I have a small chip on the outside of my bathtub that the wife unit
wanted fixed. OK, so I grabbed some white epoxy porcelain fix
stuff. Before using, I figured I'd make sure the area was good and
clean, and gave it a quick scrub with some denatured alcohol. Oh, oh
-- noticed I was actually removing the coating on the tub -- smearing
the coating, and exposing something that looked like fiberglas (I'd
always assumed that the tub was just a cheap-ass steel tub). This
tub has never been "refinished". I can't imagine anyone using a
lacquer or shellac on a tub (the only two coatings that I can remember
that alcohol will strip that easily)...so what the heck is this
stuff? Any ideas?
Even the very cheapest steel tubs I've seen have ceramic (glass) coatings.
If the OP can dissolve his tub's coating with alcohol, I suspect the tub's
just painted fiberglass, or maybe one of those plastic covers they apply
when you're too cheap to replace a worn-out tub.
Same here (steel tub = ceramic / porcelain coating in every case I've
seen 'til now). Not this time, 'tho. And it isn't a cover -- the
tub's been there since we had the place built (18 years ago). Other
than the chip (which is on the outside corner of the tub, not on the
bottom), it's been a good li'l tub.
Mebbe the builder had an oopsie with the tub, and happened to have a
real artistic painter on staff that fixed that spot with ordinary
enamel. and it held up until recently?
Only other thought I have is that it was a REALLY cheap steel tub (like
we installed in low-end houses and apartments back in the day), that
were basically just stamped out and painted like car fenders.
ding-ding-ding -- we have a winner! I tested a couple of other areas
of the bathtub, and the alcohol didn't touch it. Went back to the
questionable area, and started hitting it hard with the alcohol (it
was already fscked up from my original "cleaning", so nothing to
lose), and stripped it back to a roughly 1/2" x 2" "ding" on the tub
that had been filled with fiberglass and then painted. Damned nice
job for a hack -- I hadn't noticed anything in 18 years of use.
Suppose it must've been an automotive lacquer...don't know anything
else alcohol would've stripped off so quickly.
Thanks for everyone's insights -- once I knew this wasn't something
well known, it gave me the courage to experiment a bit more :-)
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