Updating an old hot tub to a sleek new colour and more energy efficient functioning is as easy as a few DIY steps you can do in a weekend!  My hot tub makeover included new insulation, a thorough clean, new filter, waterproof stain and some decorative planters.

This project has been a bit of a comedy of errors;  I wanted to stain my hot tub, and I certainly needed to repair/rebuild the planters – but the hot tub makeover kept evolving and growing beyond that.

To begin, let me show you what caused all of my kerfuffle:

Hot tub steps with broken flower container

I built this (very crappy) planter last year to sit alongside my steps.  It was all made with scrap wood, and had no structural integrity at all (don’t worry, I knew it was crap when I built it, so I didn’t post “building plans” for anyone to use).

Well, the plant got too heavy and the planter portion collapsed.

Step one was to build new planters for obvious reasons.

Last week I posted the building plans for these DIY tall planters and they really are gorgeous (and structurally sound lol)

Before photographing the planters for the blog post however, I had some weeds to pull in behind my hot tub.

hot tub stairs flanked by planters

Yes, they were over 4′ tall (by my garden grate mirror) – and I’m embarrassed – but you know how sometimes something is there for so long you no longer notice it?  Yeah, that’s me with those weeds.

I had opened the hot tub lid before I started pulling the weeds – in hindsight a VERY stupid move – and while I was pulling a large weed came out, soil ball and all, and I dropped it into the hot tub.

That’s how I roll folks; nothing comes easy.

drain and clean the hot tub

I had to completely drain the hot tub, scoop out all of the dirt (there was a LOT more than this) and then wash the whole thing down and refill it.

In doing so, I pulled out the filter to take a look:

dirty hot tub filter

Turns out I haven’t changed the filter in over a year – blech!

Next step in my hot tub makeover was to clean and insert a less bacteria-filled filter.

clean hot tub filter

So, planters are built, hot tub is drained and cleaned and a new filter is in place… but I still had to look at this:

old cedar hot tub

which was suddenly glaringly obvious next to the fresh, crisp black planters.

In fairness, this hot tub is a hand-me-down from my parents – so it’s old.  I’ve never, and they never, in all the years we’ve had it, refinished it from its original finish… so a hot tub makeover was long past due if I want this thing to last for a few more years.

hot tub with stairs flanked by planters

Besides, I now have 3 colours of wood staring at me and bothering me; the black of the planters, the beige of the pressure-treated steps and the fading cedar stain of the hot tub itself.  I needed a bit of consistency.

I pulled all of the panels off, sanded everything down with 60 grit, then 120 grit and my random orbit sander and then gave it two coats of Behr Waterproofing Stain & Sealer in black.

Hot tub makeover

Notice anything though?

Besides the ice cream therapy that helped me through the work?

No (or very broken and crappy) insulation inside the hot tub.

old hot tub insulation


Yes, the hot tub has survived this long with that broken up garbage stuffed in there, but since I was in the midst of an overhaul anyways, I decided to replace the insulation panels as part of my hot tub makeover.

I opted for a more dense insulation board so that it (hopefully) won’t break as easily as the cheap styrofoam.  I scored it with a utility knife and then broke it down to size.

insulating a hot tub

The insulation boards were tucked in behind the cedar panels and then the panels put back on to hold them in place.

insulating a hot tub

I did have to re-stain/seal certain areas – you can see the damage above – because I put the panels on when I went out to by the insulation and then didn’t get a chance to install it until a few days later and the panels had adhered to the frame slightly.

No biggie in the grand scheme of this project – that was originally only supposed to be a replacement planter.

Hot tub makeover

But look at my beauty now!

Clean, crisp, more energy efficient, and begging for a date with me!

Hot tub makeover

The heavens are shining on my work! lol

Hot tub makeover

I haven’t done anything with the stairs yet…

I’m hesitant to use the same stain/sealer on them because it’s waterproof and might make the steps too slippery for wet feet.

Hot tub makeover

For now I’ll live with the two-tones of steps and hot tub and may eventually add black stripes down the sides or something to tie things together a bit more.

For the hot tub makeover that was never really in my grand plans, I think everything is looking pretty good!

OH!  I have a confession to make;  I only sanded, stained and insulated 3 sides of my hot tub.  I would have done all four, but there is a yellow jacket nest over by my privacy planters and they let me know I wasn’t welcome that close (OUCH!).  Sooooo, this hot tub makeover may end up being a “to be continued” because I’ll have to get to that fourth side at some point. lol

It’s never-ending right?

I know you feel me.

Have a great one!

Funny Memes