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You can probably say this about lots of matters, but tubs–they just don’t make ‘em like they used to. For the bigger part of the past century, bathtubs were formed from cast iron and coated with porcelain enamel. Toilets were built around them. These tubs were greatly fuller and so more encouraging compared to the tubs you had see nowadays. The dominant colour for tubs is white and it’s almost the sole solution to really go.
With the 60s and 70s came the investigation of bathroom fixtures in beige, browns, pastels, and the like. Despite these poor choices, bathtubs in this age were still very nicely made. Tubs in steel appeared, while construction shifted to contain lightweights like acrylic, and like the casting irons, these steel tubs were elegant and even sometimes sculptural in design.
Cast iron is generally heralded for its indestructibility when rust might set in. It has a close relative in steel, in fact only small tweaks in composition would turn one into the other. Cast iron is heavier, while steel is heavy, and bathtubs made of these metals ultimately last well beyond their finish.
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For just these reasons, you might choose to refinish a bath. While those with a timeless clawfoot refinish hope to accomplish a vintage feel, any type of tub can be refinished. This post with focus on the redo of an alcove tub, by far the most frequently installed bathtub.
Tools Materials Ability Level Estimated Time
• Acid-Established commercial cleaner Complex
• Straight razor • Baking soda
• Stiff bristle brush • Builders paper
• Wire brush • Masking tape
• Auto polisher/buffer •
• Buffing and polish pads • Sandpaper
• Respirator • Canvas drop cloth
Porcelain repair epoxy or polyester glazing putty
Towels and • Rags • Two-Part fiberglass repair putty
Store towels or • Paper • Tack material
• Small blending trough • Porcelain bonding agent
• Plastic spreaders • Specialty acrylic urethane OR acrylic aliphatic polyurethane OR high gloss polyurethane and white paint
• Electrical paint sprayer • Denatured alcohol
• Plumbing tools
Bathtub Refinishing Concerns
As mentioned above, cast iron and steel tubs are extremely heavy, and you’ll need a hand, at least three, to remove and deliver them to a refinishing works. In the case of an alcove bathtub, one that is “built-in,” it is typically best to approach it while it is still in position.
A refinishing works may often start with a procedure called “dipping” or stripping the original finish. Once stripped, your bathtub may have a porcelain enamel applied before it’s finally re-fired in a kiln. Comparable coatings can be used onsite; stripping, nevertheless, is replaced with other way of prep.
Are You Going To Replace Hardware?
Working under the premise that once (re)ended, you’ll have a new appearance bathtub. It could be rewarding to plan for an update of the bathtub’s existing drain hardware.
It should be pointed out, too, the borders are typically the “weakest” part of any finish. In a place constantly subjected to water, it seems sensible at minimum to remove the drain before applying your new bath finish.
Note: Access to the lower wall cavity behind the tub drain is called for at the absolute minimum, when upgrading a tub’s drain assembly.
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Because, usually, you’ll be working with caustic materials and airborne paints, 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 use cross-ventilation by putting a fan in an opposing doorway. Ventilation equipment may also be leased at rental centres or home improvement stores if additional concerns continue around your capacity to work safely or implement paint effectively.
Prepare the Job
There are numerous strategies available for effectively preparing a tub refinish. Whatever the approach you choose, take great care in this period. The steps below are common to any job preparation approach you might select:
1) Remove Present Caulk: Remove caulk which should be touching the bath surface. Start by cutting on the top and bottom edges of the caulk bead with a utility knife. Follow with a stiff putty knife and finish with a straight razor blade. Completely remove. Sweep out or vacuum up any debris that’ll make its way to the underparts of the the bath.
2) Remove OR Mask the Overflow Plate: Plan to replace present tub hardware. If this really isn’t possible, as well as the bath’s drain is still in good working order, remove the tub’s overflow plate. If you decide to remove a connected lever, be conscious not to let linkages to fall back in the overflow or drain.
3) Remove Drain Pop-Up, Strainer Assembly, OR Mask: Remove as many of the exposed finished drain components as possible. Mask any finished surface that you choose not to remove. Poke holes used} in the prep phase to allow for drainage of water.
4) Give the Bathtub an Industrial Cleaning: Using an acid-based cleaner, spray down the entire tub surface. Let the product sit for five full minutes and use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub spots away. Because these cleaners are caustic, wear rubber gloves (or better) and a correctly rated respirator. Then let the bath dry.
