How to cover a bath with acrylic

How to cover a bath with acrylic

Few of the owners of the old apartments have the opportunity to replace the old cast iron or steel bath with a new, glossy white coating. In some cases, such a replacement is simply meaningless, for example, if an old, but in good condition, cast-iron bathtub is installed in the apartment without the slightest signs of metal corrosion. The purchase of a new bath will cost fabulous money, so it is easier to restore the enamel coating of the bath with acrylic, especially since in most cases a relatively simple restoration is quite possible to do by oneself.

Restorative materials for bath cover

Experienced masters choose a recipe for the restoration of enamel coating for a long time and carefully, based on the condition of walls and enamel layer, the presence of fistulas, through corrosion of metal and financial possibilities. The most common and available for home restoration of enamel coatings are the following compositions:

  • Low-viscosity single-component resins in the type of "Liquid acrylic", "Starcryl", "Liquid Acrylic". In fact, this is a high-quality acrylic enamel, with additives to form a glossy surface;
  • A two-component version of a coating made of acrylic modified with epoxy resins and stabilizers, also known as epokril or epoxy. In everyday life, it is often also called simply acrylic, but, in fact, it is a completely different material, more expensive and better quality than streakcloth;
  • Polyester kits, which include resin with hardener, fiberglass mats for sticking the repair coating, polish, solvent.
For your information! Polyester kits are actively advertised as an inexpensive means to restore baths. Polyester resin is designed to repair rusted sections of the bath, but completely restore the enamel, as in the case of baths with acrylic, most likely, will not work.

Polyester composition can be useful for overhaul the bath, in cases where acrylic is practically useless. Before attempting to apply a restoration coating, disassemble the drain and overflow opening of the bath, pay attention to the edges and perimeter, the places where the bath body touches the support or stand. If signs of through corrosion or rust are found, the metal will need to be cleaned and pasted with resin with fiberglass. Such restoration of the pasting coating will ensure the strength and integrity of the drainage and supporting sections of the bath for at least 5-10 years.

Starkryl and similar compounds are most often used for inexpensive repairs, when you need to cover the bath with acrylic to restore the color and gloss of the surface. More expensive two-component epoxy materials allow repairing the bath even in the presence of chips and destruction of the enamel layer, the opening of the metal and the presence of rusting foci.

Before coating with acrylic, it is necessary to thoroughly sand all the chips with fine sandpaper, the surface should be as smooth as possible, without benches and transitions. Rusty areas of the enamel coating of the bath are initially cleaned of rust with a brush, emery, then treated with phosphoric acid, washed with water without further stripping. A very strong protective phosphate film forms on the surface of the metal.

Technology of restoration of the enamel coating of the bath

Regardless of what material will be used to update the coating, the very process of applying the resin must be preceded by careful preparation of the bath. Even if the enamel layer is preserved without nails and rust, it will be necessary to conduct a full cycle of preparatory works of the old coating:

  • Carefully remove grease and salt contaminants, any traces of detergents;
  • Sand the entire internal surface of the bath with abrasive tools and wire brushes;
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water from traces of dust and abrasive, dry well and degrease the surface with alcohol-acetone mixture.

Do not use soda, detergent, any cleaning or detergent to degrease. After their use on the walls will remain a barely noticeable powder coating, capable at times to worsen the adhesion of acrylic.

Advice! Before you start applying acrylic, take a dry clean napkin, preferably dark or black, and swipe along the side walls of the bath. If the napkin remains a barely noticeable grayish whitish coating, the bath must be wiped with dry napkins.

After cleaning the enamel coating, the drain and the overflow opening are disassembled. The edges are again treated with a solvent or acetone to avoid flaking acrylic. Under the drain hole, you need to install a small container or dishes to collect the excess flowing acrylic. Along the perimeter, along the sides of the bath, glued a mini-blind from cardboard strips of fiberboard or plastic. You can proceed to applying acrylic coating.

