I suggest using a professional refinishing service.You get a warranty.
IMO,it's worth it.
THOROUGH Surface prep is CRITICAL to the new finish adhering,and care must
be taken when cleaning the tub.I've read on this NG that a pro recommended
using 409 to clean the epoxy finish.
Everything that I have reas suggests that they suck. I have heard of
them pelling after a few weeks. If you are handy and good and painting
(and prepping) and only doing the tub, then it might be worth a shot.
If you are going to redo the walls, you may as well do it the right way
and rip out the tub and put in a new cast iron one, as nature intended.
I had mine done by a pro and the surface prep was caustic, requiring some
serious ventilation for proper etching of the surface. It lasted about 8
years and began to spall off. True to the warranty they resurfaced it last
summer. The finish is very nice. I probably would have opted for a
replacement unit but the old one is prtty well sealed in by the finish
plaster which would have been pretty well damaged while wrestling the new
A couple of years ago while in a no-money funk, I used a DIY kit from
the local Home Depot. My bathtub had a large black stripe going down
the middle of it, which was real attractive.
I spent a lot of time prepping the tub, which involved scraping out old
caulk and using these brillo-pad looking things to scratch the tub and
made sure it was as clean as possible (don't recall what I used for
cleaning, might have been TSP). It took a lot of work to do that, but
I didn't have the funds to hire someone. I then applied the
refinisher, which was the easiest part of the whole process. My only
regret is that I didn't use a better brush, as any bristles that came
out of the brush were stuck in the gooey finish and had to be removed
with tweezers, as rebrushing over the area would leave streaks. Also,
it wasn't until I was almost done that I got pretty good at painting
the refinisher on without leaving streaks. I might also add that you
won't see imperfections or shadows from the streaks unless you shine a
light directly into the tub.
Overall, we're happy with it. It has lasted several years. I'm sure
it will need another coat eventually, but for the time being it looks
pretty good, and even with shining a light directly on it, you can't
see that lovely black streak. Hope this info is of some use to you.
Actually,adding extra coats will not add much time to curing.
You just have to wait long enough for the 1st coat to gel.
IMO,I would use three coats.
Also,the newest Tub&Tile kit I downloaded instructions for uses a roller
for finish application,and includes the etchant for surface prep.
Tub&Tile has a website and you can download the kit instructions in a .pdf
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