Instead, you use a brush or small roller. Armorpoxy is the most prominent company selling do-it-yourself brush-on kits. They offer a quart of epoxy with hardener, latex gloves, steel wool, brush, cleaning solution, cleaner/thinner, and safety goggles. It comes in white but can be tinted (tint not included).
It's less expensive than other methods, but I still do not consider it a cheap alternative. Also, I'm a bit wary of brushing or rolling on bathtub paint. There's simply no way you can get a nice, smooth glossy coat with a roller or brush.
Summary--Bathtub Refinishing Options
- New Tub If Remodeling. If you're already ripping up your bathroom for other repairs, go ahead and put in a new tub. It's your cheapest option.
- Don't Spray. Unless you're a highly experienced painter (work in an auto body shop perhaps?), leave the spraying to the pros.
- Competition is Good. There are so many companies competing for your bathtub refinishing business, you can most likely swing a good deal.
- Rollers/brushes Don't Work. Don't cheap out with the brush or roll-on method.