The process of restoration of enamel with a one-component coating of acrylic

After processing and stripping the old enamel coating on the walls of the bath, there should be no gloss. The whole surface of the bathtub should feel slightly rough to the touch. To be convinced of high quality of preparation, it is enough to direct a lantern or a lamp on a wall and to shed a surface a small amount of pure water. The stream should flow evenly, without breaking into separate droplets and streamlets.

One-component acrylic is almost always sold in ready-made form. In addition to liquid acrylic, the material can be sold in aerosol containers or in the form of ready-made emulsions intended for spraying with a spray gun.

The first layer of acrylic should be as thin as possible so that the coating has maximum adhesion to the metal of the bath. The liquid or resin is vigorously stirred and left for 10-15 minutes to settle air bubbles from the mass. It's easiest to apply a spray coating, but in this case you will need a respirator and protective clothing. Walls and plumbing in the bathroom in this case must be covered with plastic wrap.

The coating is applied in the same way as a conventional acrylic-based paint. If there is a drop on the surface or a leak, do not try to wipe it or clean it, after drying the soil it will be possible to gently cut and polish the place of the leakage on the surface. After the drying of the soil layer and the elimination of defects, a second coating layer can be applied. In this case, it is best to use a foam roller.

After two days, the acrylic will dry, and after cutting off the stains on the drain holes, the bath can be collected and filled with water.

Complete acrylic restoration of the enamel coating of the bathtub

Two-component epoxy-acrylic compositions allow to obtain a much thicker and durable coating with high decorative qualities. The working mixture is prepared in the same way as epoxy glue. For 10 parts of the resin, add 1 part of the hardener. If acrylic components are stored in the cold, it is necessary to transfer them to a warm room at least a couple of hours before the work is done.

The necessary amount of hardener is added to the bulk of epoxy acrylic in small portions, gently mixing the mixture with a plastic or metal spatula. Before the application of the restoration mass, the bath is usually heated by means of a fan heater to a temperature of at least 40aboutC. At a higher temperature, acrylic will grasp much faster than the leveling and spreading of the coating will occur.

The prepared mass sets at room temperature in about 40-50 minutes. Typically, when applying a coating, do not wait until the first layer hardens completely, and a second layer of acrylic is applied. Due to the very high adhesion of the non-hardened epoxy groups to the metal and enamel, the second layer of acrylic will form a very smooth glossy coating.

In theory, modified acrylic compounds can also be laid on the walls of the bath with a brush and roller, but most masters prefer to apply acrylic in bulk, especially the last layer. For this, a small capacity of 200-300 ml is used, the mass is poured along the edge of the bead by a thin trickle. All that is collected at the bottom, you can align and disperse with a plastic spatula on the surface. It will solidify the coating in five hours, but you can use the bathroom not earlier than in three days.

Installing the acrylic liner

Despite certain prejudice against this method, the use of a repair insert allows a much higher quality of bath recovery. If you buy a liner made of high-quality acrylic plastic, which exactly corresponds to the size of the bath, you can repair the plumbing in just a few hours. It will only be necessary to disassemble the bath, remove the drain and overflow windows, clean and degrease the surface and apply polyurethane glue. After laying the liner, air bubbles are gently squeezed out of the adhesive layer. After 10 hours you can install a sink and use the bathroom as a new one.

The advantage of this approach is the same thickness of acrylic coating on the entire surface of the bath. No problems with surface preparation and priming, in fact, installing the liner can get a cast-iron bath with an acrylic surface that will last for another 15 years.


Before deciding on the way to restore the enamel coating of the bath, it must be remembered that for one repair it will take at least 3 kg of epoxy-acrylic composition. It is not epoxy or resin, widely used in industry and construction. This is a special polymer, which, according to the sanitary norms, is approved for use as a bath coating. Therefore, all attempts to use acrylic enamels, acrylic-based fillings or technical epoxy adhesives can lead to dermatitis or an allergic reaction.

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