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You could probably say this about a lot of things, but bathtubs–they only don’t make ‘em like they used to. For the larger part of the past century, tubs were formed from cast iron and coated with porcelain enamel. Bathrooms were assembled around them. These baths were significantly fuller and thus more inviting than the tubs you’d see now. The dominant color for bathtubs is white and it’s also almost the sole way to really go.
With the 60s and 70s arrived the investigation of bathroom fixtures in browns, beige, pastels, and the like. Despite these bad alternatives, tubs in this age were still quite well made. Tubs in steel appeared while building transferred to comprise lightweights like acrylic, and in layout, these steel baths were refined and even occasionally sculptural like the cast irons.
Cast iron is usually heralded for its indestructibility when rust might set in. It has a close relative in steel, in fact only minor tweaks in composition would turn one into the other. Cast iron is heavier, while steel is heavy, and baths made of these metals finally well beyond their finish.
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For just these reasons, you might choose to refinish a bathtub. Any kind of tub can be refinished, while those with a timeless clawfoot refinish hope to attain a vintage feel. This post with focus on the redo of an alcove bath, definitely the most often installed bathtub.
Tools Materials Ability Level Estimated Time
• Utility knife • Acid-Based commercial cleanser Advanced 4 to 8 Hours
• Putty knife •
• Shop Vac • Plastic sheeting
• Stiff bristle brush • Builders paper
• Wire brush • Masking tape
• Buffing and polish pads • Sandpaper
Sailcloth drop cloth
• Rubber gloves • Porcelain repair epoxy or polyester glazing putty
• Rags and towels • Two-Part fiberglass repair putty
• Paper or store towels • Tack material
• Little blending trough •
Specialty acrylic urethane OR acrylic aliphatic polyurethane OR high gloss polyurethane and white paint
• Electrical paint sprayer • Denatured alcohol
• Plumbing tools
Tub Refinishing Concerns
Cast iron and steel baths are incredibly heavy as mentioned above, and you’ll need a hand, at least three, to remove and deliver them to a refinishing works. In the event of an alcove bath, one that’s “built in,” it is usually best to approach it while it’s still in place.
A refinishing works may frequently begin with a procedure called “dipping” or stripping the initial finish. After stripped, your tub may again have a porcelain enamel implemented before it’s ultimately re-fired in a kiln. Similar coatings can be applied onsite; stripping, however, is replaced with other means of prep.
Are You Going To Replace Hardware?
Working under the assumption that once (re)finished, you’ll have a brand new look tub. It could be worth it to plan for an update of the bath’s existing drain hardware.
It ought to be pointed out, also, the edges are usually the “poorest” part of any finish. In an area constantly subjected to water, it makes sense at minimum to remove the drain prior to applying your new bathtub finish.
Note: Accessibility to the lower wall cavity behind the bathtub drain is needed at a minimum, when updating a bath’s drain assembly.
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Because, usually, you’ll be working with caustic materials and airborne paints, make sure that you have sufficient ventilation as you work. Along with running a built in bathroom fan, it could also make sense to open a window and utilize cross-ventilation by placing a fan in an opposing doorway. If additional concerns continue around your capability to work or employ paint effectively, ventilation equipment may also be leased at rental centers or home improvement stores.
Ready the Job
There are numerous methods available for effectively preparing a tub refinish. No matter the approach you decide on, take great care in this phase. The measures below are common to any occupation prep approach you might pick:
1) Remove Existing Caulk: Remove caulk that should be touching the tub surface. Start by cutting on both the top and bottom edges of the caulk bead with a utility knife. Fully remove all present caulk. Sweep out or vacuum any debris that may make its way to the underparts of the the bath up.
2) Remove OR Conceal the Overflow Plate: Strategy to replace existing bath hardware. The bathtub’s drain continues to be in good working order, as well as if this really isn’t possible, remove. Tubs fitted with connected stoppers can be disconnected or disassembled, but because of uniquenesses in moving parts (especially with classic baths), it may be better to simply hide overflow plates off. Should you opt to remove a lever that is linked, be aware not to enable linkages to fall back into the overflow or drain.
3) Remove Drain Pop-Up, Strainer Assembly, OR Mask: Remove as many of the exposed finished drain parts as possible. Mask any finished surface that you just select not to remove. Poke holes or make an X in masking tape as it’ll be used much later in the homework stage to allow for drainage of water.
