Is your old bathtub splattered in paint after a bathroom renovation went wrong, or are you going to the extreme and thinking about bathtub refinishing?
No matter what you are doing, removing paint from a bath can be daunting. The type of paint makes a difference, as does the bathtub surface. one wrong move, and you can easily scratch this and leave yourself with more of a challenging fix. In our guide, you can learn more about how to remove paint from a bathtub without damaging the tub surface.
By the end, you’ll see how you could have many materials around the home to make an effective bathtub paint remover and remove latex paint or another paint type from many types of bathtub. (Read FRP Panels For Shower Walls)
How Do You Get Dried Paint Off A Bathtub?
Acrylic bathtubs are a lovely addition to any bathroom, and the acrylic surface is mostly dirt and grime-resistant. However, acrylic scratches readily and is dissolved or destroyed by a wide range of solvents.
Acrylic tubs are one of the most challenging materials to remove paint since the damage is irreversible if you use the wrong cleaning solution.
1. Removing Fresh Paint From Acrylic Tub
- Wash the paint stains with hot water. If the paint spill is still wet, flushing it with hot water may remove most of it.
- If you have a detachable shower head, use it or a separate container to pour hot water over the spill to divert the drainage toward the drain.
- If you turn on the faucet and wait for it to fill up, the paint will mix with the water and stain the tub in other places. So, if you get blue paint on a white tub, you might get light blue stains, as an example.
- If there’s a lot of paint, it’s best to clean up as much as possible with paper towels before rinsing.
- Never use cold water when cleaning, soaking, or rinsing your tub. This can set dirt and fresh paint stains, whereas hot water prevents problems from forming on the tub’s surface.
- After wiping up the mess, you can move on to use a concentrated sudsy solution of laundry detergent.
- Fill the tub with warm or hot water and liquid laundry detergent. Unlike powdered laundry soaps, the liquid detergent doesn’t contain abrasives to scratch the acrylic tubs’ surface.
- If the stubborn paint stains have already dried, soak the spot in the solution for a few hours or overnight.
- Use a cleaning solution of a few drops of detergent per inch of water in the tub.
- Rub the stain with a washcloth or a soft sponge. You can drain the acrylic tub or leave the detergent solution in as you scrub the stain.
Ensure you never use abrasive things like steel wool or stiff-bristled brushes, as these will damage acrylic surfaces since they scratch easily.
2. Treat Paint Stain with Baking Soda and Vinegar
- Warm water should be used to wet the paint stain. Wet the area with warm to hot water after giving the stain a first work-over.
- The goal is to keep the area moist so that the paint doesn’t dry on the tub’s surface. Allow time for the water to warm the acrylic by running it over the entire tub bottom. You can leave water over the paint for a few hours, so it doesn’t dry.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the affected area after wetting the tub floor.
- The wet baking soda will form a paste and loosen the stain. Allow 5-10 minutes for the paste to rest on the stain before applying the vinegar.
- Fill a spray bottle halfway with vinegar and spray the baking soda paste. The vinegar activates the baking soda, which results in a frothy layer in your tub.
- Allow 5-10 minutes for the combination to work its way through any accumulated filth or discoloration.
- If you prefer, soak a sponge in vinegar and apply it directly to the affected area. The vinegar paste and baking soda will react as you scrub, making physical cleaning more effective.
- Scrub the area with a washcloth or sponge. Make enough time for the vinegar and baking soda mixture to work on the stain. If necessary, repeat the procedure to make sure no remnants of the paint stain remain.
The two methods here are mild on surfaces and can be among the best ways how to remove paint from a porcelain tub. (Read Water Resistant Paint For Bathroom)
In addition, if you have lots of paint spilled and a tub full of water, lay plastic tarps around your rub to avoid damage from paint-filled water spills as you scrub.
Will Paint Thinner Hurt A Bathtub?
Only use non-abrasive cleansers because acrylic is prone to scratching and may react poorly when exposed to certain chemicals in cleaning agents.
Ordinary cleaning chemicals like Comet and Ajax, designed for porcelain and other materials, are too harsh for an acrylic tub.
Look for non-acetate cleansers, as acetates can eat away at the gel coat on an acrylic surface. Likewise, paint thinners have the same abrasive impact on the bathtub as an abrasive scrub pad or steel wool.
Mild all-purpose cleansers such as OxyClean, Bathtub & Shower Cleaner, and Kaboom have been shown to clean acrylic bathtubs effectively without harming a clear coat finish.
