Can You Paint a Shower Floor?

by Charlie
Can You Paint a Shower Floor

Do you have a shower floor that is looking tired or that no longer matches your bathroom decorations? If so, you might be wondering whether you have to replace it, or if you can just paint it to refresh it and make it look in tune with the rest.

Shower floors get a lot of wear and tear, being constantly exposed to moisture and walked on. They also have to be able to withstand having things dropped on them, and they mustn’t be slippery, or they will become a trip hazard. That makes painting them hard.

Can you paint a shower floor? Whether you can paint a shower floor will depend on what it is made of, but many are pressed acrylic sheets formed into a single layer in a hot mold. It should be possible to paint this, provided you use an appropriate product and do sufficient preparation work. If you don’t do it properly, your paint will very quickly start to flake.

Can a Shower Floor Be Painted?

Most shower floors can be painted, yes, but you must have a suitable paint and you must do the proper prep work. Remember, shower bases need to be waterproof, able to withstand a lot of use, and not too slippery.

If your shower floor is not acrylic, you may be able to do other things to make it safe to paint, but you will have to research the specific material and find out what kinds of paint it will take and how to prepare the surface.

How Do You Paint a Shower Floor?

The first thing to do is remove the metal hardware, such as the plug, and any other loose metal parts. If you don’t, you are liable to scratch them while sanding and preparing the base of the shower.

Next, thoroughly clean the base of the shower, removing all dirt, soap scum, limescale, etc. Rinse the base down and fill any damaged areas with a suitable filler, such as a fiberglass resin kit (if your base is acrylic). Allow the repair to dry, and then sand down the area that you intend to paint. You want a rough, textured surface so the paint has plenty to cling to.

You should put painter’s tape around the parts of the shower that you don’t intend to paint to prevent the paint from spreading, and then wipe down the sanded areas and apply a thin coat of primer. Allow the primer to fully dry, and then put on a second coat and allow that to dry too.

When it has dried, mix your paint thoroughly, and then start applying it using a roller or a brush. Allow the paint to dry, and then use more sandpaper to scuff the base up again. Wipe it clean with a damp cloth, and apply another coat of paint.

When that has dried, decide whether you need a third coat. If you do, again scuff the base up lightly, wipe it clean, and apply some more paint. When you have finished, reinstall the shower’s hardware and wait at least 2 days before using the shower so that the paint can fully cure.

What Kind of Paint Do You Need for a Shower Base?

You will usually need an epoxy paint to cover the base of a shower. This will ensure that it is water-resistant and will prevent any peeling or cracking, even if water sits on the surface of the paint for some time. Other waterproof paints may work, but they aren’t generally as good.

However, you should base your paint choice on what your shower floor is made of. Use the manufacturer’s guidance to ensure you are getting a paint that will work well, as most will list what sorts of surfaces they can be used on.

Should You Use a Sealer?

You might want to use a paint sealer to make your shower paint last longer, but you should bear in mind that if you do this, you may make the floor more slippery. You will need to choose a sealer that contains some sort of non-skid product.

You don’t have to use a sealer on your shower base if you have used a good quality, epoxy paint. You may find that the paint doesn’t last as long as if you used a sealer, but as long as you applied several coats and sanded them thoroughly first, it should last for several years.

Do You Have to Use a Nonslip Paint?

If possible, you should choose a nonslip epoxy paint for your shower base, yes. This will reduce the risk of accidents happening in the shower, keeping you and all other users safe.

If you don’t have access to a nonslip epoxy, you can use an ordinary paint, but be aware that the shower will be more slippery and there is a risk that you could fall and hurt yourself.

Should You Paint the Metal?

You might also want to paint the shower drain, but you should generally avoid doing this. They are not usually easy to paint and you may find that the paint flakes off quickly. If you are determined to do this, you will need a high quality metal paint and an etching primer.

Most people do not bother to paint the metal drain of the shower, but it is important to redo the grout and caulking once you have painted the shower base. This will ensure that the shower stays watertight.

Remember to wear the appropriate mouth and eye protection while you are sanding and painting, including a respiratory mask, so you don’t risk inhaling dust that could damage your lungs. You should also keep the room well ventilated while you are working.

Final Thoughts

Painting the base of a shower can be a fairly simple process if you know what material has been used to make the shower base. You can sand it down to provide a key, and paint it with epoxy or another suitable paint. Redo the caulk and grout, and allow the shower to completely dry before you use it.

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