4) Give the Bathtub an Industrial Cleaning: Using an acid-based cleanser, spray down the whole bathtub surface. Let the merchandise sit for five full minutes and use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub away spots. Because these cleansers are caustic, wear rubber gloves (or better) and a properly rated respirator. Then allow the tub dry.
5) Mask Off the Tub Area: Using a comparatively sturdy plastic, start at the edge of the bathtub and mask off the alcove walls at least four feet. Mask both the interior of the tub in addition to the face (or apron) of the bath as it intersects with toilet walls. As it meets the floor, do the same with the bath. Cut holes in places where faucet or bathtub spouts handles may appear. Apply masking tape before spraying.
6) Mask Tub Spout and Faucet Handles: While you may require to time this with the other steps under, wrapping bathtub spouts and faucets with builder’s paper or added plastic (cling wrap will work just as well). Alternatively, it might make sense only to remove them.
Prepare the Surface and Make Small Repairs
Apply an Acid Etching Paste
Make use of a stiff-bristled four inch stain brush or a scrub brush to apply an acid etch designed expressly for porcelain. Cover the face of the tub entirely and allow about 15 minutes for this particular merchandise to do its thing. Wear rubber gloves (or better) and a correctly rated respirator. Wipe dry with store towels.
Choices for Acid Etching
Some will forgo acid etching in favor of applying a bonding agent only. Others may use mechanical means to rough up the bathtub surface. While this process is somewhat aggressive, most completing products are self-leveling to the amount that they will level out reasonably over a “ ” surface that is scarified.
Fixing Tub Surface Imperfections
Grittiness and spots can appear after decades of improper cleaning on bath surfaces. Bleach and abrasive cleansers might be harmful to bath surfaces, themselves. Rust or green stains 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 should additionally be addressed. Blend of two -part fiberglass repair putty and apply to the affected region using a plastic spreader.
If necessary, follow with porcelain or polyester glazing to fill in modest pockets which could show up in the fixed region.
Wipe down the bath with paper towels and follow with a tack cloth.
Optional: For a much more extensive cleaning, give one final wipe to the bath with fast-evaporating denatured alcohol.
Caution: Just use if acids either weren’t used or have been effectively neutralized.
Applying Finishes: DIY Strategy
There’s a seemingly countless array of refinishing kits accessible from reputable makers. In general, you’ll find varying amounts of both dry times and quality with these products. Do your homework before buying and understand that cost may tell effectiveness over time. Choose a reputable name and follow all directions closely. These kits should yield a finish lasting one to five years with proper attention.
Construct Your Own Apparel
Brush on a suitable bonding agent,or spray on an appropriate primer using an airless (sub HVLP) paint sprayer (available for rental at local home improvement stores or rental centres). The topcoat is implemented using the same sprayer (make sure to wash it thoroughly between steps). As you move back and forth work using long strokes along with a constant movement, overlapping slightly. Play about with a mixture of white paint and high-gloss polyurethane. Alternatively, spray or roll on a two-component marine epoxy. In the event you’ven’t skimped on prep, this process should afford a finish that’ll last between 3 and 10 years.
Applying Finishes: Pro Approach
Professional refinishers are plentiful, but be warned: techniques and the products used plus their opinions vary. It may not be surprising that lots of professional refinishers started out in trades like auto body repair, where work is frequently personalized.
(There’s much discussion online about the favorite sprayer sort for this particular job.n general, select airless and HVLP through others.) Determined by the product used, each coat should dry 15 to 20 minutes before the next is employed. The final layer should dry for no less than an hour.
A car compound buffed into the surface using annular buffing pads and an auto polisher is used by some. Hand frequently does additional buffing. Glazing can also be used with a soft cloth to bring up a more brilliant luster.
In case any of the just applied finish begins to pull away with masking, it is best to work with a utility knife in hand. Work with care over the just finished surface. Package waste into construction bags and dispose of appropriately.
While bathtub refinishing can definitely be a DIY job, it is often better left to a pro. SB Refinishers in San Diego bath refinishing is just one of the most almost priced occupations. Prices typically range from $400 to $500 and are usually packaged with a warranty that is significant.
In hiring a professional for this particular occupation the most important variable is the individual technician scheduled to do the work. That’s appropriate, don’t always hire a professional based on the reputation of the firm, on their process, or on their system, but rather on the genuine person you would need doing your job. These mechanics ought to have the ability to produce a portfolio of work and references. Request it before making a decision, and review it.