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How Long Should Your Bathtub Last After Reglazing?

Reglazing is an excellent way of restoring your old bathtub and making it appear like new. A professional reglaze lasts between 10-15 years and is designed to protect the integrity of your tub but will require consistent maintenance to keep moisture and other unwanted elements from potentially deteriorating your finish. Without proper care, you are looking at a 3-4 year lifespan for the reglaze, so today, we will look at everything about reglazing, its cost, and the process. By the end, you should know if reglazing is right for you.

What’s the Reglazing Process?

For those unfamiliar, the reglazing process is simply cleaning your bathtub of foreign materials, then reapplying a stronger coat of finishing paint. While it sounds simple, improper cleaning of the bathtub is very common, resulting in uneven areas of your bathtub, meaning the paint does not adhere to the bathtub properly, resulting in a shorter lifespan for the paint and your bathtub.

Does Type Matter for the Reglazing Process?

The short answer is yes, the material you choose will determine how you should care for it and the final cost:

Cast Iron

The biggest issue with cast iron is that any exposure to water has the potential to rust the material. Cast iron refinishing costs anywhere between $350-650 and requires sanding down to the surface and ensuring full coverage with an enamel paint to protect it from excess moisture.


Fiberglass is a popular choice mostly for it’s affordability and wide range of design options, however, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300-1,000 to refinish a fiberglass tub due to the extensive nature of reglazing any chips, imperfections and dings on the finish. In general, you should consider just replacing your fiberglass tub because you shouldn’t refinish your fiberglass tub over and over.


Porcelain tubs can be quite expensive to reglaze, costing anywhere from $500-1,200 depending on the age and quality of the tub. If you have an antique porcelain tub, you need to locate someone who has experience reglazing it. If you have a more modern porcelain tub, you can expect the reglazing process to add roughly 10-15 years.

What you’ll need for bathtub reglazing:

  • Fan or appropriate ventilation
  • Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Four-inch paint roller
  • Paint brushes
  • Disposable paint trays
  • Painters Tape (for marking and creating barriers)
  • Respirator and cartridges (fumes are toxic, so exercise proper precautions)
  • Bathtub cleaner and scrub brush
  • Plastic cups for catching excess drips from faucet and shower 
  • Epoxy for repairing any blemishes
  • Steel wool, Sanding block, or 400-grit sandpaper 
  • Tack cloth (for post-sanding cleanup)

DIY Bathtub Reglaze 

If you’re looking to save some money, you might consider a DIY bathtub reglaze project.

To reglaze your bathtub, the process is as follows:

  1. Clean the bathtub and remove the previous caulking.
  2. Properly ventilate your area.
  3. Remove or tape drain and fixtures.
  4. Scrape the tub with a razor, then sand the surface to make it even.
  5. Fill the area to smooth out.
  6. Clean the area with cloth, then tape caulking and apply primer.
  7. Spray paint 3 coats of primer, then allow to dry.
  8. Apply refinishing coating with roller, then finish with brush.
  9. Let dry for at least 24 hours and remove tape, before final buffing.

      DIY vs Professional Reglazing

      When reglazing your bathtub, you have two choices in terms of how you want to approach this project: DIY or Professional Reglazing. Each comes with their own positives and negatives, so it is up to you to decide which is most appropriate for your bathroom.

      DIY Reglazing – Pros and Cons

      DIY reglazing is a very straightforward project as there are multiple DIY kits available for purchase at nearly all local hardware stores or they can easily be found for under $100 online. The short summary of this project is as follows:

      1. Remove or tape drain and fixtures
      2. Scrape tub with a razor then sand surface to make even
      3. Clean the area with cloth, then tape caulking and apply primer
      4. Apply refinishing coating with roller, then finish with brush.
      5. Let dry for at least 24 hours and remove tape.


      • Much cheaper than professional work with kits being around $100 
      • No workers required in your home
      • Can dictate when you wish to finish the project on your own terms


      • Limited Colors compared to Professional Glazers
      • Uneven surface/colors- DIY projects tend to be visually worse compared to more professional glazers as most homeowners typically do not have the tools and experience compared to professional glazers to make their bathrooms more presentable
      • Shorter Longevity- as stated above, since DIY projects tend to be less detail oriented, DIY reglazers usually last 2-3 years compared to the 10-15 years of professional projects
      • Longer to complete- with most people fairly inexperienced at DIY, DIY reglazing projects tend to take a great deal of time longer to complete, leaving that area of your house exposed to dangerous fumes for much longer.

