My parents have used their old cast-iron claw foot bathtub as a backyard
planter for the last 30 years. I would like to fix it up and use it again.
Does anyone have a rough idea how much this might cost?
For indoor use the paint is just fine. We had ours done in Sept. and the 85+
year old tub looks brand new. IIRC, it cost us about $500 which seems to be
the going rate around here. (CT)
To actually re-porcelain a tub I think you need to remove it and it's
Yours (the OP) is for outdoor use? I'm not sure I'd want to spend several
hundred dollars to have a tub reglazed (painted) for outdoor use. I don't
know how it would hold up.
To re-porcelain enamel the tub is not practical. The coating on the tub, the
toilet and even your dishes is a glass type of glaze that is applied to the
surface, then the item is placed in a kiln at a few thousand degrees of heat
until it is cherry red. The glaze melts to the surface and permanently bonds
to either the cast iron, steel or china.
Right. That would be enormously expensive, I'd imagine. Around here, they
call it "reglazing" but it's actually the painting process that they use.
That's what we had done and it came out beautiful.
Probably more than buying a different tub in good condition. This Old House,
a few years ago, did show a place in Boston or San Francisco (some rich
yuppie city) that actually did do re-enameling just like the factory from a
century ago did. It was insanely expensive though, comparable to a new
Have you tried carefully cleaning the tub with commercial-grade stuff like a
restoration company uses? You may be pleasantly suprised. Even if the glaze
is marginal, keeping a coat of auto wax on it may may it good enough to use,
once all the stains are bleached white. I once bought my sister (as a gag),
an old 6-foot commercial clawfoot a farmer had been using a stock tank. It
cleaned up fine on inside. Once I sandblasted rust scale from outside and
she repainted that part, it actually looked pretty damn good. Only hard part
was two of the feet were too rusty to use, but she found matching ones at an
architectual salvage yard. (too bad she abandoned the tub when she traded
the husband in.)
I tried to get one redone with porcelain a number of years ago and the
price was prohibitive, I was able to buy a used on in better condition
for far less. But I have friends who just had a tub and surround
sprayed in a rental unit, cost them $400 and they should get another
ten years out of it. Not a bad deal if that's possible.
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