Bathtub refinishing typically consists of 3 steps which are repairing, etching, and coating. If you plan to resurface your tub yourself using a DIY bathtub refinishing kit, it is important to know about the chemicals involved in these steps which you will be handling. Not only will you get better results, but more importantly, you will remain safe.
Polyester putty - This is a clay-like material with a high plasticity making it a perfect sealant. It is applied on holes to prevent water from passing through. When refinishing a tub, polyester putty is used in bathtub repair to repair cracks and chips by filling them up.
Acid - This is used in the etching or sanding stage where the whole tub is rid of its existing coating. Acid also makes the tub more adhesive to the new coating that will be applied. Take extra caution when handling this chemical because it could burn your skin and irritate your eyes.
Silane - An alternative to acid, also used as a bonding agent. It can be used on its own or in combination with acid. The two act us primers to ensure the new coat will stick to the surface of the tub.
Epoxy - The most common type of chemical used in bathtub coating. Epoxy is inexpensive, relatively safe to handle, and easy to apply. It provides a heavy duty coating on any type of bathtub and can protect it from corrosion and rusting. Depending on the kit you purchase, you could have ready-to-use epoxy or the two-step formula.
Acrylic urethane - A more expensive but more durable coating alternative to epoxy. Acrylic urethane is a two-component formula which uses a catalyst to increase the density of the coating resulting in higher chemical resistance.
Silicone - The final step in bathtub resurfacing is to coat the edges of the tub where it meets the wall with white silicone. Silicone is waterproof and will prevent dirt from entering the cracks along your tub.
If you are going to be handling chemicals such as these, the following precautions are a must. Wear protective gear such as rubber gloves, a mask, and goggles before doing anything. Wear an apron or clothes that you don't mind ruining. Make sure that your bathroom is well ventilated meaning there is a constant influx of fresh air. Finally, only do it yourself if you are confident enough. Understand the instructions carefully and watch online tutorials if you have to.
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