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Tub refinishing isn't a DIY job

December 04, 2008|By ED DEL GRANDE

Q: My son recently moved into a home with a fiberglass/acrylic bathtub. The color is the old harvest gold (yuk!), and he would like to change the color. Since budget is a major concern, I was wondering if there is a paint that he can buy and apply himself. - Ben in New Mexico

A: Resurfacing fiberglass tubs is a lot like repainting a fiberglass boat. The good news is that there are marine gel-coat paint products that may be used for your type of tub. The bad news is that, in my opinion, this is a job for professionals only. I have never personally seen a do-it-yourself paint job on a bathtub that looked good. Just like fine wall plasterwork, refinishing plumbing fixtures is an art form, in my book.

I would not attempt it myself -- and with that in mind, I cannot recommend it for your son. The best advice I can give is to call in a professional to first see if the tub can be refinished, and then get in writing an estimate for the complete job.

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This is not an emergency and there is no reason the tub cannot be used while your son saves up for the project. And who knows? Once you see the price, the color may not look that bad anymore. It might be in the better interest of your son just to buy a toilet and sink in harvest gold to match the tub. Besides, he might be able to replace those items himself. The cost would be only the price of the toilet and sink.

Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is known internationally as the author of the book "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and for hosting TV shows on Scripps Networks and HGTVPro.com. For information visit eddelgrande.com or write eddelgrande@hgtvpro.com. Always consult local contractors and codes. For more stories visit scrippsnews.com

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