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clawfooted bathtub

How To Restore Paint A Clawfoot Bathtub

Clawfoot antique bathtubs are treasured for their classy look and old style charm. Great for soaking in and for tall people to stretch out comfortably in while taking a bath. You can buy a replica of these tubs for around $1800 or you can buy an original clawfooted bathtub at a salvage yard for under $200 and restore it at home.

Be warned these bathtubs can weigh over 100 pounds for a small one and over 200 pounds for a large. When chosing your bathtub pick one that is in the best condition you can find with few rusted out holes chips and has a complete set of legs with intact mounts.

Steps To Restoring & Painting Antique Tub

  1. The first thing you want to do is take the feet or legs to a metal plater and have the legs sand blasted and plated in either nickel, chrome or brass. If you want you can paint the feet instead of plating them but you will have to get them sandblasted to remove all of the rust. If painting you can use our brush roll on paint kit for the feet and interior porcelain.
  2. Now let’s get started. After you have removed the faucet and drain place the bathtub on a couple of blocks of wood bottom up. Take a wire brush and scrub the bottom removing as much rust, old paint and debris as possible. Smooth out any areas you feel need it using 320 grit sandpaper.
  3. Wipe the entire bottom of the tub with acetone and apply a marine primer using a brush or roller. Marine primer and paint are best to use on the outside of the bathtub since it will get wet. The paints will last a lifetime. Let the primer dry for 24 hours before applying a marine paint in the color and sheen of you choice. If painting the feet prime them too.
  4. Once the primer is dry flip the clawfoot bathtub over and start repairing any nicks chips and rust on the porcelain. You will do this using regular car Bondo. First wire brush any rust spots down to bare metal and remove any loose porcelain found. Then wipe all areas to be repaired with acetone and let dry.
  5. Fill in the chips and rusted areas using the Bondo patch following the directions on the product. When cured sand the repair areas smooth and level to the existing porcelain finish. Again wipe the repaired areas and entire inside of the bathtub with acetone.
  6. To paint the inside of the bathtub’s porcelain finish you will need a specially formulated paint for porcelain surfaces. US Bath Products Brush Roll-On Bathtub Paint is perfect for the job and comes with step by step instructions for applying the paint including the exact tools needed to get the perfect finish.
  7. Just follow the instruction and allow the paint to dry for 24 hours before installing any fixtures such as a faucet, drain and other plumbing parts. Total cost for this  project under $500.

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