How to Repair a Fiberglass Tub Enclosure

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What You'll Need
Plastic spreader
Mixing sticks
Safety mask
Latex gloves
Safety glasses
Sand paper
Fiberglass cloth
Fiberglass tape
Polyester resin
Polyester gel paste
Cleaning solvent
Dremel or similar saw

You can make a cracked shower stall or a tattered tub enclosure look like new the same way a body shop would fix a dented fender. Bathrooms can make or break a house sale. Dingy fixtures can leave a lasting bad impression for guests. You don't need a repairman to fix a cracked and faded fiberglass tub enclosure, just follow these steps.

Step 1 - Choose the Materials

Fiberglass is made from glass fibers which are woven together. In order to repair cracks in a tub enclosure or other fixture, layer sheets of fiberglass with a polyester resin. Fiberglass repair kits are available for small fixes. That might be just what you need, but the substances in the kit are also sold individually. If you have a large area to repair, buy fiberglass cloth sheets. If the repair is narrow, buy fiberglass tape.

Step 2 - Remove Damaged Areas

If the cracks are are isolated in a single area, the repair will be rather simple. It may be more time-consuming if they are spread across the enclosure. Cut out the damaged fiberglass using a Dremel, spiral saw, or jig saw. These tools are used to make plunge cuts in a small area. After removing the damage, sand the edges smooth. Always wear a safety mask and safety glasses when sawing or sanding.

Step 3 - Patch the Surface

Cut the fiberglass cloth to cover the area to be repaired. Begin with a patch just larger than the hole and 6 additional sheets, each slightly smaller than the previous sheet. Mix the resin, adding hardener. Always wear Latex gloves and a mask when working with chemicals. Spread resin over the edge of the hole, then dampen the large sheet in polyester resin. Neatly place it over the damaged spot.

Place each of the other sheets in the resin, then add them to the patch. Allow the patch to dry for 24 hours before continuing. Sand the patched area smooth and clean the dust. Cover it lightly with polyester gel paste using a plastic spreader. Allow it to dry several hours and sand again with fine sand paper.

Step 4 - Clean the Area

Fiberglass dust consists of fine particles that can cause respiratory problems. Resins are difficult to clean once they have hardened. Use cleaning solvent to remove any excess debris and materials around the tub enclosure. Use a natural cleaning solvent to clean around the fiberglass tub enclosure.