A couple years after buying my home I realized the previous owner had
painted over the original color of my cast iron bathtub. After using a
shower mat for too long, the paint peeled off the tub floor reveling
the original color... PINK! No matter what I use for paint, I
wouldn't expect it to last forever. That said, what kind of paint
should I use? Is there a special purpose paint for this kind of thing?
Also, is there anything special I should use to chemically remove
what's left of the old paint? I'm not sure what chemicals might damage
the original cast iron tub finish.
Epoxy paint, available in white but can be tinted. Before applying sand
with wet sand paper to remove sheen and smooth over any defects. Clean with
acetone or denatured alcohol to remove any trace of soap or oils. Look for
an epoxy filler for dings and deep chipouts.
If you really want a thorough job, sand blasting is the only method that
will clean it all off (at least the paint, maybe not the porcelain). You
can also hire a contractor to spray a better quality epoxy paint on for the
best look without replacing.
There is a market for used clawfoot cast iron tubs, especially classic
designs. Call a scrap yard before you throw it out. They at least might
come and remove it for free if not pay you a small amount.
Had ours done professionally a few years back and its still in perfect
When you sell these tubs to resellers they refinish them, so you can too.
Google Tub refinishers, there are franchises everywhere. They will come and
give you a quote for what is needed and the company I used did have a good
They use heavy equipment type paint that is used on big equipment like bull
dozers etc. This paint can withstand hitting with a hammer, It is a two part
process and you MUST protect yourself, definitely not a DIY project unless
your accustomed to these commercial paints, chemicals.
BTW, they don't remove the tub either, they will have it done usually in
five hours and in 48 hours you can use the tub.
consider than refinishing a dresser.
To spray a 2 part epoxy paint you need an expensive HVLP air gun with the
capability to mix the hardner at the tip (not the tank) in the correct ratio
(you will waste paint experimenting to set this right). If you mix the
paint first then put it through a sprayer, that will be the last time you
ever use that sprayer because the paint will harden in the works permenantly
(as in epoxy). You will also have more difficulty locating the best epoxy
paint because it may not be stocked in hardware stores but available through
the trade (specialty supply stores or direct from manuf). Fortunately the
internet should be a useful tool for locating such a paint.
I bought an epoxy paint at a local hardware store (OSH) to cover a composite
sink surface and it is pretty hard but it is not very stan resistant. Just
about anything will stain it (I can still use bleach to clean though). It
is chip resistant but the gloss can be scratched easily by abrasive
cleaners. It is also susceptable to brush marks because it goes on very
thick, brushing or rolling a tub would probably give unsatisfactory results.
Sorry I forget the brand but it came in a tan box in quart size with a small
container of hardner (not a 50/50 mix at all) My point, the pro grade stuff
probably works a lot better.
Any non epoxy paint can be damaged by solvents and will wear faster. Some
spray paints for metal may give satisfactoruy results for a couple of years
if you are looking for a temporary patch.
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