Bathtub refinishing can extend a tub’s life and is considerably cheaper than purchasing and installing a new tub. It saves some money and avoids the hassle of bringing in a new one and taking out the old.  It may be a tempting project for do-it-yourselfers. If you are tempted to DIY refinish your bathtub, don’t! There are some minor problems, and a major danger that you must be aware of.

There are several minor problems. A DIY project may not have proper equipment, such as the tools needed to get a smooth finish, something you can’t do with a brush or roller. The surface may take 24 or more hours to dry, with a temptation to use the tub before it is ready. Chemicals used in stripping agents to remove the old surface are powerful. If spilled they could damage bathroom tiling or other surfaces. Spilled chemicals or chemical vapors could easily harm pets or small children accidentally intruding on the work scene.

The major problem? The project can kill you. The Centers for Disease Control has documented at least 14 deaths from the chemicals used in bathtub refinishing since the year 2000, due to the presence of methylene chloride in some cleaning solutions. This chemical is extremely dangerous, and fumes readily leak into the air. Breathing it can cause lung damage and it can be fatal. Even short term exposure can affect the nervous system.

Knowing that the materials are dangerous and must be used very carefully is not enough. Methylene chloride vapor is a killer. Most bathrooms are small enclosed spaces, not well ventilated. Bathroom fans and open bathroom windows do not provide enough ventilation.

America Bathtub advises you that refinishing a bathtub is a job you should leave to professionals. Hire professionals who know the dangers of refinishing and will have the equipment to safely use the cleaners without danger to household residents or pets. It’s just too dangerous to DIY.

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