Mask both the interior of the bath 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 locations where bath spouts or faucet handles may appear. Apply masking tape prior to spraying.
6) Mask Tub Spout and Faucet Handles: While you may need to time this with the other steps under, wrapping bath spouts and faucets with contractor’s paper or additional plastic (cling wrap will function just as well). Alternatively, it may make sense only to remove them.
Ready the Surface and Make Modest Repairs
Apply an Acid Etching Paste
Use a stiff-bristled four inch stain brush or a scrub brush to employ an acid etch designed specially for porcelain. Cover of the bath completely and let about 15 minutes for this product to do its thing. Wear rubber gloves (or better) and a correctly rated respirator. Wipe dry with shop towels.
Options 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 bathtub surface. This really is achieved by way of using sanding (aka flap) discs fitted to an angle grinder. While this approach is somewhat aggressive, most concluding products are self-leveling to the degree that they’ll level out fairly over a “ scarified” surface.
Fixing Bath Surface Imperfections
Grittiness and stains can appear after decades of improper cleaning on tub surfaces. Abrasive and bleach cleansers can be hazardous to tub surfaces, themselves. Green stains or rust can be addressed using oxalic acid mixed in hot water with talc to form a paste that was whiting.
Prior to applying a finish, dings or chips should likewise be addressed. Mix a small batch of two -component fiberglass repair putty and apply to the affected region by means of a plastic spreader. Allow to dry based on the product’s directions and sand first with 36-grit sandpaper (the kind used for sanding floors) and then follow with an 80-grit paper to feather out the repair.
Follow with porcelain or polyester glazing to fill in small pockets that could show up in the repaired region, if necessary.
Wipe down the bathtub with paper towels and follow with a tack cloth.
Optional: For a more extensive cleaning, give one final wipe to the tub with fast-evaporating denatured alcohol.
Caution: If acids were not used, just use or have been effectively neutralized.
Applying Finishes: DIY Strategy
That is a seemingly countless array of refinishing kits available from reputable manufacturers. In general, you’ll locate varying degrees of quality and dry times with these products. Do your research before purchasing and comprehend that price may inform effectiveness with time. Choose a reputable name and follow all directions closely. These kits should afford a finish continuing one to five years with appropriate care.
Build Your Own Apparel
Brush on an appropriate 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 facilities). The topcoat is implemented using the same sprayer (make sure to clean it thoroughly between steps). As you move back and forth, work using long strokes and a constant motion, overlapping slightly. Play about with a mixture of white paint and high-gloss polyurethane. Alternatively, spray or roll on a two-component marine epoxy. This approach should yield a finish that’ll endure between 3 and 10 years in case you’ven’t skimped on prep.
Implementing Finishes: Pro Approach
Professional refinishers are plentiful, but be warned: the products and techniques used plus their opinions vary. It may not be surprising that many pro refinishers started out in trades like auto body repair, where work is frequently personalized.
(There is much debate online about the favorite sprayer sort for this occupation.n general, select airless and HVLP over others.) Depending on the merchandise used, each layer should dry 15 to 20 minutes before the following is implemented. The final layer should dry for no less than an hour.
A wet sanding with 600/800/1000-grit paper smooths any imperfections. Some use an auto compound buffed into the surface using annular buffing pads and an auto polisher. Hand usually does added buffing. Glazing may also be employed with a soft cloth to bring up a more brilliant luster.
In case some of the newly applied finish begins to pull away with masking it is best to work with a utility knife in hand. Work with attention over the recently finished surface. Package waste into construction totes and dispose of appropriately.
Locate a Bathub Professional near you
While bathtub refinishing can surely be a DIY job, it’s often better left to a pro. SB Refinishers in San Diego bath refinishing is simply one of the occupations that are very almost priced. Costs generally range from $400 to $500 and are usually packaged with a warranty that is significant.
The main variable in hiring a pro for this particular job is the individual tech scheduled to do the work. That’s appropriate, don’t necessarily hire a professional based on the reputation of the company, on their process, or on their system, but instead on the authentic person you’d desire doing your job. These mechanics should be able to produce a portfolio of references and work. Request it before making the decision, and review it.
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