I have a fiberglass bathtub and shower combo in a rental that's likely more than a decade old. The finish is very dull and feels almost matte to the touch. There are no noticeable scratches or peeling however. I've also made the mistake of using some pretty abrasive cleaners on it, which helped get rid of some tough stains, but probably killed whatever polish was left.

Outside of refinishing the tub what are some things that I can do to bring back the polish? Would something like Gel-Gloss work?

Not only that, what are some ways to get all the hard to clean buildups off before I polish? Can I use bar keepers friend or is that too rough?

1 Answer 1


Here's what I did, while it doesn't give you the brand new tub experience, it is much cheaper and faster than a tub refinish, considering that DIY refinish is a pain and possibly a bad investment vs professional services($$$).

First clean with Bar Keepers Friend. Then dry everything

Next, use car rubbing compound with electric rotary polishers. I tried rubbing with my hands and it was not close to cutting it on the tub.

You can use different types of polishing pads from coarse to fine, and that really gets the surface smooth feeling as well as get rid of some of the harder stains. It also helps with light scratches.

Finally, refinish with a car polish spray, it keeps a fairly waterproof finish on the surface to keep the tub cleaner longer.

The tub is finally presentable and a delight to bathe in, it will look clean and feel smooth, but perhaps I slacked a bit on the polishing, it doesn't have the shine.

Hope this helped someone who needed an in-between solution

  • Sounds like a great plan and I'm glad it worked out for you! I'd recommend caution in selecting final polishing choices. While a car wax will get a great shine, the waxed surface could be quite slippery when wet, which could present a bit of an issue when getting into/out of the tub or standing for a shower.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 13:59
  • @FreeMan yep, forgot to mention, my tub has a textured bottom finish. I did the final polish spray on it, but it didn't make it any noticeably more slippery.
    – mugetsu
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 18:32

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