      Professionally Reglazing- Pros and Cons

      For those that have little to no experience, professional reglazing is a very viable option. In general, professional refinishing is a highly recommended compared to DIY, as the benefits and positives far outweigh its drawbacks. Though the final cost is 3 times the price for a DIY kit, you can be assured that you are left with a bathtub that will last a great deal longer.


      • Faster, more efficient- Hiring professional help means your bathroom is finished quickly without any additional time wasted, meaning your house is exposed to noxious fumes for shorter periods of time
      • Wide Color variety- Compared to DIY kits, professional glazing companies have just about any color scheme that you request, and they will always match the color you ask for
      • Even surfaces- Unlike most DIY jobs, professionals will clean and even out all surfaces of the space, allowing the layers of paint to bond easier, meaning your bathtub will last significantly longer than if you were to DIY the job.


      • Cost- Hiring professionals can easily ramp to 4-5x the cost of a DIY kit
      • Project is outside of your control- with professionals working on your bathtub, it is up to them to finish the job and not you.

      Bathtub Reglazing Costs

      Although the costs can differ, depending on whether you reglaze your bathroom on your own or hire professionals to do it, there are a few other factors that will impact the overall costs One of them is the material of your bathtub. 

      MaterialReglazing cost
      Fiberglass bathtub$300 to $1,000
      Porcelain bathtub$400 to $700
      Cost iron bathtub$350 to $650
      Bath shower combination$500 to $1,000

      However, there are other factors that impact the price of bathtub reglazing:

      • Refinishing method
      • Tub condition 
      • Tub customization
      • Labor

      Signs You Will Need to Reglaze Your Tub

      When it comes to reglazing your tub, there are a few early warning signs to pick up on:


      Rust is present when your bathtub material interacts with oxygen and water. The stains will develop over time, which will lead to corrosion and eventually material degradation if not treated. Refinishing applies a surface sealer or enamel to help prevent any excess material from reaching the bathtub material underneath. Rust is one of the most common signs that your tub requires maintenance.

      Paint Chipping

      Paint will begin to chip through wear and tear and if any damage occurs to your tub. If your bathtub gets damaged, its easy for chipping to escalate and cause even more chipping over time so it’s important to restore and refinish it to prevent the problem from growing.


      The discoloration is a result of time and use. While it is less urgent than the previous reasons, refinishing due to discoloration is just a great way to revitalize and restore an old bathtub. So if you notice a variation in color, then consider refinishing your tub.

      Bathtub Reglazing vs Bathtub Refinishing 

      There are many homeowners who wrongly assume that bathtub reglazing is the same as bathtub refinishing, but these are very different processes for recovering the looks and functionality of your bathtub. 

      Bathroom refinishing is an affordable, quick process of restoring a bathtub by sanding down the surface and filling in the bathtub cracks or chipped areas. It is also known as recoating and resurfacing. Expect to pay a professional for bathroom refinishing services anywhere from $300 to $600.

      Benefits of Bathtub Reglazing

      To ensure a long lifespan of your bathtub, you will need to take proper care of it, and bathtub reglazing is one of the ways to achieve that. There are numerous benefits for homeowners who decide to reglaze their bathtubs. 

      More affordable than replacing a bathtub

      A new bathtub can cost you up to several thousands of dollars, while reglazing your bathtub typically costs between $200 and $600. Buying a new bathtub makes sense once your old one is truly damaged and has been used for at least 10 to 15 years. However, getting rid of it because of shallow imperfections and smaller cracks makes no sense. Just by reglazing your existing bathtub, it will seem as if you bought a new one. 

      Extends your bathtub’s life

      Bathtubs can last up to 20 years in your household, but only if taken care of. Making sure your bathtub is clean is only one of the requirements, but when it comes to stains, scratches, and cracks, you will want to reglaze it. This way, you will prevent the damage from growing bigger and causing a serious issue in the functionality of your bathtub. 

      Protection against lead

      Bathtubs can pose lead exposure risks, but this can be solved with proper bathtub reglazing. Over time, you might notice the broken lead in the tub’s glaze, which leads to the metal seeping into the water. Porcelain tubs are at increased risk of lead, so make sure your bathtub is reglazed where needed to protect yourself and your family members from any lead poisoning risk. 

