Refinishing cast iron tub

tomatofreakMay 7, 2014

We bought an old house and it's a mess. I don't think anyone ever cleaned and I don't think I can possibly bring the tub back. There's no way to get it out and I'm considering refinishing it. Pictures online look great, but has anyone done this? If you have any experience with glazing over porcelain cast iron tubs, please tell me what you think.

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debrak2008

Did you see the responses you got on the decorating forum? I wondered if you saw them because you did post back.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:24AM
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sloyder

Basically the tub is painted with an epoxy paint

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:29PM
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theultimatebikerchic

We had our cast iron tub refinished in 2000. It looked like brand new for a dozen years until it got chipped by an air conditioner :O

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:24PM
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tomatofreak

bikerchic, do you remember what product was used on your tub?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:45PM
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OldTimeCarpenter1

Are you sure it cannot be just cleaned? The old porcelain is very thick, and can be renewed many times if there are no rusted spots.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 9:49PM
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tomatofreak

OTC, I am going to try again to clean it. Epsom salts and dish detergent has been recommended and I will also try CLR.

This Old House site also noted that tub 'liners' can be used. I know nothing about these. Does anyone else?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 2:26PM
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debrak2008

What does the tub look like? Can you post a photo?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 2:32PM
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tomatofreak

Here's the surround. It's actually a pretty blue tile in mint condition. Go figure!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 3:28PM
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tomatofreak

...And here's the tub. The upper part is not bad and there are no chips or cracks - at least that I've seen yet. The rusty stuff is all in the bottom and lower 1/2, worst at the drain.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 3:32PM
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tomatofreak

I forgot to say: This is after two attempts to get it clean. :(

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 3:33PM
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writersblock

>This Old House site also noted that tub 'liners' can be used. I know nothing about these. Does anyone else?

Yes, you pay about what you would pay to have the tub pulled and replaced along with a new tile surround, only instead you pay that money to get a fiberglas thingy made to fit over the existing tub. They're purely junk. I've known two people who did this and both regretted it bitterly.

You might want to investigate ROG cleaner. I've never used it but Kohler recommends it and retrorenovation seems pretty stoked about it.

This post was edited by writersblock on Mon, May 12, 14 at 16:45

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 4:43PM
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tomatofreak

I've actually gotten a lot of the stain out - to my surprise. So far Zud and Barkeeper's Friend have been most effective. Has anyone run the tub full and added bleach for an overnight soak? I'm thinking that's next unless it would etch the porcelain. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 12:34AM
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