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The Duration of Bathtub Refinishing: What to Expect

By George Piccot, Published 09/06/2023

Bathtub refinishing has rapidly gained popularity as a cost-effective and efficient alternative to replacing old or worn-out bathtubs. This process involves repairing and recoating the bathtub's surface, resulting in a fresh, new-looking tub without the need for removal or replacement. However, one of the most commonly asked questions by homeowners considering this option is, "How long does the refinishing process take?" This article delves into the details of the duration and factors that can affect the timeline.

1. Understanding the Basic Process

Before diving into the timeframes, it's essential to understand the steps involved in bathtub refinishing:

  • Cleaning: The tub is thoroughly cleaned to remove soap scum, mineral deposits, and any other residues.
  • Repair: Any cracks, chips, or damages are repaired to ensure a smooth surface.
  • Masking: Masking is done around the tub and fixtures, and the floor is covered to protect from damage.
  • Ventilation: Ventilation is set up to help protect the worker and homeowner from dangerous fumes and damaging over-spray.
  • Priming and top coating: A primer is applied, followed by several coats of the refinishing product.

Watch the video below to give you an idea of the refinishing process

2. Typical Duration

Generally, the entire refinishing process, from start to finish, can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, depending on the tub's condition and the specific techniques used by the refinishing company. This timeframe includes all the steps from cleaning to top coating.

3. Factors that Affect the Timeline

  • Damage: Bathtubs with extensive damage, such as a previously refinished tub that needs stripping or numerous chips, will require more time for repair, potentially extending the process.
  • Masking: Making sure everything is covered to prevent damage from overspray is a time-consuming process which greatly extends the process.
  • Ventilation: Proper ventilation is crucial for the safety of the workers and the drying of the refinishing product. If the bathroom has poor ventilation, it may require additional time to set up external fans or venting systems, extending the overall process.

4. Drying and Curing Time

While the hands-on refinishing work might be completed in a day, it's essential to account for the drying and curing time. This period is when the newly applied finish hardens and sets. Typically, homeowners are advised to wait at least 24 to 48 hours before using the refinished bathtub. In some cases, depending on the products used and environmental conditions, this curing time can extend up to 72 hours or longer.

5. Planning Accordingly

For homeowners, understanding the duration of the refinishing process helps in planning. Since the bathroom will be out of commission during the refinishing and the curing period, arrangements might be needed, especially in homes with only one bathroom.


Bathtub refinishing is a brilliant solution for those looking to rejuvenate their old and tired tubs without the hassles and costs of a full replacement. While the process is relatively quick, especially when compared to a complete bathroom renovation, it's essential to be informed about the expected duration and factors that might affect it. By knowing what to anticipate, homeowners can plan accordingly, ensuring a smooth and efficient refinishing experience.

For more articles like this visit our Blog. If you are a professional refinisher and want to join other like-minded professional refinishers to discuss process, visit the elite Facebook group RCN - Resurfacing Contractors Network.

Learn More About Professional Bathtub Refinishing

TopKote has everything you need for your refinishing project including materials and training. If you are looking for a professional, contact us and we will direct you to a Topkote Pro nearest you.

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