My stained bathtub is giving me nightmares

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Hello all. I was hoping for some guidance with a problem of mine....
The bathtub in my apartment is quite old. In fact, I'm sure it hasn't been replaced since this building was built (sometime in the '70's would be my guess). The bowl of the tub has become so stained over the years that it's now a bright yellow, and has completely lost it's glossy appearance.
I have tried all kinds of cleaning products, as well as having bleached it repeatedly, all of which had zero effect. The superintendent of my building has made it perfectly clear that she will not have the tub replaced, as it "works perfectly fine, discoloration aside."
My question is this: would it be possible to refinish the bathtub in some capacity? I was considering a spray-can finish of some sort, but I was unsure of the correct prep work involved, among other things.
I really want to do something about this tub...even my toilet looks cleaner than it.
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jwaterfield writes:

You cannot produce a porcelain finish without thousands of degrees of temperature.
Nothing you can paint or otherwise coat on will be hard and durable compared to porcelain glaze.
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

Not as hard as porcelain, no, but some of the epoxy restoration products aren't too bad....if you're willing to spend a little money (or could talk the landlord into it), might check your yellow pages for one of the tile/counter/appliance repair guys. They may be able to do it for what you can buy the supplies for retail...
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Using one of those DIY tub refinish kits, or even having a company do a 'pro' refinish, without blessing by landlord, is probably a lease-breaker, and will land OP in the street.
A 1970s apartment in this country is unlikely to be a porcelain over cast iron anyway. 1970s is probably too early for plastic, but a whole lot of stamped-steel tubs got installed in that era. As much as those flex in use, I don't see anything out of a spray can sticking to it.
There are tub cleaning products stronger than what is sold in the grocery store. OP should try local janitorial supply, or even finding some TSP and trying a paste made from that, and letting it sit an hour. And a tub from the 1970s is far from old- there are tubs from 1910s and 1920s out there in daily use. Properly installed, and not abused, a tub should last the life of the building. I don't blame landlord for telling OP to get lost- changing tub means gutting bathroom, since bathroom is built around the tub. I worked apartment construction in the 1970s, and saw hundreds of them go in.
aem sends....
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aemeijers wrote:

...
Valid point, but that's another question than the one posed...
Since OP has obviously had conversations on the subject w/ landlord and gotten confirmation the complaint is valid and been rejected not on the basis of the cosmetics being bad/objectionable but on functionality and is still pursuing it, perhaps the next plan of attack was to suggest a cosmetic fix rather than replacement??? Don't know, seems reasonable (having never, fortunately, had to deal w/ landlords since "school daze" when what the tub looked like wasn't a high priority on my radar...) :)
OP is probably long gone, but as you and others have also notee there are other cleaning products and/methods out there. If OP had some idea of what the cause(s) of the stain were and what the tub is actually made of, it could possibly lead to some better or more specific remedies...
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Zud cleaner or magic eraser worked on a very old tub in our house until we could replace it.
CathyLee

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Perhaps the OP wants a clean tub bad enough to get permission from the landlord and is willing to pay for the job on their own.i'd recommend having a PRO do the job,and I hear the new urethane finishes the pros use stay white and do not yellow.They still require using 409 to clean the tub;no abrasive cleaners.
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Jim Yanik
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The only real hope would be a buffing wheel and some polishing compound.
Lots of work with no guarantee that it will help at all.
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any real effective cleaning MAY DAMAGE whatever is left of the original finish and then rust will start:(
I would try one last cleaning then ignore it.
get too aggresive and damage tub apartment owner might keep security deposit to replace tub.
use a bathmat to improve appearance a little...
or risk spending thousands rebuilding bathroom
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the only solution i see is to replace the bathtub. All the other is spend of mney
-------------- http://www.myonlinedream.net
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jwaterfield wrote:

I don't believe you, or anyone, is going to be able to restore the current finish. It is a waste of time.
There are three ways of refinishing the tub.
1. DIY kit. It is possible to get a good finish this way, but not everyone will and even those that do will find it is not as durable as other options.
2. A professional version of #1. Chances of a good looking result are high and it is likely to last longer than the DIY job. They are likely to use equipment and materials that are not available to the individual.
3. In factory refinish. This one can return it to the original finish, but is usually too expensive for all but "historic" fixtures that someone does not want to replace.
As someone noted, if you are not the owner and only a renter, anything you do without the owner's approval could be trouble.
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Joseph Meehan

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jwaterfield wrote:

Bathtub liner?
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Try a mild acid first like Lime Away, my lanlord used to use Muriatic acid, but its dangerous it fumes badly, and then it cant be let to sit it must be rinsed off in 5 minutes, you can paint it but to prep it acid should be used
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Agree, that's worth a shot. They have products specific for rust type stains in the plumbing section of HD and similar. In the case of rust stains, it's amazing. I've seen dark orange/brown stains disappear as you just pour it on. Whether what you have is some kind of mineral deposit or a shot finish, who knows.
You could also get the tub professionally refinished, but it's probably gonna cost $400+. And if you decide to go that route, make sure you get the landlords OK in writing.
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On Jun 10, 9:09 am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I was reading this thread with great interest as my tub needs refinishing, also. My house was built in the late 1920's and the glaze in the bottom of the tub is gone and will stain quite easily due to thousands of baths over the years. I really don't want to go to the expense and mess of a whole new tub as I really do like this older one. Would y'all recommend a liner or the professional ($400+) refinishing?? I'm open to opinions and suggestions on both applications.
I was in Home Depot a week or so ago and saw a display of refinishing but really didn't stop to take a look and read the advertisement. It was a sign your name and address type of thing for a call back on the product. :-(
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graced this newsgroup with:

that's what I was thnking:
http://www.bathcrest.com/Serv_acrylic.html
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In alt.home.repair On Sat, 09 Jun 2007 22:40:32 -0700 jwaterfield

Move. Buy your own home or condo.
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Have you considered moving, or threatening to move? Look around and find an apartment you like and can afford, then give your landlord notice just as soon as you lease, if you have one, expires.
Just might be he will decide it's easier to replace the bathtub than it is to find another good, dependable tenant.
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How about calling someone like Bath Fitters (??) who encase the tub and wall surround. Get an estimate. Perhaps you can the landlord can come to an agreement, maybe you could kick in some since it really bothers you?
Just a thought.
nancy
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There is a product I used called "ZAP". It worked immediately on the stains in my tub, although the toilet which had rust stains took a little elbow gease as well.
I don't remember where I got it, but here is a link I just found to the website: http://www.zap-restorer.com/family.asp?fam_id=ZZTG
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