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You can probably say this about lots of things, but tubs–they just don’t make ‘em like they used to. For the larger portion of the past century, bathtubs were formed from cast iron and coated with porcelain enamel. Bathrooms were constructed around them. These tubs were greatly deeper and therefore more inviting compared to the tubs you’d find now. The dominant color for bathtubs is white and it’s also almost the only method to really go.
With the 60s and 70s arrived the exploration of bathroom fixtures in beige, browns, pastels, and so on. Despite these bad alternatives, tubs in this age were still very well made. While construction shifted to comprise lightweights like acrylic, tubs in steel seemed, and in design, these steel tubs were even occasionally 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 only minor tweaks in composition would turn one into the other. While steel is heavy, cast iron is heavier, and baths made of these metals finally last well beyond their finish.
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For just these reasons, you might decide to refinish a bathtub. Any kind of bath can be refinished while those with a classic clawfoot refinish hope to reach a vintage feel. This article with focus on the redo of an alcove bath, undoubtedly the most frequently installed bathtub.
Tools Stuff Ability Level
• Utility knife • Acid-Based commercial cleanser Advanced 4 to 8 Hours
• Straight razor • Baking soda
• Stiff bristle brush • Builders paper
• Wire brush • Masking tape
• Auto polisher/buffer • Abrasive cleaning pads
• Buffing and polish pads • Sandpaper
Sailcloth drop cloth
Porcelain repair epoxy or polyester glazing putty
Towels and • Rags • Two-Part fiberglass repair putty
Store towels or • Paper • Tack cloth
• Small mixing trough • Porcelain bonding agent
Specialty acrylic urethane OR acrylic aliphatic polyurethane OR white paint and high gloss polyurethane
• Electric paint sprayer • Denatured alcohol
• Plumbing tools
Tub Refinishing Concerns
Cast iron and steel baths are extremely heavy as mentioned previously, and you’ll need a hand, at least three, deliver and to safely remove them to a refinishing works. In the event of an alcove bath, one that’s “built-in,” it is generally best to approach it while it’s still in place.
A refinishing works may commonly begin with a process called “dunking” or stripping the initial finish. Once stripped, your bath may again have a porcelain enamel applied before it’s ultimately re-fired in a kiln. Comparable coatings can be used onsite; stripping, however, is replaced with other way of homework.
Will You Replace Hardware?
Working under the premise that once (re)ended, you’ll have a new look tub. It could be worth it to plan for an update of the bathtub’s present drain hardware.
It should be pointed out, also, that the borders are typically the “poorest” part of any finish. At minimum, it seems sensible in a place continuously subjected to water to eliminate the drain before applying your new tub finish.
Note: When upgrading a bath’s drain assembly, access to the lower wall cavity behind the bathtub drain is required at a minimum.
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Contemplate How You’ll VentilateBecause, in most cases, you’ll be working with airborne paints and caustic substances, make sure that you have adequate ventilation as you work. Along with running a built-in bathroom fan, it may also make sense to open a window and utilize cross-ventilation by placing a fan in an opposing doorway. If added concerns persist around your capability to work or apply paint efficiently, ventilation gear can also be leased at rental centers or home improvement stores.
Prepare the Occupation
There are numerous methods available for essentially preparing a bath refinish. No matter the approach you select, take great care during this phase. The steps below are common to any job preparation strategy you might pick:
1) Remove Present Caulk: Remove caulk which should be contacting the bathtub surface. Begin by cutting on the top and bottom edges of the caulk bead with a utility knife. Entirely remove. Sweep out or vacuum up any debris that’ll make its way to the bottom of the bath.
2) Remove OR Conceal the Overflow Plate: Plan to replace present tub hardware. If this is not doable, and also the bathtub’s drain remains in excellent working order, remove. Baths fitted with connected stoppers can be disconnected or disassembled, but because of uniquenesses in moving parts (especially with classic baths), it may be best to just conceal overflow plates off. Should you choose to remove a linked lever, be aware not to enable linkages to fall back in the overflow or drain.
3) Remove Drain Pop Up, Strainer Assembly, OR Mask: Remove as many of the open finished drain parts as possible. Mask any finished surface that you choose not to remove. Poke holes or make an X in masking tape as it’ll be used in the homework stage to allow for drainage of water.
