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Old 02-11-2014, 05:14 PM   #1
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Refinishing a cast iron bathtub


I have an old cast iron bath tub that is in very good condition except the bottom of it has an area about 6"x6" with some scratches, created by a tenant not sure what he might be doing, wearing work boots into the tub or washing bicycle gears or tools.

I called around and everyone suggested refinishing the entire tub.

I thought there are services out there that would do spot repair of small areas with color matching but every one I called said refinish the entire tub.

Now I want to know from those who have done it, how is the new refinished surface look and feel like compared to the old enamel porcelain feel surface? Does it look like it was painted on? Is there a "glaze" on it? Does it feel the same by touch? Can you still clean the refinished surface with a scour pad?

I am kind of thinking it would look like a pair of shoes having been painted on.

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Old 02-11-2014, 10:03 PM   #2
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Refinishing a cast iron bathtub


I have refinish several tubs. It is pretty labor intensive and if done well is can look pretty decent. It is not as tough a finish as the original and you are not supposed to clean it with a scouring pad or abrasive cleaners. I have had to redo a couple where the tenants were not very gentle or forgot to not clean it with abrasive cleaners.
Do the scratches go through the enamel to the iron? If not, what you might try doing is see if you can sand them out with a palm sander and keep graduating up to higher grits to try to polish it back up. You can get the high grit sand paper at automotive stores. Home Depot only carries up to 400 grit I think. I've been able to repair unusable, very scratched DVDs using 1000 grit paper. If the results are not satisfactory, you can still refinish the tube.

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Old 02-11-2014, 11:20 PM   #3
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Refinishing a cast iron bathtub


Look up refinishing in the yellow pages of look for as in your local paper.
Do not try and DIY a brush on paint job!
A real refinisher will come in an acid etch the surface an regel coat it.
Should last about 10 years and look like brand new when done.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:56 AM   #4
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Refinishing a cast iron bathtub


Guys, let me clarify.

I am not planning to do the work. I am going to hire a pro.

But what I want to know is how it looks and feel after.

If u say you can't use a scour pad on it, then it is not a harder glazed surface when done? More like a fiberglass coating? Can one scratch it by pushing a fingernail deep into it?

When it does fail after years how does it fail? Does it break down mechanically like how clear coat break coat on cars break down? Peels off? Disintegrate into 10000 pieces?
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:01 AM   #5
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Refinishing a cast iron bathtub


No plumbing fixture should be scrubbed with a hard abrasive scrubbing pad.
Even a new cast or steel tubs finish will be scratched, wear it off and trap stains.
The one I had done looks an feels just like a new tub over 5 years later.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:17 AM   #6
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Refinishing a cast iron bathtub


As others have mentioned, search for local companies that specialize in that type of refinishing work.

I had mine refinished several years ago after moving in (lots of chips, scratches, worn spots, and color stains), and although the job set me back ~$500, that 'ol tub now looks better than brand new - it's awesome - my expectations were well exceeded. And the finish has been bomb-proof - it looks as good today as when it was first installed years ago.

If the company is any good, they'll be happy to answer all of your questions up front, and even come out to do an estimate/overview for you.

Good luck!

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