Author Topic: Bathtub refinishing  (Read 3636 times)

80Westy

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Bathtub refinishing
« on: November 25, 2015, 07:50:03 AM »
I'm getting started on remodeling a bathroom, which was driven in part by the horrible coarse finish on the tub.  Can't clean it, feels uncomfortable, etc.  The tub is solid (probably cast iron), so I would prefer to keep it.  Does anyone have a good or bad experience with refinishing a tub, either DIY or using a contractor? 

Kaplin261

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Re: Bathtub refinishing
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2015, 07:59:31 AM »
Try a wet sand first. Start with steel wool(don't use a lot of muscle in these steps), then 700 grit, 1000 grit,2000 grit, buff with $17 buffer using rubbing compound,buff using polishing compound then put a coat of wax on it.

These are steps used with cars that have faded dull paint. I have used the same method on bathtubs and sinks and works very well.

You may want to test for lead if it's in a old home.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2015, 08:03:03 AM by Kaplin261 »

Meowmalade

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Re: Bathtub refinishing
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2015, 09:15:31 AM »
I'm getting started on remodeling a bathroom, which was driven in part by the horrible coarse finish on the tub.  Can't clean it, feels uncomfortable, etc.  The tub is solid (probably cast iron), so I would prefer to keep it.  Does anyone have a good or bad experience with refinishing a tub, either DIY or using a contractor?

Yes, I had two bad experiences (same tub) with resurfacing.  First guy just did a plain old crappy job (second guy said first guy just got the DIY stuff from the store).  It started peeling within a month and he wouldn't return my calls.  Second guy did a very thick, professional-looking layer, but it was bubbling up within a couple years and then started peeling.  The warranty was for a year.

Maybe there are better options at a higher price point, but I wouldn't consider DIY.  If you mess up you'll have to strip or pay someone to strip off the old layer!

KCM5

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Re: Bathtub refinishing
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 09:24:43 AM »
We bought an old claw foot cast iron tub that had be refinished. At the time I didn't even know that it had been refinished and thought it was the original finish and the couple we bought it from had bought it and never used it and they didn't know it had been refinished either. Long story. Anyway, I believe it was professionally done. It's been installed for about 2 years now and has some crazing in the finish and a couple of tiny chips/bubbles. It looks relatively good. But the finish is never going to be as good as the original. I wish it hadn't been refinished as I'm so worried about those 2 chips getting bigger.

If you're already doing a full remodel, I'd price cast iron tubs, first. They're not crazy expensive. And you'll be happier with the finish.

Although, are you going to live there forever or just a few more years?

MsPeacock

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Re: Bathtub refinishing
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2015, 04:43:12 PM »
Had one redone in a house I purchased. Earlier owners had done it at some time. Smelly and sort of expensive process. Tub looked better but had to be treated gently. After 3 years had very minor wear around the drain. Refinish will not have the lifespan of an original finish.

Frs1661

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Re: Bathtub refinishing
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2015, 04:47:24 PM »
I recently bought a house with a refinished rub. Looked nice at first but the finish is not very durable. I think this is something you do to make the tub look nice immediately prior to selling the house to someone else. Something like the old sawdust in the crank case trick for used cars with an oil leak.

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Rewdoalb

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Re: Bathtub refinishing
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2015, 09:05:46 PM »
Try a wet sand first. Start with steel wool(don't use a lot of muscle in these steps), then 700 grit, 1000 grit,2000 grit, buff with $17 buffer using rubbing compound,buff using polishing compound then put a coat of wax on it.

These are steps used with cars that have faded dull paint. I have used the same method on bathtubs and sinks and works very well.

You may want to test for lead if it's in a old home.

We are in same position as the OP. Kaplan's suggestion was different from the others, I think. Is this sanding method considered a diy refinish or is it totally different, like an advanced cleaning method? The other posts on refinishing have made me leery of hiring someone for a traditional refinishing job.

FIRE me

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Re: Bathtub refinishing
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2015, 10:52:07 PM »
I'm getting started on remodeling a bathroom, which was driven in part by the horrible coarse finish on the tub.  Can't clean it, feels uncomfortable, etc.  The tub is solid (probably cast iron), so I would prefer to keep it.  Does anyone have a good or bad experience with refinishing a tub, either DIY or using a contractor?

I had an old green 1950's era tub refinished to white by Miracle Method.  Tub was in bad shape with some rust but the big problem the shiny finish was long gone.

Cost was $500. Warranty is for 5 years. Work was done 16 months ago and it still looks as good as new.

Keep in mind that any on site tub refinish is a high quality paint, not the original porcelain finish. As such, it can be cleaned with Fantastik and a cloth only. No scrunges, no bleach, no powdered cleanser and no scrubbing bubbles. Also needs to be waxed at least annually. I use Nufinsh.

justajane

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Re: Bathtub refinishing
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2015, 01:55:17 PM »
We had a good refinishing experience on an old cast iron tub. We paid about $300 in 2007 and about $40 for a new drain. It lasted until 2015. If you go that route definitely check Angie's List reviews, as someone can do a crap job and it won't last. FIRE me is also right that you can't use anything abrasive on the finish or you will ruin it. Honestly, the reason so many finishes are in crap shape to begin with is because someone used Brillo and/or Comet on it at some point in time. This will ruin any porcelain finish and make it damned hard to clean. I won't even use baking soda on my brand new cast iron tub in another bathroom.

Now that your finish is already ruined, you can probably google how to use sandpaper or something to clean it and even it out. I recall watching a home show in which someone did this, but that might have just been to sell the house, because I can't imagine it didn't get dirty again if they didn't reglaze it afterwards.

There's also the Re-Bath option.

How much remodeling are you doing? Could you post pictures? We are about to take out the refinished 50+ year old tub and put in a brand new 60X30 cast iron Kohler Villager that I only paid $350 for. The reason people don't just replace tubs all the tub is because they are a royal pain in the ass. The main reason we are doing it is because #1 the tub isn't level and #2 the bathroom is being gutted down to the joists. For that reason, it made sense to go with a new tub.

canadian bacon

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Re: Bathtub refinishing
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2015, 07:36:54 AM »
A previous owner of my house used coarse cleansers on everything.  Scratched the snot out of the bathtub, kitchen and bathroom sinks.  Enamel finishes scored to the metal.  Cant buff that out when the scratches wouldn't only get dirty but would get rusty. 

I see refinishing as a temporary solution that can tide you over until you come up with a permanent plan. 

we did our bathtub and sink and it looked fantastic at first but the new finish is very delicate and will not last long.   We really needed to look for a new solution in a couple of years.  ended up doing a rebath solution.   Looks much better and will last a good amount of time.