Bathtub Chipping In Bottom
My bathtub is chipping in the bottom. Is there anything I can do to the chipped area to keep from buying a new tub. It does not leak any water it just looks bad with little black chipped areas.
It would help if you told us the material the tub was made out of. If you don't know, how about the age of the house.
It sounds like porcelain over cast iron or steel or possibly an Americast tub. Solutions range from painting the affected areas, reglazing, surface repair if it's Americast.
I am sorry but I do not know what material the tub was made out of. The house was built in 1976.
If the chipped areas are black, then it's probably an enameled steel tub. If so, then the chipped areas will not cause any problems other than aesthetic ones. That black enamel under the coloured enamel is water proof and won't rust unless the black enamel is completely missing, in which case the exposed steel will start to rust.
If the exposed steel starts to rust, the chip will turn reddish brown, the colour of rust.
If you see that happening, then you can fix those chips with a bit of two part epoxy. Start by cleaning the rust off with some Muriatic acid, and then clean the acid off with water. Now, flush the area with isopropyl alcohol and use a paper towel to absorb the alcohol. Water is soluble in alcohols, so flushing the chipped area with alcohol and then wiping that alcohol up removes any water that might still be in the chip.
Now, mix up the 2 part epoxy on a piece of wax paper and use a toothpick to put a small blob of it on a piece of Saran Wrap (or any self cling wrap in your local super market).
Turn the Saran Wrap over, position the blob of epoxy over the chip, and lower it so that the epoxy fills the chip.
Now, dip a finger in liquid dish washing detergent and smooth out the epoxy bump under the Saran Wrap. If you find that there's too much epoxy, simply pull the Saran Wrap straight up, and that will remove some of the epoxy from the chip. Set a new piece of Saran Wrap over the chip and keep working the remaining epoxy with a soapy finger. The idea here is to work the epoxy into the chipped area with your finger, and have the epoxy ALMOST fill the chip. You want to leave a little room for a thin layer of paint on top.
Keep replacing the Saran Wrap until you feel a slight depression where the chip was, and wipe away any excess epoxy around the chip with Xylene preferably (or paint thinner).
Once you can feel a slight depression where the chip was, then let the epoxy cure with the Saran Wrap on top for a day or two. After the epoxy cures, the Saran Wrap should pull cleanly off the epoxy patch. If it doesn't, you can scrape the Saran Wrap off the cured epoxy with a finger nail.
Then, use paint made by "Porc-a-fix" to paint over the epoxy. Porc-a-fix makes paint for every colour of tub that Crane or American Standard used for bathtubs since the mid-1950's and that the big 5 appliance manufacturers used on major appliances from the mid-60's as well.
Here's what I have in my Window's "Cardfile" on Porc-a-fix":
KIT Industries, 1262 Glen Avenue
Moorestown, New Jersey, 08057
ask for Barry or Frank on the shop floor
Barry can tell you who the local distributor for Porc-a-fix in your area is, and that place should have a colour chart showing you all the paint colours that Porc-a-fix paint is available in.
1. It would be best to buy a "Marine" two part epoxy that's meant to be submerged under water, and
2. Porc-a-fix paint comes in small 1 ounce bottles, along with a piece of sand paper for sanding the repair smooth. Throw that sand paper in the garbage where it belongs. After applying the oil based Porc-a-fix paint over the marine epoxy chip filler, wait about an hour or two for the paint to be stiff, but not hard, and then shave the excess paint off the chip with a razor. That will leave a smooth surface that follows the contour of the tub.
I've done this work many a time.
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