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You can probably say this about lots of things, but bathtubs–they only don’t make ‘em like they used to. For the bigger part of the last century, bathtubs were formed from cast iron and coated with porcelain enamel. Bathrooms were built around them. These baths were greatly deeper and therefore more inviting compared to the tubs you had see today. The dominant color for tubs is white which is essentially 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 poor options, bathtubs in this age were still really well made. Baths in steel seemed, while construction 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 one would turn into the other. Cast iron is heavier, while steel is heavy, and tubs 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. Any kind of bath can be refinished while those with a timeless clawfoot refinish hope to achieve a vintage feel. This article focus on the redo of an alcove bath, definitely the most often installed bathtub.
Tools Materials Skill Level Estimated Time
• Utility knife • Acid-Based commercial cleaner Advanced
• Shop Vac • Plastic sheeting
• Wire brush • Masking tape
Abrasive cleaning pads
Polish pads and • Buffing • Sandpaper
Sailcloth drop cloth
• Rags and towels • Two-Part fiberglass repair putty
Shop towels or • Paper • Tack fabric
• Little mixing trough •
• Plastic spreaders • Specialty 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 •
Bathtub Refinishing Factors
Off Site or In Place?
Cast iron and steel baths are very heavy as mentioned previously, and you’ll need at least three, a hand, deliver and to remove 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’s still in position.
A refinishing works may generally start with a process called “dipping” or stripping the original finish. Once stripped, your bathtub may again have a porcelain enamel employed before it is ultimately re-fired in a kiln. Comparable coatings can be used onsite; stripping, nevertheless, is replaced with other way of prep.
Will You Replace Hardware?
Working under the premise that once (re)finished, you’ll have a brand new appearance bath. It may be worthwhile to plan for an update of the bath’s present drain hardware.
It ought to be pointed out, too, that the edges are typically the “poorest” part of any finish. In a place always subjected to water, prior to applying your new bath finish, it seems sensible at minimum to eliminate the drain.
Note: Access to the lower wall cavity behind the bathtub drain is needed at the absolute minimum, when updating a tub’s drain assembly.
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Because, usually, you’ll be working with airborne paints and caustic substances, make sure that you have sufficient venting 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 setting a fan in an opposing doorway. Ventilation equipment can also be leased at rental centers or home improvement stores if added concerns continue around your ability to work or employ paint efficiently.
Ready the Job
There are numerous methods available for essentially preparing a tub refinish. No matter the approach you decide on, take great care during this period. The measures below are common to any occupation training strategy you might select:
1) Remove Present Caulk: Remove caulk that should be touching the bathtub surface. Begin by cutting the top and bottom edges of the caulk bead using a utility knife. Fully remove. Sweep out or vacuum any debris that’ll make its way to the bottom of the tub up.
2) Remove OR Conceal the Overflow Plate: Strategy to replace existing bath hardware. If this isn’t possible, and also the bath’s drain is still in great working order, remove. Be aware not to permit linkages to fall back in the overflow should you decide to remove a connected lever 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 or make an X in masking tape as it will be used in the homework phase to allow for drainage of water.
4) Give the Bathtub an Industrial Cleaning: Using an acid-based cleanser, spray down the complete bath surface. Let the merchandise sit for five full minutes and utilize a stiff-bristled brush to scrub away blots. Because these cleaners 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 relatively durable plastic, begin in the edge of the bathtub and mask off the alcove walls at least four feet. Mask both the interior of the bathtub as well as the face (or apron) of the tub as it intersects with toilet walls. As it meets the floor, do the same with the bath. Cut holes in locations where bathtub spouts or faucet handles may appear. Apply masking tape prior to spraying.
6) Mask Tub Spout and Faucet Handles: While you might need to time this with the other measures below, wrapping tub spouts and faucets with contractor’s paper or added plastic (cling wrap will function just as well). Instead, it may make sense merely to remove them.
Ready the Surface and Also Make Modest Repairs
Apply an Acid Etching Paste
Use a stiff-bristled four inch stain a scrub brush or brush to employ an acid etch designed particularly for porcelain. Cover the surface of the tub completely and let about 15 minutes for this particular product to do its thing. Wear rubber gloves (or better) and a correctly rated respirator. Remove with a (clean) scrub brush and wash down the drain with tub water. Wipe dry with shop towels.
Alternatives 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 bath surface. This is achieved by way of using sanding (aka flap) discs fitted to an angle grinder. While this procedure is somewhat competitive, most concluding products are self-leveling to the amount that they will level out moderately over a “ scarified” surface.
Repairing Bath Surface Imperfections
Spots and grittiness can appear after decades of improper cleaning on tub surfaces. Bleach and abrasive cleaners can be detrimental to tub surfaces, themselves. Green spots or rust can be addressed using oxalic acid combined in hot water with talc to form a whiting paste.
Processors or dings should also be addressed prior to applying a finish. Mix a small batch of two -component fiberglass repair putty and apply to the affected area using a plastic spreader.
If necessary, follow with porcelain or polyester glazing to fill in modest pockets that may show up in the repaired region.
Wipe down the bath with paper towels and follow with a tack cloth.
Discretionary: For a much more extensive cleaning, give one final wipe to the tub with quick-evaporating denatured alcohol.
Caution: If acids weren’t used, simply use or have been effectively neutralized.
Applying Finishes: DIY Strategy
That is a seemingly countless collection of refinishing kits accessible from reputable manufacturers. Generally, you’ll find varying degrees of quality and dry times with these products. Do your homework before purchasing and understand that cost may advise effectiveness over time. Choose a name that is reputable and follow all directions closely. These kits should afford a finish continuing one to five years with proper care.
Assemble Your Very Own Clothing
The topcoat is applied using the same sprayer (make certain to clean it thoroughly between steps). Hold the gun about six inches from the surface, when spraying. As you move back and forth, work using long strokes along with a continuous movement, overlapping slightly. Play about with a combination of white paint and high-gloss polyurethane. Alternatively, spray or roll on a two-component marine epoxy. This process should afford a finish that can last between 3 and 10 years, if you’ven’t skimped on homework.
Applying Finishes: Professional Strategy
Professional refinishers are numerous, but be warned: the products and techniques used plus their views vary. It may not be surprising that lots of pro refinishers started out in trades like auto body repair, where work is usually personalized.
Acrylic urethane enamel, acrylic aliphatic polyurethane, or an epoxy-based finish is put in multiple layers using a paint sprayer. (There is much discussion online about the favorite sprayer type for this particular job.n general, select airless and HVLP through others.) Depending on the product used, each coat should dry 15 to 20 minutes before the next is implemented. The concluding coat should dry for no significantly 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 an auto polisher and circular buffing pads. Additional buffing is usually done by hand. Glazing may also be implemented with a soft cloth to bring up a more 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, slowly remove all masking, paper, and plastic from the job site. It’s a good idea to work with a utility knife in hand in case any one of the recently applied finish begins to pull away with masking. Work with attention over the recently finished surface. Package waste into construction totes and dispose of appropriately.
Locate a Bathub Professional near you
It’s frequently better left to a pro, while bathtub refinishing can really be a DIY project. SB Refinishers in San Diego tub refinishing is simply one of the most practically priced jobs. Prices generally range from $400 to $500 and are usually packaged with a warranty that is significant.
In hiring a pro for this job the most significant variable is the individual tech scheduled to do the work. That’s correct, don’t necessarily hire a master based on the reputation of the business, on their system, or on their process, but rather on the actual person you would want doing your job. These mechanics ought to be able to produce a portfolio of work and references. Request it and review it before making the decision.
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