Acrylic and other plastic-based materials are less durable than porcelain. In addition, you must avoid using harsh chemicals and solvents, or the tub’s protective covering may be damaged.
So, while you can remove paint from a stained surface in a porcelain tub using a paint stripper, you won’t be able to do the same with an acrylic or fiberglass tub.
The cleaning methods above are safe to remove paint from a fiberglass bathtub besides acrylic tubs.
Paint Removal from Fiberglass Bathtub
Epoxy paint is a robust, long-lasting coating for bathtubs manufactured from latex acrylic. However, epoxy paint can peel or flake if applied incorrectly.
Fortunately, removing epoxy paint and restoring your bathtub to its original fiberglass surface is extremely simple.
Although solvents like paint stripper and acetone are faster at removing epoxy paint, they are more likely to remove the fiberglass tub.
Instead, loosen epoxy with a milder solution, such as vinegar and baking soda paint remover paste. (Learn How To Remove Bathroom Wall Tile)
- A quarter cup of baking soda
- A quarter teaspoon of vinegar
- Mix baking soda and enough vinegar to make a thick paste that resembles cake frosting.
- Allow the paste to dry for at least 30 minutes after applying it to the painted area.
- With a non-abrasive sponge, scrub the loosening paint.
- Once all of the paint has been removed, rinse with warm soapy water to remove any leftover paste or debris.
Iron stains in the bathtub can also be removed using this baking soda and vinegar paste.
How Do You Get Paint Off A Porcelain Tub?
Porcelain, unlike acrylic, is more scratch-resistant; therefore, you may use most household cleaners, solvents, and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to clean away paint.
Brushes and scrapers can be safe to use for removing paint in a porcelain bathtub.
However, you still need to take some care when using any tools or solvent to remove paint splatters from porcelain.
First, you need to know the type of paint you’re working with, and you can do this by completing a simple test.
Test Paint Type
- Moisten cotton or a clean rag with denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol.
- Rub the cotton on the paint stain.
- If the paint color rubs off onto the cotton, it’s a water-based paint. If the cotton is still clean after rubbing the paint stain.
Ways How To Remove Paint From Porcelain Tub
1. Scrape Paint Off
- Because porcelain is scratch-resistant, scraping off hardened paint from a porcelain tub can occasionally be done.
- A plastic putty knife should readily remove the paint.
2. Remove Paint with Solvent
If you’re cleaning water-based paint from a porcelain tub, keep rubbing the stain vigorously with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab or a rag until the stain disappears.
Other products can get water-based paint off porcelain:
- Lacquer thinner
Keep your bathroom well-ventilated and wear a mask when handling such liquids.
3. Remove Paint With Paint Stripper
Use a paint stripper to remove oil-based paint from a porcelain tub. It removes both water and oil-based paint without causing damage to the porcelain.
Make sure you wear a mask and wear rubber gloves to avoid burns.
Here are the steps for how to remove paint from a bathtub made of porcelain.
- Apply paint remover with a paintbrush and let it sit for ten minutes for the paint to blister.
- Next, you can scrape using a razor blade or plastic paint scraper, and the paint will come off with the paint stripper.
- However, if the paint does not blister after 10 minutes, you need to use more paint stripper.
- After you’ve removed all paint stains from the tub, rinse it well with clean water to remove any remaining residue.
Removing Oil-based paint is complex and may require a stronger procedure. Paint spills may require an immediate paint stripper or stripping agent for effective paint removal.
If you want to avoid chemicals in your bathtub, you can let the paint dry and scrape it off. Porcelain resists scratches well, so use a plastic putty knife and some elbow grease to work the spot gently. (Read Washing Machine Drainage Options)
Paint removers contain harsh chemicals that might cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
Remove Paint on Cast Iron Tub
A porcelain or enamel finish protects a cast iron tub from rust. Some older cast iron tubs have been painted inside or out. After a while, they may need refinishing.
Clean the tub well with dish soap and a lightly abrasive sponge before the paint removal process.
Follow the above methods to remove all the paint from a porcelain coating—sand or steel wool, uncoated cast iron to remove paint.
Hand sanding cast iron removes paint in circular motions, wiping away debris with a moist rag. Next, remove old paint using an electric sander.
Apply a fresh coat of white paint, lacquer, or refinishers oil to your cast iron tub—Shop online or local hardware store for a complete refinishing package.