      How to Continuously Take Care of Your Bathtub After Reglazing 

      To properly care for a bathtub after the reglazing process, it is best to avoid abrasive cleaners. Abrasive cleaners such as steel wool, bleach or strong detergents will strip much of the protective qualities of the finishing paint, exposing your bathtub to the elements. This in turn will damage your bathtub over a long period of time as it does not have a protective layer. Instead, use non-abrasive cleaners such as mild detergents, soap and baking soda to clean your bathtub. Eventually any chemical compound will erode the finish of your bathtub, but abrasive cleaners will erode your finish after 2-3 years whereas non-abrasive cleaners will help your bathtub remain protected for at least 10 years. Additionally, keep moisture off of your bathtub. The biggest danger to a new or reglazed tub is excess moisture after use. Whenever possible, wipe your bathtub dry to ensure that water does not stain or erode the protective layer of your tub.

      additional considerations.

      Additional Considerations

      When it comes to reglazing your tub, keep these things in mind to prevent any mishaps:

      • Always repair nicks to prevent damage from spreading
      • Experiment with different cleaners to retain the gloss from your reglazing
      • Always prepare for the unexpected-Whether it’s your budget or supplies, always purchase more than what you need. Especially if you are new or inexperienced, it is best to finish your project, then stop mid-way and purchase more. This is not only for practicality purposes, but it’s also about efficiency. If you leave mid-project, your state of mind will change and you are prone to forget aspects of your work that can damage your tub. Simply buy excess and return unused products later after you have finished. 
      • Safety first-Reglazing involves heavy use of paint and material which produces toxic fumes. Don’t ever underestimate these fumes as they can be quite deadly without proper precautions. Keep your home ventilated and purchase a good respirator mask. These fumes can linger for up to six or more hours, so vacate your home and allow proper time to dry. 
      • Keep an eye on the weather-When painting, you want weather that is not too cold or too hot. High humidity can make it difficult for paint to dry and fully clear, so it is best to start a reglazing project in the spring or fall where the temperatures shouldn’t be too humid.

      Reglazing your bathtub is a simple process that helps preserve the life of the bathtub. The process is simple but might be a bit overwhelming for first-time homeowners. Just take the proper precautions, ventilate your home and you can easily ensure that your bathtub lasts for another 10-15 years without having to spend money on a brand new bathtub and its install costs.



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      Toby Ryan
      Toby Ryan
      4 years ago

      I didn’t realize that you can increase the lifespan of your bathtub by 15 years if you have it reglazed professionally. My wife and I have noticed that our bathtub is starting to wear out since our children take baths every day, and we would like to have it refinished before we sell our house next year. We’ll hire a professional that will help us ensure that our bathtub lasts for a long time.

      Chanel Taylor
      Chanel Taylor
      3 years ago

      How much does it typically cost tp reglaze a shower STALL?

      Charmaine Turner
      Charmaine Turner
      2 years ago
      Reply to  Chanel Taylor

      How much does it cost to reglaze a bath

      Tony Logan
      Tony Logan
      3 years ago

      I just had my acrylic tub professionally reglazed but it came with the caveat that I cannot use a rubber suctioned cupped tub mat anymore. I’m in my 70’s and can’t afford a slip and fall without it when I take a shower. What do I do?

      Gwen Richard
      Gwen Richard
      3 years ago
      Reply to  Tony Logan

      Just put a towel down and shower standing on it. I think that you will enjoy it even more than the plastic.

      2 years ago
      Reply to  Tony Logan

      I ordered from Amazon a shower mat that is called a loofah shower mat. I feel perfectly safe. I highly recommend this.

      3 years ago

      I had my sink professionally reglazed about 3 yrs ago. It now has rust areas and the finish is flaking off in areas. This relaxing is expensive and I cannot afford to do it every 3yrs. Any suggestions? Thank you

      North Shore Specialties, Inc
      North Shore Specialties, Inc
      2 years ago

      I am a professional refinisher (15+ yrs). Most of your information is correct, except I have never heard of a professional refinisher rolling-on or painting-on a final coat with a brush. Everything is sprayed, and primers are rarely used anymore. The new urethanes finishes are sprayed after using a wipe-on primer. If the tub is properly prepared, these finishes will definitely last for 15 year or more.

      Stone Resin bathtubs starting at $2,940

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