Refinishing cast iron tub

tomatofreakMay 5, 2014

We bought a house with a tub I'll never get clean and it seems impossible to get it out. I'm considering using a contractor who refinishes sinks and tubs (even tile surrounds) with either bright white porcelain look-alike or stone-like finishes. Has anyone done this? I'd appreciate any feedback.

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debrak2008

I had a tub done and am very happy with it. I have heard that many do not have a good experience. Ours was done a few years ago and it looks and feels as good as it did when first done. We do have a 15 year prorated warranty. It cost just under $500. Here are some pics.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 7:53PM
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ingeorgia

my son does refinishing...he will be doing our claw foot tub and upstairs tub.
NOT soliciting for him because I don't know where you live, but giving you the link because he addresses some good issues and tells you what to ask a refinisher.
HTH

Here is a link that might be useful: american tub refinishing

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 1:36PM
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tomatofreak

Pardon me if you see a replicate of this post in Baths; I mistakenly posted here. Thank you both for your responses. ingeorgia, I'm in AZ so no chance of using your son's business. I am very thankful for your link, though. I'd never have known what to ask! I feel reassured and think I may have my very old clawfoot done, too.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 12:12PM
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debrak2008

It's not a mistake to post here as its a different crowd. I posted on your other thread as I thought maybe you didn't see the responses. Only a few but maybe more will post.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 2:17PM
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FamCook

We have had two tubs redone. One was a cast iron tub and we used it exclusively for almost 8 years with five kids and two adults. We did have a few little knicks from the metal shower caddy falling off the shower head. But, other than that it held up extremely well. I used a blue non-abrasive scrubby to clean it.

We also had a claw foot redone for my mother as a surprise when she was out of town. It looks awesome. She has used it for seven years, only as a tub, no shower. It had a few tiny knicks when she dropped something in it, I can't remember what though.

We just had another claw foot redone for her. But we haven't had it installed yet. We bought one off craigslist and are putting it in a new remodel for her. We had the outside sandblasted and repainted and the inside redone. Can't wait to see it all put together.

Let me know if you have any other questions. I think it's definitely worth it.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:38PM
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FamCook

Debrak2008 - I think I have that tile color in my new to me retro bathroom! Is it more yellow than your pictures show?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 6:39PM
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debrak2008

Famcook, Please post photos or at least send them to me as I rarely see another bathroom with that tile. The color is VERY deceiving. We do know the tiles was installed in the early 50's. A few tiles were broken and I went from store to store trying to find a match. A specialty tile store could order them. The sample seemed really close but when we got them they are a little lighter. DH put the new tiles in less visible places.

Here is a link to the bathroom after the facelift. For some reason the walls look pink but they are not. The color look better in person.

Here is a link that might be useful: link to debrak2008's yellow tile bath

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:15PM
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debrak2008

I wanted to add that this tub has had asphalt sealer, purple hair dye, and lots of dirt in it. Everything comes off with some scrubbing. Yesterday I found a what seemed like a black scratch on the side. No clue what it was. Took a wet scrubbie and scrubbed. It came off.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:18PM
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FamCook

debrak2008 - I love the threads about your bathroom! I like those lights, but I'm going to try and use the crazy mirror/light combo in the bathroom. I decided on a pedestal sink.

I'd love any advice from you. I have scoured the web and your bathroom is the only one close to what ours looks like! Built in 1948, I think the tile was done then, too. But the wallpaper must have been later.

What color did you use on the walls?

Here is a link that might be useful: Crazy green yellow bathroom

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 9:40PM
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tomatofreak

Ouch! We had a consult with a refinisher yesterday. Not very helpful, but expensive quotes. His product, he said, was acrylic; there is a 2-year warranty on "workmanship"; and he had no references. Not impressed, so on the the next. I'm getting the feeling that refinishing is the trade-du-jour for guys in the automotive and home painting business. I can see I'm going to have to be very careful and choosy. Thanks so much for the advice; I really need it!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:43PM
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kashka_kat

Well I'd avoid it unless it was truly trashed - the refinish does not last very long before it starts bubbling and peeling. Even within a year or two the bottom will start peeling, and at a cost of $400-500 is it really worth it.

Instead, get cold soft water run to the bathroom (along with the hot soft which you probably already have). This keeps the hard water deposits from forming on all the bathroom fixtures and makes them VERY easy to keep clean. If the rim is shiny, but the bottom is worn you can get a clear porcelain polish that repels water. Or not - no one's going to notice that the bottom is not shiny.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 3:32PM
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debrak2008

Not all refinishes start to bubble and peel. You just need to find the right one. Ours is perfect and I think it has been 4 years. Again, it gets scrubbed hard because the kids are always getting something in there. My aunt also had a tub refinished many years ago. From what I hear the tub is still great.

I hope you have your email set as I'm going to try to send you an email with info on the company we went with. They maybe to recommend someone in your area.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 3:58PM
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tomatofreak

debrak, thanks for the help. I'm sure not all are worthless; it's finding out which is and which isn't that's confusing.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 6:48PM
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crl_

I have never had this done, but we considered it for a tub in our first house. My plumber told me that he most often saw refinishing jobs fail near the drain because the refinishers couldn't get the drain out to do the job properly. He said that if we ever decided to have ours refinished I should call him and he would come and get the drain out before they refinished.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 7:33PM
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tomatofreak

crl, the guy we consulted with had a solution for the ugly old drain. It's a fresh new cap that slides into the drain and covers the old one. Seems like an easy fix. First I have to find the right product and contractor...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 2:10PM
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crl_

As I understood our plumber, the concern wasn't how the drain itself looked. It was that the refinishing job would start peeling around the drain because they weren't able to do the job properly without taking the drain out first.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 4:38PM
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tomatofreak

Hmmm... One more question to ask.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 6:30PM
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ingeorgia

your welcome tomatofreak...my son is booked up so far he has had to stop advertising, truly was not advertising for him but he does address the issues very well. You might have gone for the acrylic if you hadn't read it was NOT the right product !
May you find the right person with the right stuff/tools/experience to do the job.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 10:49PM
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