How to Paint Porcelain Tubs

Updated February 21, 2017

Porcelain is a very popular option in many bathtubs for its durability and ease of cleaning. The frame of the tub is generally made out of steel or another metal and the tub is coated with porcelain that can be made any colour. Sometimes the porcelain may need to be painted to change the colour or make a repair. Painting a porcelain bathtub is an easy task.

Use a palm sander to sand the tub in order to prepare it for painting. The palm sander vibrates slightly and makes it easier to lightly glide it over the porcelain surface to smooth it out in preparation for painting. Any scratches or dings should be sanded down as well.

Wipe away any dust or debris from the sanding with a wet rag and dry the tub.

Spray a bonding agent onto the tub with a spray bottle in a light spray and let it dry for five minutes.

Prepare your primer according to the manufacturer's instructions. Pour the primer into your paint sprayer.

Apply an even coat of primer with the paint sprayer in long, even strokes. Start at the top and work your way down to the bottom. Use a paint mask when the sprayer is in operation. You may want to have dust sheets down or use masking tape to prevent anything else from getting sprayed, but this is optional. Let the primer dry at least 30 minutes before applying the second coat. The tub will likely need two coats of primer.

Clean the paint sprayer according to the manufacturer's instructions and refill it with EP-acrylic paint. The acrylic paint is useful because it is durable and it bonds well to the porcelain. Paint the tub using the paint sprayer, using long, even strokes. Start at the top and work your way down to the bottom. Once the first coat is dry, add a second and then a third. Three coats are recommended.

Let the tub dry for one or two days before using it.


Keep the area well-ventilated while you are painting. Paint fumes are toxic.

Things You'll Need

  • Palm sander
  • Wet rag
  • Spray bottle
  • Bonding chemical
  • Primer
  • Paint sprayer
  • Paint mask
  • EP-acrylic paint
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About the Author

Michael Davidson started writing screenplays in 2003 and has had a screenplay professionally produced. He has also studied martial arts since 1990 and has worked as a licensed security specialist. Davidson has written articles for various websites. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising.