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We have a bathtub which is part of a bathroom with a 70's color scheme. Rather than replace the tub we were thinking about refinishing it.

What are the pros and cons of refinishing a bathtub, either diy or using a company like Miracle Method, versus just replacing it?

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What kind of tub are we talking about? Fiberglass? Plastic? Steel? Cast Iron? – DA01 Jun 8 '11 at 0:38
up vote 4 down vote accepted


  • Cost: It's usually cheaper to refinish a tub than to replace it.
  • Time: Refinishing a tub can typically be done faster that replacing the tub.
  • Can be done by most DIYers: Refinishing may not require special tools or training.


  • User error can result in less than desirable result.
  • Finish may not be as long lasting (durable).

In my opinion I consider refinishing a tub as a temporary solution, one of those things that you do just so you don't have to look at that UGLY F***ing tub anymore. You know one day you will get around to replacing the tub, but you just can't find the budget or time to do it right now.

Refinishing a tub can also be a good option if your getting ready to sell, so you don't want to drop the cash for a complete bathroom remodel.

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I've had tubs refinished several times, and personally I think it's a great option. Done right, the results look as good as a new tub. You do need to be careful what kind of cleaners you use on the refinished tub though, as any abrasive cleaners will damage the finish.

As for doing it yourself - I suppose you could do it yourself, but I've always hired a pro to do it. The job is 90% cleaning and prep work, and if you don't do that right, you won't be happy with the results.

Considering the difficulty of replacing a tub (it's a big job) and the "collateral damage" that often happens when you do, I would always opt to refinish rather than replace unless I was planning to completely gut the bathroom anyways.

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