DIY Shower Refinishing vs. Professional Refinishing

If your tub and shower are looking a little worse for the wear, you might wonder whether you should spring for professional refinishing, or if you can do it yourself. Chips, scratches, stains and other types of discoloration can make a perfectly functional bath and shower look less than appealing. At the same time, replacing your bathtub is an expensive and time-consuming process, so there’s no sense in doing that unless you absolutely have to.

Should you try DIY shower and bathtub refinishing, or hire a professional? Here’s a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages:

  • Amount of work: If you’re not already a home maintenance professional, the sheer amount of work involved with DIY refinishing might steer you away. You’ll need to remove or tape off the fixtures and thoroughly scrape the tub with a razor first—this can take hours. Then you’ll dull the surface with etching powder, sand it down, clean it, add primer and caulking… and then you can start applying the glaze. This is hard physical work and can take a long time if you don’t know what you’re doing. In contrast, professionals are trained to get the job done as efficiently as possible—as long as you don’t mind having a crew in your home for the day, you can avoid the physical labor.
  • Finish: There’s no guarantee that you’ll get a nice, clean finish by the time you’re done with your DIY project. While professional refinishing always results in a shiny, glass-like finish, DIY refinishing is more likely to result in drips and brush marks. If you want your shower to look brand new again, there’s no substitute for hiring a professional.
  • Time: DIY refinishing usually takes a full day or more to prepare the surface, add the glaze and wait for it to dry. You should be able to use your shower about 24 hours after the bathtub refinishing process. When you hire a professional, it should take three to five hours to prep and refinish the tub. The drying time will be similar. If time is of the essence, hire a pro.
  • Cost: DIY kits usually cost about $100. You can get kits, rollers and brushes online (along with the tape and tools you’ll need to protect the fixtures). Some kits are all-inclusive, while others only provide the glaze. It’s true that this will save you money—but you won’t get the same quality results that you would with a professional refinishing job. On average, a professional job costs just under $500. Most prices range from $300 to $750.
  • Colors: Finally, your color selection is limited when you go the DIY route. Most DIY kits come in white or off-white. Professional shower and tub refinishers have access to better supplies and a full range of colors, so you should be able to find virtually any shade you need.

A-1 Porcelain & Fiberglass Service Co., L.L.C. can help restore your shower and tub to like-new status. Call us today to get a quote for bathtub refinishing!