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Claw foot tub restoration

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
We just picked up a claw foot tub from craigslist to put in our new home. It's not in too bad of shape, really.

The enamel on the inside is pretty much all intact except a few dings (which I love for character!) The outside has been painted and that's peeling. There is a bit of rust around where the fixtures go, and I really dislike the faucet handles.

The claw feet are in terrible shape, they are quite rusted.

So I'm looking for some tips to refurbish this beauty! What will work best for removing the paint on the outside? How do I deal with the bit of rust around the faucets? And what about the feet....is there some kind of enzyme or something I could soak them in? I may have to look into getting new feet......

post #2 of 5
First, test the enamel for lead.

if you get good news, there are little appliance paint jars (like nail polish!) for touch up.

If you get bad news, take the whole thing to a pro for the full recoat, chrome plated handles, etc. It will be costly but you can have a stylish RED or BLUE or YELLOW antique tub when you are done.
post #3 of 5
We redid our clawfoot tub in our old house. Ours was in similar condition, but had been more recently painted & wasn't peeling. We hauled it outside, put it upside down on cardboard & painted the outside with a really nice, heavy duty paint. I think I just went to Home Depot & told them what I was planning to do & they recommended it. I *believe* it was regular latex, w/the hardest finish (satin? gloss? Can't remember). It was a lovely china blue color. Anyway, we used some sort of rust remover & a wire brush (maybe WD40? My husband is the rust remover). Then we spraypainted them silver. It was super cool!
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
OH! Didn't think about lead!! :/
post #5 of 5
We redid our clawfoot as well. Someone had previously painted some hideous fish on it (on the wall as well).

We turned it over in the hallway (no way I was going to try to get that thing down the stairs). The feet on ours slip right off - I took them outside & spray painted them with several layers (make sure to clean them first so the paint will adhere properly). For the tub I gave it a light sand (which in retrospect was probably not so healthy) to try to get it smoother. I used a high gloss paint that was meant for wet areas. Two coats & it was gleaming.

The faucets are really easy to replace - but sometimes it's challenging to find a set that fits the tub. Once you find a set the old ones basically unscrew. I'd give the area around the faucet a really good scrub while it's off & you may be amazed at how good it comes up.

I'm now feeling a little worried about the lead thing. Shucks - I tested all the paint in our house but never even thought about the tub.
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