18 posts / 0 new
Last post
Refinishing Tub and Sink

I have a cast iron, porecelain coated bathtub and kitchen sink that both need to be either replaced or refinished. With money tight, I am thinking the most economical choice would be the just refinish both of them with refishing kits from the hardware store. I have seen two brands: Homax Tough as Tile, and Rustoleum refinishing kit. I have tried to find reviews on these products with mixed results. I assume if you do it correctly it turns out okay, but I was wondering if any of ya'll out there have used either of these products and have any advice or recommendations. Any help will be much appreciated. I'd hate to waste money and time on something that won't last or doesn't look good. Thanks.

Ron remodeler
Re: Refinishing Tub and Sink

They don't last long.

Even the professionally done, where they grind down the surface and re epoxy paint the porcelain, only last a short time.

Our family has tried both in our apartments and can only recommend the professional route if all other work surrounding the tub is good.

In other words, if the tile and wall covering is good and the flooring is good then saving money on a tub resurfacing is alright to gain another 5-7 years of use from a room.

However there is no saving if you need to fix other things as replacing a tub and wall system with fiberglass isn't that expensive.

The paint from the hardware stores will last a year and then start peeling around the drain or any where else an imperfection is revealed.:(

Re: Refinishing Tub and Sink

I would not recommend it!! I wish I could remember the brand we bought, though. Sorry. It was a major brand bought at Home Depot.

I ended up needing 3 cans of the stuff to do 1 regular sized tub (old cast iron/porcelain) at almost $30 a can, plus the cost of a respirater, steel wool, TSP and other supplies this project cost over $100. Also took many hours (over several days) of labor. I followed the directions to the "T" as I wanted it to turn out right. This included several rounds of TSP wet-sanding and rinsing, etc.

Worst of all was the toxicity of the spray (dire warnings on the label). I used a respirator and still got light-headed. I was really concerned about the effects on my family and pets!

Long story short, it began to peel within a couple of months and now is nearly all peeled off.

Now I am getting bids for a professional refinish and/or replacement! Should've done that in the first place.

Does anyone know if it is worth it to pay for a professional refinish?

A. Spruce
Re: Refinishing Tub and Sink
Kayster wrote:

Does anyone know if it is worth it to pay for a professional refinish?

Depending on the usage of the tub/shower, it should easily last 3 to 5 years, much longer in a gentle use environment.

Re: Refinishing Tub and Sink

never use the stuff from the big box stores, it will peel within months. The only way to resurface a tub is to do it professionally. www.resurfacespecialist.com

Re: Refinishing Tub and Sink

Have used Homax and Rustoleum on separate properties.

Rustoleum seems to be lasting longer.

Am in the process of removing the Homax and redoing with Rustoleum.

Re: Refinishing Tub and Sink

How long ago did you apply the Homax and how much was it?

Re: Refinishing Tub and Sink

The DIY kits suck. Better to get a pro with a verifiable history of good work to handle it. Even then about 5 years is it unless the tub is rarely used (such as a seasonally-occupied guest bath).

If you must DIY, clean well and use aerosol spray lacquer which will last a few months but can just as easily be touched up. 2-3 cans will do the average tub. Spray lightly and use multiple coats as this stuff will run at the slightest build-up. I aim for 2-3 coats which can be done in one day as it dries really fast. Looks great- for a little while.


Re: Refinishing Tub and Sink

Investing in re glazing is only good if you are planning on selling. To have good results, hire a pro, if you can find one.

However, if you are keeping the house, replacing the tub with enameled steel is a smarter idea, and it will give you a 20+ year tub. Same with the sink.

BTW, a steel tub will cost less than a reglazing job, disregarding the labor.

Pat InPaint
Re: Refinishing Tub and Sink

I have applied Homax Tub and Sink Refinishing Kit to a porcelain tub that would have otherwise required replacing.

Application of porcelain refinishing products requires significant prep and an unusual timeline for application.

TSP and 000 steel wool are used to break the gloss on the existing porcelain.

This step requires serious scouring and changing steel wool pads often.

During this prep stage, shine a light around the tub and go back over any areas where you see light reflecting off the surface.

Your goal should be to dull the entire interior of the tub until light will not reflect ... expect to spend 1.5 - 2 hours on this step alone.

Thoroughly rinse the tub several times with fresh water; until the water is clear and shows no signs of debris.

Allow the surface to dry completely.

Use painter's tape to mask the drain covers and faucet.

Mask the surrounding walls with plastic at least two-feet all around ... more is safer.

Apply your first coat of spray over the entire tub.

Here is the unusual application detail:

Most sprays say recoat after 30-minutes.

However, the Homax Tub and Sink Refinishing Kit says, "Apply your second coat within 30-minutes."

This allows the two layers to bond wet-to-wet and create a thicker, stronger coating.

Instructions continue, "If second coat cannot be applied within 30-minutes, wait 72-hours and prep again before applying the second coat."


I found the kit to be exactly what Homax described.

I prevented the expense of replacing the tub.

The new coating could be cleaned with standard bathroom cleaners.

And, as expected, the coating lasted approximately four to five years before needing another application.


The earlier mention that the solvent is very potent is exactly right.

Have your family and pets out of the home for half a day while spraying.

Wear the best respirator you can afford.

And, set a 25-minute timer to ensure you start your second coat on time, and leave the building while you wait.

Difficulty Scale:

On a ten-point scale where ten is most difficult, I would rate this project as a nine for two reasons:

1) Prep requires severe scrubbing to create a surface to which the new coating will adhere well; and

2) The extreme odor from the solvent will absolutely make you light-headed if you remain in the area too long.

Would I DIY or Hire?

Ask my good friend Ordjen, he will tell you that I would DIY.

Should you?

If you are up for devoting significant energy and time to the prep, then by all means proceed.

If not, hire a pro.

Was It Worth The $50 price?


Removing and replacing the tub would have required remodeling wallboard and tile, plumbing the faucet and drain, would have taken several days, and would have cost multiples more than my $65 budget.

Getting four to five more years out of the tub versus replacing the tub, there is no doubt I will do it again.

But again, I would caution that if this repair description seems beyond your skill level, consider hiring a pro.

Hope this detail provides food for thought,

Pat InPaint

I am trained and authorized by The Home Depot to assist people on the internet.

Re: Refinishing Tub and Sink

I've tried the Homax kit, used as the instructions directed exactly, only to find it neither adhered or wore well. A professional epoxy coating is the way to go for two reasons: One it will be a better looking more durable finish and Two is that it will have a warranty should there be a problem.

I am very much pro-DIY but there are some things best left to those who [email protected] in those skills and have the proper equipment for them, and fixture refinishing is one of those things.



Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.