Tub refinishing problems

criticalmass048November 25, 2010

Five years ago, we decided to re-finish our old tub. I bought a kit that had me sand down the whole tub, clean it, mix two jars (I think paint + epoxy), then apply with a roller. It required 7 days to cure. A few months later, it started to peel underneath the rubber mat. A phone call to customer service taught me that they don't recommend rubber bath mats with suction cups. I pointed out that this wasn't mentioned in the instructions, and they offered to send me a new kit, and I said I didn't care about the money, I was just upset with all the wasted labor and the long waiting time. Eventually, the coating on the whole floor of the tub had peeled away, and we left it that way.

Last month, we decided to try again with a different product. I got an aerosol kit by Homax. This required longer prep, but shorter curing time. After using steel wool & TSP solution three times (and carefully following the instructions because I didn't want to do this again), I applied a light first coat as instructed, and a heavier second coat. I still had another whole can of aerosol left over, but the instructions said "a third coat is not recommended". I then waited 4 days instead of the recommended 3 days.

Tuesday, I noticed the finish was starting to peel again, and this time there was no bath mat.

I sent an email to the company, and they got back quickly saying that an average tub should use two cans, and if I had a whole can left over I definitely didn't apply it heavily enough, so if I wiped it down with isopropyl alcohol (I was told NOT to use TSP solution on the paint) I should be able to reapply the remaining paint. Since we had no special plans for Thanksgiving, I did that today while the wife cooked. I just kept spraying and spraying until the whole can was gone. Now we have to wait three days again.

Of course, I can't shake the feeling that this isn't going to turn out well. I'm checking around to see if there's any ideas besides these two, or maybe I should stick with them. A new tub is out, and we really don't want to get one of those custom-made shells to go over the tub, since I have a funny feeling a lot of work I did with the tub and surrounding area would have to be undone (long story).

Thanks, and I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

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I saw your post on the kitchens forum and thought I'd pop over to see if I could help.

We had our tub refinished about 4 years ago now, and it still looks like new. It was refinished in the past by PO's and had been peeling. This is our only tub, so it is used every day.

We had a local company come out to do it. I could not really imagine DIY for something like this. He had to use pretty good ventilation.

Yes, the tech said not to use a suction cup mat, and to be careful what type of cleaners we used on it (we use Scrubbing Bubbles only) and to not use hair dye because the surface was more pourous.

We were able to get a non-skid surface, too.

Maybe see if you can call a pro. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 11:18PM
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I refinished a tub using a DIY kit and it lasted for several years, until I made the dreaded mat with suction cup mistake - the finish peeled and was destroyed. I thought I would have to replace the tub, something I did not want to do because of the time and mess involved. I called a local refinished company and was quoted a price of $275, $50 of that was to remove the old finish. The refinisher did a good job. He spent a couple of hours scraping and sanding before he applied the new finish. He said to keep the tup dry for three days, but since I live in hot and humid Florida, I gave it a week. It looks quite nice and was a quick and easy fix. Well worth the cost and only a fraction of the expense to replace the tub. That can wait until I remodel the entire bathroom.

One word of caution: the smell and dust from sanding lasts for about half a day. I left the bathroom window open all night. Also, of course, no more leaving a rubber mat in the tub!

Here is a link that might be useful: Crystal Glaze

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 7:48AM
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We used a company called Miracle Method. They have locations nationwide.

Like the PP, we will eventually do a larger renovation and hopefully expand the bathroom, but this was a good way to get us probably 10 more years of use. As I mentioned, this is our only tub/shower, so it's used every day, and it still looks great 4 years later.

I highly recommend adding the slip-resistant surface.

Here is a link that might be useful: Miracle Method bath refinishing

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 8:33AM
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We have had ONE tub resurfaced, and it looked really nice. It cost us about $325 to do it. However, since the house was soon thereafter destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, I could not say how long the finish would last under normal conditions.

But now, we are getting ready to resurface a cast iron tub, and retile the surrounding alcove. This is much better than trying to do it ourselves, since I am totally allergic to strong chemicals.

In the long run, it is cheaper to give the job to a pro.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 2:16PM
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It is definitely not reccommended to try to refinish a tub with one of these kits sold at a retail store due to the fact that the kit is nowhere near what the professionals use.(They peel off quickly) The general public can not purchase the chemicals necessary to refinish a tub since they are haz mat for trained professional use only. To save yourself headaches and money for stripping costs. Hire a professional and save yourself alot of aggravation

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 3:43PM
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