Bathtub refinishing makes good sense when there's no structural damage to the tub, but its surface has lost its glaze and shine. Over time, mold and soap scum make tub finishes lose their luster, and refinishing a bathtub makes good sense – it costs hundreds of dollars less than outright replacing the entire tub, and the whole job can be performed in a matter of minutes.
Just like bathroom grab bars, bathtub refinishing kits are readily available at home improvement retailers; generally, they come with detailed instructions for proper use, but you can get ahead of the learning curve by prepping for the job properly.
When doing a DIY bathtub refinishing job, the first thing you need to keep in mind is that you'll be working with some caustic chemicals. Make sure you have a new pair of insulated, industrial-grade rubber gloves on hand. Don't trust those old ratty gloves you found stashed under your bathroom sink; they might have tiny holes in them that will allow chemicals to seep in.
Before you start the actual bathtub reglazing itself, you'll need to clean the surface to be treated using effective cleansers and sterilizers. While treating the surface, make sure that you remove any caulk around the tub and any built-up residue that may be lingering on the surface.
Finally, you need to have a uniformly smooth, even surface to refinish, so sand down the tub, too. If you encounter any cracks or gaps, seal them with polyester filler. Then, clean the surface off again and apply a coat of primer. Once the primer has dried completely, you'll be ready to apply the glaze you bought. Expect it to take one to two days for the glaze to dry fully; some glazes need to be applied more than once to take full effect.
Refinishing is a money-saving DIY strategy that isn't limited just to your tub; you can also do the same thing to sink basins, faucets, fixtures, cabinets and countertops. It is invariably cheaper than replacing these items, especially since you won't have to hire expensive laborers or contractors to do the work for you.
These strategies are not only lighter on your wallet, they can also add to the value of your home. If you've been putting off a bathroom remodeling project, now's the time to get to work!