Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Tub Envy


$2200 clawfoot tub from Signature Hardware.  Obviously not the
one that will actually be used in the bathroom because $2200. 
So the biggest part of our newest project is the bathroom.  Once two small bathrooms, each with its own shower, our goal was to create one luxurious master bath.  Visualizing the open space proved a bit difficult as we went through a series of floor plans, trying to take the greatest advantage of the existing plumbing.  Our original plan included a double vanity, oversized shower, and soaking tub.  Once the walls were out, it became clear that we couldn't fit both a tub and a shower.  The handy Innkeeper mourned his clawfoot tub, and then we realized we couldn't fit a tub and shower, but we could tuck a tub into the shower.  

With the room wide open, we decided to turn half of the room into a wet room with a shower head on one side and a tub on the other.  If you've been following along at all, you know we are working on a tight budget and luxury items like $2000 tubs are simply not feasible.  But did that stop us?  Not the handy one, at least.

Step one of refinishing a cast iron tub: gently invert the 250 pound metal tub and remove any hardware.

"Good quality" second hand cast iron clawfoot tub. Uh, this should be fun.
Step two of refinishing a cast iron tub: easily unscrew the feet and set aside

Decapitated feet.  Not shown: the twenty mintues, three dead drill bits, hammer, two screwdrivers, one wrench, and can of WD-40 required to remove said feet.
 Step three of refinishing a cast iron tub: sand away 50-60 years worth of paint.  I probably should have used paint stripper as well - the sander smoothed it out a lot, but you can still see where the layers of paint are, especially at the back where it had heavily chipped.

Sanding the tub.  Lead poisoning?  Don't know what you mean.


Manufacture stamp on the bottom of the tub.  The previous owner told us it was manufactured in the 1940's, but the supposedly the date is usually stamped here and the only numbers are 5,6,7,8, and 10.

Step four of refinishing a cast iron tub: Coat thoroughly in an rusted metal primer, including the feet.  No particular reason why.
I'm not sure if this helps prevent the rust, or just makes it look evenly rusty.

Step five of refinishing a cast iron tub: Spray paint with enamel in your chosen color.

I started out with an aluminum colored spray paint, which made the tub look like it was made out of...aluminum.  One emergency trip to Lowe's later, and the color is darkened to a smoky grey although I did use the lighter silver to add some highlights.

Step six of refinishing a cast iron tub: Paint the feet and reattach - maybe get some non rusted out screws to do it.
Don't tell anyone, but the feet are actually just balancing on the tub in this shot, pending a second emergency trip to Lowe's for some new screws.

Step seven of refinishing a cast iron tub: Gently flip the 250 pound tub back over to reveal the perfectly beautiful insi-gah!  Okay, maybe not perfectly beautiful.

The tub was not actually in terrible condition, but between the rust stains and the enamel starting to wear at the bottom of the tub, we went ahead and re-enameled using the same kit the rest of the bathrooms used.

Step eight of refinishing a cast iron tub: Leave it outside forever because there is no way you are dragging that thing down stairs.  Just kidding.  Kind of.

Purposefully dark shot so the final reveal in the bathroom will be more dramatic.  Or it was 8:30pm and getting dark and we were trying to get it covered before every gnat in the county got stuck to it.  Either one.
. There's more renovation fun to be had.  Keep up with all the latest at Facebook and on our website.