Bathtub refinishing? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Default Bathtub refinishing?

I think some of you know I have an older house. In the bathroom is a cast iron bathtub that is chipped and rusted in spots and is in desperate need of refinishing. What I've been looking at is an "epoxy acrylic" finish that is professionally applied. Is epoxy acrylic a good product? Is there something better? What would you renovators recommend?

Bearing in mind this is the Bay area of California, what should this job cost?
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 03:32 PM
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Chuck, if you can afford it the best solution is to pull it out and take it into a shop that does porcelain glazing...ie they have a kiln.
I haven't done one for years but there was a company up here in Vancouver, BC that did the whole thing. Picked it up, did the re-glazing, and brought it back.
The epoxy route is good but only for occasional use; basically for aesthetics. Again, there's guys that'll come over to your site, mask everything off, and spray the epoxy paint for you.
From my experience with them I'd recommend that route. (But again, for looks, not long term durability.)

As folks like to say, 'your mileage may vary'.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Dan, how does the epoxy acrylic compare with the gel coat of a fiberglas tub? I can't imagine there'd be much difference.

I'd certainly prefer to keep the cast tub and there is another consideration: In order to get the tub out, the walls would be destroyed along with the floor tile. That would be expensive to fix and I'd rather not do that.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 03:50 PM
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Epoxy is way more durable than polyester resin. But epoxy is a serious health hazard in it's vapour form. Don't get it on your bare skin or breathe the vapour...and the epoxy thinner is even worse. Soap and water cleanup for any that you get on yourself...do not get the thinner on your bare skin. Very carcinogenic and harmful to your liver.
Not saying don't use it; just be health conscious. Good ventilation for starters, and a vapour mask.
Send us before and after pics, Chuck.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
Send us before and after pics, Chuck.
That ain't gonna happen. My wife would kill me if I took any "before" pics.

I wasn't intending to do this myself. For this kind of specialized work I'd just as soon let the pros handle it. Do you have any idea of what the epoxy acrylic finish application should cost? The place I'm looking at does all the cleaning and patching, etches the porcelain with acid and, of course, applies the epoxy. And they talk about bringing in a portable ventilation system.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 04:09 PM
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Sorry, Chuck, it's been awhile. But keep in mind the condition, size, and type of tub will vary, making each one a custom quote.
I'd be surprised if it was less than $500.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 04:14 PM
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from my experience (40 years), don't bother....cover it with several moving blankets and take a sledge hammer to it (wear eye protection) and carry it out in pieces. Replace with a current f-glass, acrylic or similar product of your choice and configuration....price out your options both ways...messy but worth the effort, and you'll be glad you did...fwiw...
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 04:45 PM
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I wasn't going to go there, but Ron makes a good point. The flip side is that a cast iron tub that's been reglazed is fairly valuable; un re-glazed somewhat less. Only break it up if you can't get it out easily. They have value.
Another point is that if you decide to refinish it in-situ, do it last. Guaranteed you or a trades person will damage the new finish! It's a law of meta physics...
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 05:15 PM
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If this helps, I had a 4 1/2 foot tube that came out of a farm house in Iowa. My Ex's brother got it for her for $50. I hauled it back to LA and it sat in my back yard for almost two years. I sandblasted the ball and claw feet and use Minwax chrome paint in a rattle can. I then found a guy who sprayed epoxy on it for $125.

I had it installed into the master bathroom on a new house I built. The fixture for the tub cost me more then I had into the refinish job.

That was about 15 years ago. The spray job price it probably light compared to what they would charge today. I was able to haul it to the refinisher's house. He needed to do some touch-up and ended up coming to me and doing it in my garage. So, someone should be able to do it in place. 8' tubs are not easily moved.

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 06:55 PM
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Bill, I think Chuck mentioned 'disturbing the tile'...I'm assuming from that it's not a claw footed tub, but rather a built in.
That means of course that the tile floor runs up to it and the walls are tiled down to the rim on three sides. I could be wrong... ?

-My suggestion about taking it out for re-glazing is a non-starter.
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