4) Give the Tub an Industrial Cleaning: Using an acid-based cleanser, spray down the whole bathtub surface. Let the product sit for five minutes and make use of a stiff-bristled brush to scrub blots away. Because these cleaners are caustic, wear rubber gloves (or better) and a correctly rated respirator. Then allow the tub dry.
5) Mask Off the Bath Space: Using a comparatively sturdy plastic, begin at the edge of the bathtub and mask off the alcove walls at least four feet. Mask both the interior of the bathtub in addition to the face (or apron) of the bathtub as it intersects with bathroom walls. Do the same with the bath as it meets the floor. Cut holes in places where faucet or bathtub spouts handles may appear. Prior to spraying, apply masking tape.
6) Mask Tub Spout and Faucet Handles: While you might need to time this with the other steps below, wrap tub spouts and faucets with builder’s paper or added plastic (cling wrap will work just as well). Instead, it may make sense merely to remove them.
Prepare the Surface and Make Minor Repairs
Utilize a stiff-bristled four inch stain brush or a scrub brush to employ an acid etch designed specially for porcelain. Cover of the bath fully and allow around 15 minutes for this particular product to do its thing. Wear rubber gloves (or better) and a correctly rated respirator. Wipe dry with shop towels.
Alternatives for Acid Etching
Some will forgo acid etching in favor of employing a bonding agent only. Others might use mechanical means to rough up the tub surface. This really is done by way of using sanding (aka flap) discs fitted to an angle grinder. While this approach is somewhat aggressive, most completing products are self-leveling to the amount that they’ll level out moderately over a “ ” surface that is scarified.
Fixing Bath Surface Imperfections
Grittiness and stains can appear after decades of improper cleaning on tub surfaces. Abrasive and bleach cleansers might be detrimental to bath surfaces, themselves working to etch porcelain. 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 must likewise be addressed. Blend a small batch of two -component fiberglass repair putty and apply to the affected area by means of a plastic spreader.
If necessary, follow with porcelain or polyester glazing to fill in modest pockets that may show up in the fixed area.
Wipe down the bathtub with paper towels and follow with a tack cloth.
Optional: For a much more thorough cleaning, give one final wipe to the tub with accelerated-evaporating denatured alcohol.
Caution: Just use if acids weren’t used or have been effectively neutralized.
Applying Finishes: DIY Approach
There is a seemingly innumerable array of refinishing kits accessible from reputable manufacturers. In general, you’ll locate varying degrees of both quality and dry times with these products. Do your homework before purchasing and understand that price may tell effectiveness with time. Select a reputable name and follow all directions closely. These kits should yield a finish continuing one to five years with appropriate attention.
Construct Your Own Kit
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 centers). The topcoat is applied using the same sprayer (make certain to wash it thoroughly between steps). Hold the gun about six inches from the surface, when spraying. Work using long strokes along with a movement that is constant, overlapping slightly as you move back and forth. Play about with a combination of white paint and high-gloss polyurethane. Instead, spray or roll on a two-component marine epoxy. In the event that you’ven’t skimped on prep, this method should afford a finish which will continue between 3 and 10 years.
Employing Finishes: Pro Strategy
Professional refinishers are numerous, but be warned: the products and techniques used plus their opinions vary widely.
(There’s much discussion online about the preferred sprayer sort for this job.n general, select airless and HVLP over others.) Depending on the product used, each coat should dry 15 to 20 minutes before the following is implemented. The final layer should dry for no less than an hour.
Some use an automobile compound buffed into the surface using an auto polisher and circular buffing pads. Hand frequently does additional buffing. Glazing can also be implemented with a soft cloth to bring up a dazzling luster.
Tear Down and Reinstall Fixtures
Once the finish has dried to the contact, per product recommendations or after two hours, whichever comes first remove all masking, paper, and plastic from the job site. In case any one of the newly 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. Bundle waste into construction bags and dispose of appropriately.
It’s frequently better left to a guru while tub refinishing can definitely be a DIY job. SB Refinishers in San Diego bath refinishing is simply one of the very almost priced jobs. Prices typically range from $400 to $500 and are usually packaged with a guarantee that is significant.
In hiring a professional for this occupation, the most significant variable is the individual tech scheduled to do the work. That’s appropriate, don’t necessarily hire an expert based on the reputation of the firm, on their procedure, or on their system, but rather on the real individual you’d desire doing your job. These mechanics should have the ability to generate a portfolio of work and references. Request it and review it before making a choice.
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