Bathrooms are usually the most used room in any home. Because of this it is also the room most likely to be worn, scraped, dulled and scratched. No matter how good the quality of tile, counter or tub is in your bathroom, over time the wear and tear is going to take its toll and leave a grimy film and grout that will make the room appear dirty. Having a bathroom remodeled can cost a small fortune and these days saving money is a top priority for any home improvement project.
Luckily, refinishing a bathroom can be done for a fraction of the cost of remodeling. Using a simple bathroom epoxy finishing kit makes it easy and affordable to make worn down bathroom tiles, tubs and counters look brand new.
Bathroom Refinishing Products vs Refinishing Kits
There are thousands of products on the market for refinishing bathrooms. Many are designed to be used in conjunction with other products that can have you searching hardware stores far and wide to find the right matching products for sinks, bath tubs and tiles. Refinishing kits, however, have everything you need in one convenient package. They include a special powdered concentrate and industrial strength epoxy, cleaning pad and rubber gloves. All you need to do is add water!
The secret to a superior finish is in the preparation
Most DIY projects fail in the preparation steps. When preparing your bathroom for refinishing projects, inspect the surface for chips or cracks, make sure all surfaces are carefully cleaned and wiped down with a clean dry cloth to eliminate dust, dirt and grime. If any dirt or residue is left underneath the applied epoxy, the surface may end up uneven and pock marked.
Bathroom epoxy finishing kits are safe to use on almost any surface including porcelain, tile, ceramic, fiberglass, acrylic, laminate and many other common surfaces. First, carefully inspect the surface, tile or tub for cracks, chips or other unusual marks that could indicate a more serious problem that an epoxy finish cannot fix. Applying a finish to a more serious problem will at best temporarily cover it up, but not prevent it from leaking and causing irreparable damage to your bathroom. Then you will need a contractor and probably a plumber too.
If the chips or cracks in the surfaces don’t indicate a deeper issue, repair them first, and allow the fix to fully dry or cure. Then follow the instructions with your kit to prep and thoroughly clean the bathroom surfaces.
After the thorough cleaning step, allow the surface to dry thoroughly before mixing the epoxy concentrates. Don’t forget to mask areas that are not being refinished with plastic and tape to make sure you don’t get epoxy in areas not being refinished.
Where to Start the Refinishing process
Refinishing kits include a mixing stick and the concentrate epoxy is self-leveling so brush marks virtually disappear as you apply the epoxy to counters, bath tubs and tiles. Use the included brush to apply the first coating of epoxy on the surfaces you want to refinish. Depending on how large a tub, counter or tile surface you are refinishing count on at least one hour to fully apply the first coat.
When the first coat has been applied, put the remaining mix with the brush in a freezer to prevent the mixture from hardening. Give the first coat at least 24 hours to fully dry before taking the mixture from the freezer and applying the second coat. When removing the mixture from the freezer allow at least an hour or two for it to warm up.
Once you have finished applying the second coat give the bathroom five days for the epoxy to dry completely before using the sink, tub or counter. Using these areas too soon can cause water to disrupt the leveling and settling of the epoxy and cause uneven breaks that will look unprofessional. Walls and floors dry to the touch usually within 24 hours of the application but still require time to cure.
White is not the only option
Most epoxy finishing kits feature a bright white color that matches standard bathroom tiles and counters. If you are looking for something a little different, you can add up to ½ ounce of a “universal” type tint to turn the epoxy a light pastel color. Because the epoxy is bright white it cannot be turned into a darker color.
An added feature of our do-it-yourself refinishing kits is the inclusion of instructions in both English and Spanish so you don’t feel abandoned when you open the box. Home improvements can be intimidating because you don’t want to make a mistake that could ruin tile or counter tops. Luckily most refinishing kits are safe and easy to use and the simple instructions carefully walk you through each step of the process.
A single box of a standard bathtub refinishing kit can cover roughly 75 square feet, or a standard tub, shower and surround, and additional kits can be purchased to complete jobs that are larger in area. Most retail kits are designed for standard size bathrooms so if you are planning a more extensive refinishing project consider stocking up on a few boxes to make sure you’re covered.