Refinishing Clawfoot Tub - Remodeling - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 03-04-2009, 11:02 AM   #1
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Refinishing Clawfoot tub

Hello my husband and I are refinishing a Oueen Elizabeth clawfoot tub from my grandmas farm. Needless to say it has seen better days. I have gotten quotes to refinish it and they are outragous!
Was wondering if any one has refinished a clawfoot tub before and if so what did they use that worked the best and what is the level of difficulty? Also what do you use to fill holes or divits in the tub with?

Any help would work. Websites ect.

Thanks so much
God Bless


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Old 03-04-2009, 12:23 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, there are no DIY materials that have any longevity in this catagory. Best case scenario, it would last a year or so. Longer if you never used the tub.


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Old 03-04-2009, 07:52 PM   #3
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I refinish tubs for a living. I don't know what you consider "outrageous", but what you're paying for is the professional knowledge, process, and materials that are not readily available to a homeowner. Would you try to paint your car yourself? I doubt you could do a very good job. Tubs are the same way. It requires special etching acids, cleaning solvents, primers and bonding agents, and catalized acrylic polymer glazes, and the equipment and experience in application technique.
The best you can do yourself is a DIY kit from Home Depot, which is basically an epoxy, which stinks to high heaven, can only be brused on (can you say brush marks?) or sprayed from a spray can (can you say runs?). Epoxy has very poor color retention (tends to yellow), and cracks easily. I've stripped and re-glazed many tubs that were DIY jobs. Never seen one that looked even halfway decent.

I'd suggest you either bite the bullet and have it done professionally, or forget the idea all together.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:48 PM   #4
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I have to say that Tub Refinisher and Ron are right on the money. My experience:

We did a 20 unit condo conversion where the developer insisted on keeping the existing tubs... nothing special about them either. He had gotten a quote from a pro tub refinishing company, but didn't want to pay their price. He pretty much demanded that we refinish them ourselves using the kits from Home Depot...which can be applied with an HVLP spray rig, but that's more specialized equipment you'd need.

I agreed to it on the condition (included in signed contract) that there would be NO warranty. My painters are very experienced guys, years in the business, work on multi-million dollar homes and even paint autos on the side. They followed the manufacturer's instructions to a T.

End result - 12 of the tubs failed within the first year, and probably more, if not all since then. The developer ended up paying more for the pro's to do it than they had originally quoted since our attempt had to be stripped off as well. Also there was the cost of unhappy condo buyers.
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Old 06-25-2010, 04:23 PM   #5
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Tubby issues

I'm strictly a do-it-yourselfer. After some research I purchased a DYI Tubby bathtub refinishing kit. After applying the product, one year later I'm not pleased with the results. I followed the directions exactly and I'm now dealing with peeling and discoloration. The surface is very thin and fragile, so you can't use any household cleaners or brushes to clean it. I simply use a hand-held shower nozzle to wash out the tub after use.

The Tubby kit includes a foam-rubber roller to apply the expoxy and rosin mix but because of the weight of the mix, the foam rubber started to fail and I had to pick pieces of foam rubber from the wet surface. I'd recommend using a sprayer or paint brush to apply the product.

You must allow for the stated drying and curing time or the surface will wash away after you turn on the water in the tub, leaving you with a big mess.

I would not use this product again, even if it's a lot cheaper than a new bathtub or refinishing job by a professional. The aggravation isn't worth the price.
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:25 PM   #6
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I used Klenk's 2 part epoxy solution (largest box). Read the box and get all the required cleaners, chemical gloves (for the cleaning part, full respirator face mask), pure bristle brush, latex gloves/tape/cardboard (for the paint) and window fan (for ventilation.. REQ). Mix both cans!!

Prep tub (tape off what you don't want covered) do everything - that tub absolutly must be clean - don't leave silicone on (fish eyes ie paint that wont stick to a spot)

Turn fan on so that it is always on and vents outside until completion of project (which is normally longer than a week)

Patch bare metal with epoxy repair (only place on bare metal to level the damage)

Tape or remove drain and vent (depending on your skill level or get a pro to do it)

Never use the same brush or container for subsequent coats (3-4 hours must be tack free)

remove fisheyes immediately with a tip of a razor

DO NOT USE A ROLLER - especially a foam roller - epoxy eats foam rollers (rollers leave an orange peel texture and dont work well in corners)
Use a pure bristle brush, this stuff levels itself and DO NOT GO OVER THE SAME SPOT TWICE when applying the coat and it is wet. (or you will leave a mark).

Paint from flange to bottom of tub and be generous (but don't let paint drip or get it quickly and don't go over it again)

Drips will occur but I sanded them carefully read all manf. instructions (after the paint is tack free)

I always did the outside face last

When dry put tub drain and vent back together but seal with plumbers putty (google it to see a video)

Looks great to me.

Skill Med-hard

This is not for the faint of heart.

Do not spray unless your an automotive paint specialist

You must absolutly must adhere to all safety precautions presented by manf. These are dangerous chemicals. Nobody is to use this washroom for the # of days when complete see manf. for details. Mine was 5 days. I completed mine in 7 days. Do not create dust in the home. Do not dye your hair in tub, dyed soaps, oils etc. No scrubbers, comet, abrasives etc (as said in the manf directions). Read what you can and can't do to the tub.. Dark or coloured tubs may need to be painted with more coats (be prepared to be longer than a week)

Should last you 5-10 years (pending on your prep)

I'm not reponsible for anything you do with your tub. Read all the manufacturer's directions. Cleaning is not an option it is mandatory. Respirators are mandatory (ask your HD rep). Fans are required. Spraying may or may not put enough paint on the tub (causing paint peel). This is something I did with success 5 years ago and it still looks great. They also still sell the KLENK product.

Oh and if it looks too thin it is (dont be afraid to put more coats) I Used a full box and a half (hence the peeling issue)
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:35 AM   #7
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I would suggest weigh the value of the tub against the cost of refinishing and I would definately not attempt to do it myself. Get comparable estimates from reputable refinishers. Some of the national names are notoriously high priced.
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:18 PM   #8
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You last 3 guys are responding to a thread that's OVER A YEAR OLD! I think he's probably made up his mind by now.


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