Fiberglass Refinishing
November 4, 2004 3:34 PM   Subscribe

Fiberglass refinishing: pleasure or pain?

I've an old fiberglass bathtub. It's fookin hooje. And the house was built to fit it. And I was stupid and when I removed the tile around it, I didn't protect it at all adequately.

Ergo, it is now covered in chips and dints and scratches.

I spent today with a palm sander, 400 grit wet, and endless patience. Most of the scratches are out, and I can see that all of them will come out.

The chips, not so lucky.

So now I need to consider applying new gelcoat. Just how stupid an idea is this? I believe it's toxic, messy, and will require endless finishing work to create a nice mirror-like finish.

Is there an alternative? Note that the bathtub reglazing guy won't touch the tub: too big for him to do in a single shot, and he's afraid of screwing up.

(My saving plan is to cut the front of the tub out, reusing the majority of it as a base for tiling a very large shower.)
posted by five fresh fish to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
I can't beleive that a bathtub reglazing guy wouldn't be willing to take on the project. Did you talk to a couple of different ones, or just that one guy?
posted by SpecialK at 4:21 PM on November 4, 2004

Just the one. He's the only one we got. :-)

His suggestion was to toss it out and get a new one; the cost would be about the same. That's true, but not if I'm going to replace it with such a large one.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:12 PM on November 4, 2004

I'm not sure if my tub is fiberglass or not... but the previous owners refinished it before we moved into the house. Apparently no one ever used it, because as soon as people started using it for the shockingly strange things of bathing and showering, the stuff began peeling off. It looks absolutely awful. I can't recommend refinishing.
posted by Shoeburyness at 6:55 AM on November 5, 2004

Refinished with what, Shoe? Marine paint (in which case you want it tested for lead and other toxins), or gelcoated?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:01 AM on November 5, 2004

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