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You can probably say this about lots of things, but bathtubs–they simply don’t make ‘em like they used to. For the bigger portion of the past century, bathtubs were formed from cast iron and coated with porcelain enamel. Toilets were constructed around them. These tubs were significantly fuller and so more inviting than the tubs you’d see today. The dominant color for baths is white and it’s also almost the sole way to go.
With the 60s and 70s arrived the exploration of bathroom fixtures in browns, beige, pastels, and the like. Despite these poor choices, tubs in this age were still very nicely made. While construction shifted to include lightweights like acrylic, bathtubs in steel appeared, and in layout, these steel baths were even sometimes sculptural and refined like the casting irons.
Cast iron is usually heralded for its indestructibility, even when rust might set in. It’s a close relative in steel, in fact just minor tweaks in composition would turn one into the other. Cast iron is more heavy, while steel is heavy, and baths made of these metals ultimately last well beyond their finish.
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For just these reasons, you might decide to refinish a bathtub. While those with a timeless clawfoot refinish hope to accomplish a vintage feel, any type of bath can be refinished. This post focus on the redo of an alcove tub, definitely the most frequently installed bathtub.
Tools Substances Skill Level
• Acid-Established commercial cleaner Advanced
• Putty knife •
• Shop Vac • Plastic sheeting
• Stiff bristle brush • Builders paper
Polish pads and • Buffing • Sandpaper
• Respirator • Sailcloth drop cloth
• Rubber gloves • Porcelain repair epoxy or polyester glazing putty
Towels and • Rags • Two-Part fiberglass repair putty
Shop towels or • Paper • Tack fabric
• Small mixing trough • Porcelain bonding agent
• Plastic spreaders • Peculiarity acrylic urethane OR acrylic aliphatic polyurethane OR high gloss polyurethane and white paint
• Electric paint sprayer • Denatured alcohol
• Caulk gun • Silicone caulk
Plumbing tools that are •
Tub Refinishing Factors
As mentioned above, cast iron and steel tubs are very heavy, and you’ll need a hand, at least three, to remove and deliver them to a refinishing works. In case of an alcove tub, one that’s “built in,” it’s generally best to approach it while it’s still in place.
A refinishing works may frequently begin with a process called “dipping” or stripping the initial finish. After stripped, your bath may have a porcelain enamel applied before it is finally re-fired in a kiln. Similar coatings can be implemented onsite; stripping, nevertheless, is replaced with other means of prep.
Are You Going To Replace Hardware?
Working under the assumption that once (re)concluded, you’ll have a brand new appearance bath. It could be rewarding to plan for an upgrade of the tub’s present drain hardware.
It ought to be pointed out, too, that the borders are usually the “poorest” part of any finish. In an area constantly subjected to water, ahead of applying your new bathtub finish, it seems sensible at minimum to remove the drain.
Note: Access to the lower wall cavity supporting the bathtub drain is demanded at the absolute minimum, when upgrading a bathtub’s drain assembly.
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Because, usually, you’ll be working with caustic stuff and airborne paints, ensure that you’ve got adequate ventilation as you work. Along with running a built-in bathroom fan, it could also make sense to open a window and use cross-ventilation by setting a fan in an opposing doorway. If added concerns persist around your ability to work safely or use paint effectively, ventilation gear can also be leased at rental centers or home improvement stores.
Prepare the Occupation
There are numerous approaches for essentially preparing a tub refinish available. Regardless of the strategy you decide on, take great care during this period. The steps below are common to any occupation preparation strategy you might choose:
1) Remove Existing Caulk: Remove caulk which should be contacting the tub surface. Start by cutting on the top and bottom edges of the caulk bead using a utility knife. Fully remove. Sweep out or vacuum up any debris that’ll make its way to the bottom of the bath.
2) Remove OR Mask the Overflow Plate: Strategy to replace existing tub hardware. If this is not possible, along with the bath’s drain continues to be in great working order, remove the bathtub’s overflow plate. Should you choose to remove a lever that is linked, be aware not to allow linkages to fall back into the overflow or drain.
3) Remove Drain Pop Up, Strainer Assembly, OR Mask: Remove as many of the open finished drain components as possible. Mask any finished surface that you choose not to remove. Poke holes used} in the prep period, or make an X.
4) Give the Bath an Industrial Cleaning: Using an acid-based cleaner, spray down the complete tub surface. Let the merchandise sit for five minutes and utilize a stiff-bristled brush to scrub spots away. Because these cleaners are caustic, wear rubber gloves (or better) and a correctly rated respirator. Then allow the tub dry.
