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Can You Paint A Fiberglass Shower? [And How To]

If you are in the process of upgrading your bathroom, paying attention to the main areas can make a big difference in the overall look. More often than not, a fiberglass shower will be on the list to replace with a new one. But do you need to replace it? We've researched if you can repaint it instead, and here's what we found out. 

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Yes, you can paint your fiberglass shower. Instead of buying a new one, you can paint it your preferred color to make it look personalized and brand new. All you have to do is prep the stall to build adhesion before applying the fiberglass paint. 

Now that you know that it's possible to give the shower a new look, we will discuss how you can do it and what are the necessary materials and techniques you should use to get the best results. Also, we will talk about some frequently asked questions related to the topic. If you want to learn more, keep on scrolling. 

Bathroom interior of a shower stall with glass and stainless steel. There is a white door, wall mounted shower head inside and a window - Can You Paint A Fiberglass Shower [And How To]

Painting A Fiberglass Shower

new concept of fiberglass or gelcoat shower in orange in apartment home house

Painting your fiberglass shower is a very smart move to upgrade your bathroom's interior. Why? First of all, it can save you a lot of money from hiring a contractor to install a new one and can save you a lot of time, since painting it yourself can be done in a few hours. Here is how:

Materials You Need

First thing's first: gather all of the materials you will need before you proceed. Here's what you'll need:

  • Sandpaper (300 or 320-grit)
  • Acetone cleaner
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic
  • Primer paint
  • Fiberglass paint
  • Brush
  • Breathing mask
  • Caulk

What Kind Of Paint Should You Use?

You should use waterproof enamel paint and primer. These will create a hard and durable finish. Enamel paint is also the easiest paint to apply since it is thick enough to flow throughout the surface using a brush. 

Check out this enamel paint on Amazon.

What Kind Of Brush Should You Use?

When it comes to enamel paints, it is better to use natural-bristle brushes with chisel shape tips. These kinds of tips leave a smooth finish and do not leave harsh brush strokes on the surface. Flagged tips also hold a large amount of paint due to their wide tip and minimize brush stroke marks so they're good to use in painting broad areas. 

Check out this natural bristle paint brush set on Amazon.

Painting A Fiberglass Shower Procedure

Bathroom interior of a shower stall with glass and stainless steel. There is a white door, wall mounted shower head inside and a window.

Here are the steps you should follow to paint your fiberglass shower.If the shower has a door, it will be better to remove it since you might need extra space or ventilation during the process. 

  1. Clean the shower area thoroughly. Using a cleaning brush or a towel and warm water, scrub off any grime or soap residue on the surface. If silicon caulk is present on the edges, remove it with a scraper. Silicone caulk is not paintable.
  2. Wear a mask so you won't inhale the particles and chemicals from the next steps. Make sure that your mouth and nose are covered securely.
  3. Using the 300 or 320-grit sandpaper, begin sanding the wall where you will paint. This process will rough up the surface so that the primer can cling firmly. Also, sanding will smooth any bumps that are present so you can have a bump-free surface. 
  4. Wash off the debris on the wall and the floor with clean water. 
  5. While waiting for the fiberglass shower area to dry, wrap the faucets, knobs, or other fixtures with masking tape to prevent the paint from getting on them. 
  6. Once the area is completely dry, cover the floor with plastic or cloth. This way, the floor will be protected from any paint drips or smudge. To keep it in place, you can use the tape so it won't shift around as you move. 
  7. Open the windows and doors for ventilation during the painting process. You can also put a fan inside the bathroom so that the air can circulate or escape through the vents.
  8. Using your paintbrush, apply the primer to the surface. Wait for it to dry completely.
  9. Once you are sure that the primer is dry, start painting with the enamel paint. To get the desired color finish, apply 2 to 3 coats of it. Be sure to check out the manufacturer's instructions on this. Some of them suggest sanding in between coats for the best results.
  10. Once the paint is dry, you can remove the tape from the faucets and other fixtures, as well as the cover you put on the floor. 
  11. Reapply caulk on the edges where you removed it. 
  12. Do not use the shower area until everything is completely dry. To make sure it is dry, leave it for a good 24 hours. 

Learn about the types of caulk you can reapply here: 7 Types Of Caulk For The Bathroom [And Which To Choose]

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Fiberglass Shower?

Modern elegant bathroom interior stock

Depending on the size of your shower, the price of having a professional do the job can range from $300 to $1,000. If any complications arise, the price may increase based on the treatment needed to fix the problem. 

Is Painting Your Fiberglass Shower Worth It?

Painting your fiberglass shower is worth it since it will save you time and money and allow you to preserve an old design and even choose a preferred color that will suit the rest of your bathroom's interior.

However, you should make sure that the shower is still in a good condition and does not need a major repair which could cost you more than buying a new one. 

Signs That You Need To Replace Your Fiberglass Shower

Here are some conditions that you should check to determine if you'd be better off replacing your shower than painting it. These are signs that the lifespan of your shower is coming to an end.

  • There are leaks on the shower head or faucet. This may be due to aged bolts or fittings that are beginning to loosen. Not only can this increase your water bill, but this can also lead to more problems such as the formation of mildew, mold, or watermarks on the wall. 
  • Your water sources such as showers or faucets have poor water pressure. Since the water that flows in American pipes is usually treated with chemicals such as chlorine and chloramine, it is safe for consumption. But it can lead to buildup and clog your shower heads over time. 
  • An excessive amount of holes, cracking, chipping, and peeling. 
  • Stubborn stains.

Learn how to patch up cracks and holes here: 6 Shower Tile Repair Solutions [Easily Fix Cracks, Chips, And Holes]

How To Clean Fiberglass Shower

Blue Transparent Cleaning Solution In A Plastic Container With Heart Shape Sponge And Rubber Gloves

After painting your fiberglass shower, make sure you maintain it to prolong its lifespan. To maintain your shower, try these tips and techniques

Procedure

Wet the shower floor using hot water so that the steam covers the walls. This will soften all the dirt or grime that got attached or built up. Make sure to open the windows or anything that can give you ventilation before applying cleaning solutions. 

When scrubbing, do not use hard-bristle brushes and bleaches on the fiberglass because they will damage the surface. Instead, use a microfiber towel or a sponge and gently rub the mild cleaner across the surface to eliminate the stains. Once you are satisfied, rinse off the lather with clean water.

Additionally, here are some solutions you can use for cleaning. 

  • A mixture of vinegar (1 part) and water (3 parts)
  • A mixture of baking soda (1 cup) and water (1 tablespoon)
  • Sprinkling baking soda on the face of a halved citrus fruit like lemon 
  • Hydrogen peroxide

How Often Should You Clean Your Fiberglass Shower?

Cleaning your shower once a week is recommended to prevent the buildup of dirt, mildew, molds, soap scum, and more. Add this chore to your weekly cleaning schedule to keep your shower area clean and odor-free. 

Wrapping Up

Painting your fiberglass shower is possible to do—even by yourself. Also, enamel paint and a natural bristle paint brush are the best options to make a smooth and stroke-free finish on your fiberglass. Pair that with regular weekly cleaning using mild solutions and a non-abrasive scrubber, and you can will have like-new shower every time. 

Keep in mind that not every fiberglass shower should be painted, especially if the shower is starting to leak or clog and already has a lot of holes, cracks, peeling, or other type of damage. It is best to replace the shower if it is already in a damaged condition.