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Clawfoot Bathtub Refinishing

Clawfoot Bathtub Refinishing

Refinishing a clawfoot bathtub will not only restore its elegant Victorian beauty, but will also save you a lot of money on purchasing and installing a new one. Read the DecorDezine article to learn how easy it is get the task done without having to spend a ton.
DecorDezine Staff
Close up of bear claw bathtub
Clawfoot bathtubs were considered as a luxurious item during the 19th century, but are surely making a comeback today. While considering all your options for that perfect bathroom décor, their glorious beauty cannot be overlooked. If you already own a clawfoot bathtub, and its losing the original finish, there are one of two things that can be done―replace the tub or refinish it. Now if you don't want to spend a lot, you can lower the cost by doing the job by yourself.

Instructions to Follow

The process of refinishing the bathtub can be a bit challenging. Which is why, we advice you to either consult with a professional before you begin or have someone who has had experience work with you.
  • Before we begin, collect the necessary items: a mask, rubber hand gloves, eye goggles, paint thinner, stripping solvent, sandpaper (fine and course grit), hand sander, body filler, empty plastic containers, polyester coating, enamel coating, paint brush, water, wire brush, sand blaster, paint color (your choice), hydrofluoric acid, putty knife, tub glaze, and epoxy primer.
  • Wear your hand gloves, mask, and eye goggles before you begin. Make sure that the bathroom door and windows are open, and the area is well-lit.
  • Put paint thinner in small containers so that you can fill them up and dip the tub's feet in them. Once you see the paint stripping away, remove the feet from the containers and scrub it with a wire brush. This will help remove the rush off the legs.
  • If there is any paint left on the tub's feet, use stripping solvent to remove it properly. Next you will use epoxy primer at the feet; apply a generous amount and leave it alone till it dries completely.
  • Once dry, apply at least 2―3 coats of your favorite paint color on the feet. You can choose white, black, or any other color. But remember, after every coat, let the paint dry completely before applying the next one.
  • Now we begin with the tub. Use stripping solvent to wipe the tub's exterior properly. This will remove any and all paint that is remaining. You can even use sandpaper to take out any paint, rust, debris, etc. off it.
  • Sand the tub's exterior part till it has become smooth. Next use polyester coating. Apply at least 2―3 coats. For perfect application, do remember to read the directions mentioned on the package. (You don't want to make any mistakes here; it's crucial).
  • Once the polyester coating has dried, you will take a clean paint brush to apply the enamel coating to the tub. After that, again use a sandpaper, 120-grit will be perfect, to scrape off any excess paint that may have been left behind.
  • In the end, use water to rinse the tub's exterior thoroughly. Let the tub dry completely before we move on to the next step.
  • Now that the tub's exterior is finished, we will move to the tub's interior. Use hydrofluoric acid to wash the insides and leave it so for 15 minutes. Then, wash with cold water thoroughly and let it dry.
  • Take a fresh piece of sandpaper and begin sanding the insides. Sometimes, after using the hydrofluoric acid, it can leave some cavities behind. The sandpaper will remove it properly. Wash the tub with water again and let the tub dry.
  • Now we apply the body filler in the tub's interior. The body filler comes in handy when you are applying the primer and new paint. It makes the surface even to let the paint settle in properly.
  • Use the putty knife while applying the body filler. Leave it to dry and use the sandpaper again on the tub's interior.
  • After this, apply 2―3 coats of the epoxy primer. Again remember, let each coat dry completely before using the next one.
  • Then goes the enamel coating. Again let it dry properly. And in the end, use a tub glaze to bring the shine back.
Leave this last coat on for about 2 days or so. After the entire process is over, you can use the tub whenever you like.