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You could probably say this about a lot of things, but tubs–they just 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. Toilets were assembled around them. These baths were greatly fuller and consequently more inviting than the baths you’d see today. The dominant color for baths is white and it’s almost the sole way to really go.
With the 60s and 70s came the investigation of bathroom fixtures in browns, beige, pastels, and the like. Despite these poor choices, bathtubs in this age were still really nicely made. Bathtubs in steel appeared, while building shifted to comprise lightweights like acrylic, and like the cast irons, these steel bathtubs were refined and even sometimes sculptural in design.
Cast iron is generally heralded for its indestructibility, even when rust might set in. It has a close relative in steel, in fact one would turn into the other. While steel is heavy, cast iron is more 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. While those with a timeless clawfoot refinish hope to accomplish a vintage feel, any kind of bath could be refinished. This post with focus on the redo of an alcove tub, undoubtedly the most commonly installed bathtub.
Tools Substances Ability Level Estimated Time
• Acid-Based commercial cleanser Advanced
• Putty knife • Acid etching paste
• Straight razor • Baking soda
• Shop Vac • Plastic sheeting
• Stiff bristle brush • Builders paper
• Wire brush • Masking tape
• Auto polisher/buffer • Abrasive cleaning pads
Polish pads and • Buffing • Sandpaper
Canvas drop cloth
• Rubber gloves • Porcelain repair epoxy or polyester glazing putty
Towels and • Rags • Two-Part fiberglass repair putty
Store towels or • Paper • Tack cloth
• Little blending trough •
Peculiarity acrylic urethane OR acrylic aliphatic polyurethane OR high gloss polyurethane and white paint
• Electrical paint sprayer • Denatured alcohol
• Plumbing tools
Bathtub Refinishing Factors
Off Site or In Place?
As mentioned above, cast iron and steel tubs are extremely heavy, and you’ll need at least three, a hand, deliver and to safely remove them to a refinishing works. In the case of an alcove tub, one that’s “built in,” it’s usually 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. After stripped, your tub may have a porcelain enamel implemented before it is finally re-fired in a kiln. Similar coatings can be used onsite; stripping, nevertheless, is replaced with other way of homework.
Will You Replace Hardware?
Working under the assumption that once (re)ended, you’ll have a brand new appearance bath. It might be worthwhile to plan for an update of the bathtub’s existing drain hardware.
It should be pointed out, also, that the borders are usually the “weakest” part of any finish. At minimum, it seems sensible in an area always subjected to water to eliminate the drain before applying your new tub finish.
Note: Access to the lower wall cavity behind the tub drain is demanded at the absolute minimum, when upgrading a tub’s drain assembly.
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Because, in most cases, you’ll be working with caustic substances and airborne paints, ensure that you’ve got adequate venting as you work. Along with running a built-in bath fan, it could additionally make sense to open a window and use cross-ventilation by setting a fan in an opposing doorway. Ventilation equipment may also be rented at rental centres or home improvement stores if added concerns remain around your capability to work or employ paint efficiently.
Ready the Occupation
There are numerous approaches for effectively preparing a tub refinish available. No matter the approach you decide on, take great care during this phase. The steps below are common to any occupation prep approach you might select:
1) Remove Existing Caulk: Remove caulk which should be touching the bath surface. Start by cutting on both the top and bottom edges of the caulk bead with a utility knife. Entirely remove. Sweep out or vacuum up any debris that will make its way to the underparts of the the tub.
2) Remove OR Conceal the Overflow Plate: Strategy to replace existing tub hardware. The bath’s drain remains in great working order, as well as if this really is not achievable, remove. Should you opt to remove a linked lever, be aware not to allow 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 just choose not to remove. Poke holes or make an X in masking tape as it will be used later in the prep phase to allow for drainage of water.
