while epoxy paint is durable and resistant to chipping and scratching.

Spray paint is a fast and easy way to apply a finish to a plastic tub, but not as durable as other types of paint. Consider the specific needs of your tub and the type of finish you want, choose the best paint for your plastic tub, and achieve the desired results.

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