Repairing Fiberglass Tubs

Many of us use a fiberglass bathtub in our homes because they are lighter, easier to clean, and even easier to install. The only disadvantage to them is that they are not quite as durable and can easily be cracked or will deteriorate with time. Most of us will begin to contemplate replacing this old tub with something new and that does not look so worn – but why not save money and repair the problems yourself?

What You Can Do

  • When working with fiberglass you need to make sure that you have the necessary gloves, mouth piece, and overalls that will help to protect your skin and keep you from breathing in harsh chemicals. You will also need to purchase a fiberglass repair kit – which should have many of the supplies that you will need to get the job done.
  • Make sure to spread newspaper around the bathroom floor near the tub to help protect the places around it from becoming damaged.
  • Use a 60 to 80 grit sandpaper and sand down the crack and the area around it. In the area surrounding it you need to move between two to three inches away from the affected area.
  • From here you will need to use the supplies that are in your fiberglass repair kit. Make sure that you follow the directions carefully.
  • The first thing that it should tell you to do is to make three patches from the fiberglass cloth that it comes with. The first patch should be slightly smaller then the area that has been damaged. The last two should be slightly smaller then the first one. In other words you want all three of them to be a different size.
  • Combine the fiberglass hardener and resin according to the instructions that you received.
  • You will need to soak the smallest patch in the mixture with the resin and hardener that you created. Once thoroughly soaked you should place this patch over the crack. Proceed to follow this process with the other two patches. Once they are firmly in place you will need to allow them to dry overnight.
  • The next day you want to use the 60 to 80 grit sander again on the dried fiberglass patches. Wipe down the sanding residue from the surface of the bathtub using a damp rag.
  • Place down marine plastic filler on the sanded area with a putty knife and allow it to dry completely.
  • Combine the plastic filler onto the surface of the bathtub using the sandpaper.
    Match the gel coat color on to your bathtub using a colorant. Make sure to follow these directions carefully. Use a small paint roller to apply a 1/8” layer of the gel coat over the surface. Then cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to dry overnight.
  • The next morning you need to sand the area using a 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper and wipe down the area. Blend it in even more using 320 to 400 grit papers.