My name is James Calhoon. I own the Bathtub Refinishing Dallas business that has provided refinishing services to the Dallas,TX. area since 1991.
Although not all refinishing professionals use the same products, I feel that you will get a good bit of information from this page on how to properly care for and clean the different types of surfaces that are used in refinishing. Please keep in mind these tips are to help you keep your surface looking great but inferior coatings or even the proper coatings applied wrong will lead to problems so please note that when you read the cleaning care tips listed here.
Different coatings used for Refinishing
The thing to keep in mind is the fact that even when someone uses paint they refer to it as refinishing. This makes the care for a surface hard based on the problem of not knowing what was used. I have seen everything from Kilz, wall paint, automotive paint, Lacquer, oil based paint and Epoxy paint used to refinish different surfaces throughout the years. Since most of those paints listed above would last about 3 weeks on average I will cover the cleaning tips of what would actually hold up under normal use.
Bathtub refinishing kits are all over the place and the they have cast a black cloud over the refinishing bathtub refinishing industry.
The kits are using epoxy paint (at best) and I am seeing more and more of the one part spray cans that common sense tells me can not be epoxy paint but must be a type of lacquer. The truth is there is so much more that goes into refinishing bathtub and tile surfaces such as etching the surface, applying molecular bonding agents and the correct thickness of the finish coat that I just can not understand how the bathtub refinishing kits are still being sold. I have made many videos of these kits failing after one use, runs and sags because they are being applied to a non porous hard surface and these surfaces can not be simply painted. They must have the synthetic porcelain coating etched into the old surface so the the new surface is integrated into the old surface.
Anyway now that my rant is over... :) I will say that if you have a painted surface and you are looking for way to clean it to get the most life possible out of that surface then please remember use a very gentle cleaner. If these kits are used and this is going off of my personal experience from 1992 until 2017 it is not a matter of if they peel... it is a matter of when they peel.
Please don't confuse legitimate professional refinishing with bathtub and tile painting. Sure you will find those key words on my site along with other professionals because our job is to use key words that the customer may type in to return a search. However, no professional that wants to build a long term business will ever use epoxy paint. That was tried and failed back in the 1990's and believe me it made sense as a great product. lets face it epoxy is a tough, tough paint. It is used on ships and it is used on chemical pipes... so why does it fail on bathtubs and tile? Well, there are a couple of reasons. baked on porcelain is a different product to coat then steel and we also have to remember that on ships just because we don't see it done does not mean it is not repainted throughout the year. A professional refinishing technician will take the time to etch the old surface which creates tiny scratches and pores all over the surface. This use to be accomplished with a very harmful acid (hydroflouric acid) now that acid is extremely hard to find so the bathtub refinishing suppliers have developed molecular bonding agents that eliminate the need for heavy etching. I personally use a spun disc that operates at 2600 revolutions per minute. This etches the surface and then I clean the surface with a chemical rinse and then use the molecular bonding agent called prohesion. I have been told that etching the surface is a waste of time. However, If I spend 30 minutes wasting time to give you superior job that I can back with a 7 year warranty. And the only drawback is that someone tells me I wasted 30 minutes... I am o.k. with that. Because I feel that bonding into the old surface is superior to bonding on top of the old surface! Also that etching process at the very, very least is giving me a superior cleaned surface to work with! So if you hire me please know I might end up wasting 20 to 30 minutes OR... I may just be spending an extra 30 minutes doing a superior job for you. It just seems funny to me that doing a great job honestly just comes down to not being in a rush, and not being lazy.
Bathtub Refinishing Dallas Tips on caring for refinished surfaces.