Mask both the inside of the bathtub as well as the face (or apron) of the bathtub as it intersects with bathroom walls. As it meets the floor, do the same with the tub. Cut holes in places where bathtub spouts or faucet handles may appear. Apply masking tape before spraying.
6) Mask Tub Spout and Faucet Handles: While you might need to time this with the other measures under, wrapping bathtub spouts and faucets with builder’s paper or additional plastic (cling wrap will work just as well). Alternatively, it might make sense just to remove them.
Prepare the Surface and Make Minor Repairs
Apply an Acid Etching Paste
Make use of a stiff-bristled four inch stain a scrub brush or brush to implement an acid etch designed particularly for porcelain. Cover the surface of the bath entirely and allow about 15 minutes for this merchandise to do its thing. Wear rubber gloves (or better) and a correctly rated respirator. Wipe dry with shop towels.
Choices for Acid Etching
Some will forgo acid etching in favor of using a bonding agent just. Others may use mechanical means to rough up the tub surface. While this procedure is somewhat aggressive, most completing products are self-leveling to the amount that they will level out moderately over a “ ” surface that is scarified.
Fixing Tub Surface Imperfections
Grittiness and spots can appear after decades of improper cleaning on bathtub surfaces. Abrasive and bleach cleaners could be detrimental to bath surfaces, themselves working to etch porcelain. Rust or green spots could be addressed using oxalic acid combined in hot water with talc to form a whiting paste.
Prior to applying a finish, dings or chips must likewise be addressed. Blend of two -part fiberglass repair putty and apply to the affected area by means of a plastic spreader. Allow to dry according to the product’s directions and sand first with 36-grit sandpaper (the type used for sanding floors) and then follow with an 80-grit paper to feather out the repair.
If needed, follow with polyester or porcelain glazing to fill in small pockets that may appear in the repaired area.
Wipe down the bathtub with paper towels first and follow with a tack cloth.
Discretionary: For a much more comprehensive cleaning, give one final wipe to the bathtub with quick-evaporating denatured alcohol.
Caution: If acids either weren’t used, only use or have been effectively neutralized.
Applying Finishes: DIY Strategy
That is a seemingly innumerable array of refinishing kits accessible from reputable manufacturers. These products vary broadly from epoxies to acrylics, spray-on to brush-on and even to roll-on options. Generally, you’ll locate varying levels of quality and dry times with these products. Do your homework before purchasing and comprehend that price may tell effectiveness with time. Choose a reputable name and follow all directions closely. These kits should give a finish lasting one to five years with appropriate care.
Build Your Very Own Kit
Brush on a suitable bonding agent,or spray on an appropriate primer using an airless (sub HVLP) paint sprayer (available for lease at local home improvement stores or rental facilities). The topcoat is implemented using the same sprayer (make certain to clean it thoroughly between steps). Work using long strokes along with a constant motion, overlapping slightly as you move back and forth. Play around with a mixture of white paint and high-gloss polyurethane. Instead, spray or roll on a two-part marine epoxy. This process should afford a finish which will endure between 3 and 10 years in the event that you haven’t skimped on prep.
Using Finishes: Pro Approach
Professional refinishers are numerous, but be warned: techniques and the products used plus their views vary.
Acrylic urethane enamel, acrylic aliphatic polyurethane, or an epoxy-based finish is applied in multiple layers using a paint sprayer. (There is much debate online about the preferred sprayer kind for this occupation.n general, select airless and HVLP finished others.) Depending on the product used, each layer should dry 15 to 20 minutes before the following is applied. The concluding layer should dry for no significantly less than an hour.
Some use an automobile compound buffed into the surface using annular buffing pads and an auto polisher. Hand often does additional buffing. Glazing may also be employed with a soft cloth to bring up a more dazzling luster.
Once the finish has dried to the contact, per product recommendations or after two hours, whichever comes first, slowly remove from the job site. It’s a good idea to work with a utility knife in hand in case any one of the newly applied finish begins to pull away with masking. Work with attention over the just finished surface. Package waste into building totes and dispose of appropriately.
Locate a Bathub Professional near you
While tub refinishing can certainly be a DIY job, it is often better left to a pro. SB Refinishers in San Diego tub refinishing is simply one of the most nearly priced occupations. Prices generally range from $400 to $500 and are often packaged with a significant warranty.
The most important factor in hiring a pro for this particular job is the individual technician scheduled to do the work. That’s correct, don’t necessarily hire a pro based on the reputation of the firm, on their process, or on their system, but instead on the genuine person you’d want doing your job. These mechanics should be able to create a portfolio of work and references. Request it and review it before making the decision.