4) Give the Bath an Industrial Cleaning: Using an acid-based cleanser, spray down the entire bath surface. Allow the merchandise sit for five full minutes and use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub stains away. Because these cleansers are caustic, wear rubber gloves (or better) and a properly rated respirator. Then let the bath dry.
5) Mask Off the Tub Space: Using a comparatively tough plastic, start in the edge of the tub and mask off the alcove walls at least four feet. Mask both the inside of the tub in addition to the face (or apron) of the tub as it intersects with toilet walls. Do the same with the bath as it meets the floor. Cut holes in locations where faucet or tub spouts handles may appear. Use masking tape before spraying.
6) Mask Bath Spout and Faucet Handles: While you may need to time this with the other measures beneath, wrap bathtub spouts and faucets with contractor’s paper or added plastic (cling wrap will work just as well). Instead, it may make sense just to remove them.
Prepare the Surface and Also Make Small Repairs
Apply an Acid Etching Paste
Use a stiff-bristled four inch stain brush or a scrub brush to implement an acid etch designed particularly for porcelain. Cover the face of the bath entirely and allow around 15 minutes for this product 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 using a bonding agent only. Others might use mechanical means to rough up the bath surface. While this procedure is somewhat aggressive, most completing products are self-leveling to the degree that they are going to level out pretty over a “ scarified” surface.
Mending Tub Surface Imperfections
Spots and grittiness can appear after decades of improper cleaning on tub surfaces. Bleach and abrasive cleansers could be hazardous to bath surfaces, themselves. Green spots or rust could be addressed using oxalic acid mixed in hot water with talc to form a whiting paste.
Dings or chips must likewise be addressed prior to applying a finish. Mix of two -component fiberglass repair putty and apply to the affected region by means of a plastic spreader. Allow to dry according to the product’s instructions 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 modest pockets which could appear in the repaired area, if needed.
Wipe down the bathtub with paper towels and follow with a tack cloth.
Elective: For a much more thorough cleaning, give the tub one final wipe with accelerated-evaporating denatured alcohol.
Caution: If acids weren’t used, just use or have been effectively neutralized.
Applying Finishes: DIY Approach
There’s a seemingly innumerable collection of refinishing kits accessible from reputable makers. The products vary broadly from epoxies to acrylics, spray-on to brush-on and even to roll on choices. In general, you’ll locate varying degrees of both quality and dry times with these products. Do your homework before buying and comprehend that effectiveness may be informed by price with time. Choose a reputable name and follow all instructions closely. These kits should give a finish continuing one to five years with proper attention.
Build Your Own Apparel
The topcoat is implemented using the same sprayer (make certain to clean it thoroughly between steps). Work using a continuous motion and long strokes, overlapping somewhat 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. In the event you haven’t skimped on prep, this approach should afford a finish which will last between 3 and 10 years.
Applying Finishes: Professional Strategy
Professional refinishers are plentiful, but be warned: techniques and the products used plus their views vary.
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 sort for this particular occupation.n general, pick airless and HVLP finished others.) Depending on the product used, each layer should dry 15 to 20 minutes before the following is implemented. The concluding coat should dry for no less than an hour.
Some use an auto compound buffed into the surface using circular buffing pads and an auto polisher. Additional buffing is usually done by hand. Glazing may also be implemented with a soft cloth to bring up a dazzling luster.
Tear Down and Reinstall Fixtures
In case any one 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. Bundle waste into building bags and dispose of appropriately.
Find a Bathub Professional near you
While tub refinishing can certainly be a DIY job, it is frequently better left to a master. SB Refinishers in San Diego tub refinishing is just one of the most nearly priced occupations. Costs generally range from $400 to $500 and are usually packaged with a significant guarantee.
The most crucial variable in hiring a pro for this particular occupation is the individual tech scheduled to do the work. That’s appropriate, don’t necessarily hire a master based on the name of the firm, on their system, or on their process, but instead on the authentic person you would desire doing your job. These machinists should be able to produce a portfolio of references and work. Request it before making a choice, and review it.
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