The right way to paint your bath
If your budget won’t stretch to a head-to-toe revamp of your bathroom, why not paint your bath? It’s amazing how a lick of paint can make an old bath scrub up like new. Here’s step-by-step guides to how to approach acrylic and cast-iron baths, with – of course – some fantastic examples to inspire you.
Add colour to an acrylic bath
Step 1: Prep your bath
Preparation is crucial when painting an acrylic bath. Start by using masking tape to cover any areas you don’t want painted and put old sheets down to protect the floor. Then clean the bath thoroughly and leave it to dry.
Step 2: Sand and prime
Sand your bath using medium-grit sandpaper to create a rough surface to which the primer will stick. Again, wash the bath with warm water (and ideally sugar soap) and leave it to dry. The next step is to apply the primer. According to the experts at Victorian Plumbing, two or three thin layers are best. Lightly sand between the layers to help get that perfect finish.
Step 3: Choose a colour
Once the primer is dry, it’s time to paint your bath. Victorian Plumbing recommends applying around three layers of paint, using super-fine sandpaper after each application – but not after the final coat.
Step 4: Finish with a sealant
Once the bath is dry you may want to protect it with a sealant that’s suitable for acrylic.
Now you’ve got the basics, here’s a piece of inspiration from Lissi of @oxfordone. She used a Zinsser primer on her standard-issue acrylic bath before adding colour with an acrylic eggshell from Valspar. She finished with a Rust-Oleum sealant.
Pep up a cast-iron bath
Step 1: Give it a good clean
Thoroughly clean your bath using sugar soap and let it dry. Then sand it down using emery paper to provide a key to which the primer can stick. Design note: if you want to paint your cast-iron tub but it’s rusty, you’ll need to remove that first. Use specialist rust remover and follow the instructions carefully.
Step 2: Apply a primer and undercoat
Having sanded your bath, give it another clean to remove any dust, degrease it using white spirit and leave it to dry. It’s now time to prime your bath using an oil-based metal primer. Once this is dry, apply an oil-based undercoat. Again, give this time to dry.
Step 3: Grab a paintbrush
The next step is to give your bath a very light sanding using fine sandpaper. This creates a surface to which the top coat will stick. Select an oil-based paint for the top coat and pay close attention to the drying times – after all this effort you don’t want to smudge it. Finally, it’s time to paint in the colour of your choice!
Here’s two Insta influencers who have successfully transformed their cast-iron baths. Sofie of @threeboysandapinkbath has chosen a bold hue for her roll-top bath to bring a splash of colour to bath time. Meanwhile, Rosie and Luke of @rosieandlukegaff have given their old bath a lift with a lick of Flamboyant Flamingo from Valspar. The bath feet are sprayed in gold Rust-Oleum.
Featured image: Sofie of @threeboysandapinkbath has given new life to her roll-top bath with a lick of paint.