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The Benefits of Having Your Bathtub Refinished: An Interview with Michael Bivins of The Bathboy

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

The Bathboy has been refinishing tubs, tiles, and showers in the Rockford area since 1999. We make old, ugly, worn, or discolored tubs, tiles and showers look new again. Generally in a days time...always for a fraction of the cost to replace.

Can you briefly explain what bathtub refinishing is?

Bathtub Refinishing is like auto body for your bathtub. If you have a solid car...and the finish fades (or its an ugly color) you paint it. We have a similar process to refinish bathtubs, showers, and tile.

What are the most common reasons why people want or need to get their tub refinished?

Usually tubs are soaking up stains. They get etched from age or chemical cleaners. We also see lots of pink, blue, yellow, green, and purple bathtubs.

What are the main steps in the process?

There are a ton of little things we do to ensure the best finish in the business. In simple terms we clean, prep, dry, mask, clean, apply cross link adhesion, flash, and finally apply the finish coat, high solids acrylic enamel, unmask, recaulk, clean up.

Why should people hire a professional to refinish their bathtub instead of doing it themselves?

Would you paint your car yourself? A DIY bathtub refinishing kit is sort of like calling a can of rustoleum a car painting kit. Certainly, it will work. Just not very well. First of all, we prep the service with chemicals not readily available to the public. The products sold in DIY kits do not prep the surface beyond cleaning it. On top of the preparation, they are not nearly as durable and are much more difficult to apply.

For instance. most DIY kits require three coats. but also require 12-hours of dry time between coats. That 36 hours of stinky paint!!! Then if you have made it 36 hours without a huge run or sag you need to let it cure an additional 72 hours before use! Our products dry to the touch in 15-minutes so we can recaulk the seams before we leave. This not only lets you use the tub again in 24-hrs but this also helps reduce dust, runs, and smell. Truth be told, I would have a hard time producing professional results using a DIY kit.

Is there something that most people don't know about their bathtubs that they should know?

Porcelain is bonded to cast iron using lead. There is a good chance that the old etched bathtubs that have worn to the point of showing the cast iron are leaching lead. Our system has a built in lead blocker which eliminates this potential hazard. You can eat off of a refinished tub with no ill effects.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

By phone @ 815.289.8827, Email:, Website:

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