Could your fiberglass tub or shower use a little TLC? Fiberglass repair isn’t for everyone, but it can be a DIY project if you’re familiar with bathtub refinishing. To try fiberglass repair yourself, use the following step-by-step guide.
1. Get your kit
For bathtub refinishing, you will need a fiberglass repair kit. Verify that your bathtub is actually fiberglass before you proceed. If you tap on it with a wooden spoon or your knuckle, it should make a hollow, non-metallic noise.
Fiberglass repair kits come in a variety of colors, so choose the color that matches your existing tub. If you need to alter the color slightly, most kits come with tinting products that allow you to do so. Your kit should also contain hardener, a fiberglass mesh or mat, polyester resin, sandpaper, protective gloves, thickener, a mixing container and a stirring tool.
2. Clean thoroughly
Before you complete your fiberglass repair, you must clean the area that requires the repair. Remove any jagged fibers from the area. Sand it to remove any contaminants. Then, rinse it with solvent to prepare the area for the repair product. The area must be very clean and smooth for proper adhesion.
3. Reinforce with fiberglass cloth (if needed)
If the area that needs repair is more than one quarter-inch wide or is an open hole, you will need to use fiberglass cloth reinforcing. Cut a piece of cloth that is slightly larger than the area that needs repair. If the area is particularly large, you may need to use more than one layer of fiberglass cloth.
4. Read the instructions
Review the kit instructions for mixing and tinting the materials before you proceed. Each product varies slightly, so be sure to have a good understanding of how to properly mix and tint before you proceed.
5. Mix (don’t forget to protect your floor!)
Use cardboard or heavy construction paper to protect the surface where you will mix your fiberglass repair material. Measure the recommended amount of resin and mix it according to the kit guidelines. Don’t forget to include any colorant that is recommended to make the mixture the right tint for your bathtub.
6. Thicken and harden
Again, following the kit instructions, add the thickening and hardening agents to the mixture.
7. Mix again, quickly
Remember, the longer you stir, the better results you’ll get. However, once you add the hardener, you’ll only have up to 15 minutes of working time.
8. Apply the mixture
Use a putty knife or other flat tool to apply the mixture to the damaged surface. Spread evenly, making it slightly thicker than the original surface to allow for sanding to finish.
Allow the material to harden. This typically requires about two hours.
10. Sand and buff
Use coarse sandpaper to smooth the repaired area. Work your way from coarse to smooth paper as you sand, until the area is even with the rest of the bathtub surface. Your kit should include a buffing compound that you can use to buff the area and give it a gloss finish to match the rest of the surface.
Call for backup
To skip all of these steps and let the experts handle your fiberglass repair, contact the pros at A-1 Porcelain & Fiberglass Service Co., LLC. We specialize in bathtub refinishing. Call us today for all of your bathroom repair and refinishing needs.