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:

  • 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 Reglaze 

To reglaze your bathtub, the process is as follows:

  1. Clean bathtub and remove previous caulking
  2. Properly ventilate your area
  3. Remove or tape drain and fixtures
  4. Scrape tub with a razor then sand surface to make even
  5. Fill 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.

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.

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
3 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.

3 years ago
Reply to  Toby Ryan

Glad we could help 🙂

Chanel Taylor
Chanel Taylor
3 years ago

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

Charmaine Turner
Charmaine Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Chanel Taylor

How much does it cost to reglaze a bath

2 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

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