Painting A Claw Foot Bathtub
Bathtubs come in all shapes and sizes but the claw foot bathtub is the only tub to stand the test of time. For over 100 years the claw footed bathtub has remained a popular choice for those who love to soak. Finding one in good shape has also remained a challenge. Most claw foot bathtubs found in salvage yards require some tender loving care before becoming a show piece in your bathroom.
Painting or refinishing a claw foot tub accomplishes two things, the first is making the bathtub safe for use in the home. Claw foot bathtubs contain lead in the porcelain and cast iron. Painting the bathtub encapsulates the lead making the tub safe. Small children should never be exposed to a claw foot bathtub unless it has been refinished and painted using the proper coatings.
Painting a claw foot bathtub restores the charm and beauty this classic antique is known for. You can get creative with the colors or restore the tub to an original condition in a couple of days using our brush roll-on bathtub refinishing paint kits. The interior of the bathtub is porcelain and requires a bonding agent to make the paint stick. Most hardware store paints do not come with this bonder so make sure you are using a paint kit that does or your hard work will be ruined in a couple of months. We include a professonal bonding agent in every refinishing kit we sell.
The first step in restoring a claw foot tub is to remove the plumbing and feet. Once this is done the bathtub and feet need to be sandblasted to remove old paint and rust. This should be performed by a professional sandblaster and will give you a clean slate to work with. If you are having the feet plated now is a good time to have this done. Most metal fabricating shops can do both.
Once prepared for painting make any repairs needed such as chip repair or patching using one of our repair kits. Starting with the exterior of the claw foot bathtub (with the belly up) Apply a metal primer paint. If painting the feet also prime the feet at this time. Allow the metal primer to completely dry and then paint with a good quality marine paint. Marine paint will protect the metal from moisture. Never use a marine paint or oil based finishes to paint the interior porcelain of a claw foot bathtub as they do not work and will peel.
Re-install the feet and flip the bathtub over exposing the interior of the claw foot bathtub. Wipe the porcelain with acetone to remove oils and foreign matter. The acetone will also remove any moisture in the pores. Mask the edges of the tub with tape and paper to protect the exterior from paint droppings or overspray. Following the directions apply the bonding agent to the porcelain and allow to dry 20 minutes.
Using our self leveling brush roll-on bathtub refinishing paint apply using a quality four inch dense foam roller. Cut-in the edges with a one inch foam brush. Old porcelain is very porous and may require several coats to completely finish the interior. Your new bathtub will be ready for use when completely dry.
Standard claw foot bathtub plumbing is readily available on the Intenet. Shop around as prices can vary quite a bit depending on your needs. Ebay is a great place to start. Take measurements for the plumbing and contact the supplier if you need help.