We have a late 1800's JL Mott claw foot tub. A real prize from what we've been able to determine. The porcelain around the drain is cracked away and the area is rusting. The metal is thick and not likely to rust through in our lifetime. But it is unsightly.
I know many folks offer painted on coatings. No one I know has ever been happy with the results. And, given the vintage and supposed worth of our tub, we wouldn't consider it. Someone someplace must do real porcelainizing of vintage claw foot tubs. Like, sandblast off the original and re-apply real porcelain. Any ideas?
If somebody does it, the cost would be outrageous. I am a bathtub refinisher and you are right not all jobs look the same. Cheap jobs don't last. Find someone in your area that has been doing this for at least 5 years. If the job is done right it should last at least 10 years. Mine do. others don't. Some jobs have very little shine. oldbathtubs.com if you want to look at the process.