Monday, February 21, 2011

Mini Project - Cast Iron Tub

A miracle has just happened! I was able to escape the suffocating confines of the dungeon long enough to finish up a mini project that has been ongoing since we moved into this house a year ago. I know... why did it take so long to finish up a mini project? Well, I don't have an answer! It just tucked so neatly away in the garage... Also it made such a great makeshift table to pile things on that I couldn't bear to finish it. That, and the fact that you have to throw your back out in order to move the blasted thing! So, if you haven't guessed by now, I'm talking about the cast iron tub!! I believe it made a cameo on some earlier pictures of the house...

Ahh... It is a beautiful room no??

Fugly Fact #1: 
The PVC plumbing and plastic fixtures on the supply lines were spray painted silver... nice
...although I didn't have such hard feelings when pricing some nice tub hardware

Fugly Fact #2:
I've still got the sconces.. anyone want them?

I've still got to pick out some hardware for the tub (monetary donations?) and figure out where the final resting place will be. We can't decide between the downstairs guest bathroom or the upstairs master bath. Don't worry... you haven't missed any renovations of the upstairs... I've been too preoccupied with the dungeon and will be for the next month or so (new pics coming soon!). When the time comes, and if the decision to move the tub upstairs is made... pray for us... or for super human strength to whomever the tub lands on as it violently crashes down the stairs. 

Enough text... here is the eye candy!

I found these cast iron feet on ebay for a steal! I thought they had a cool old greenish patina, but it was just paint.. lots of it. A recurring theme in this house, might I add, is to paint everything with at least 50 or more coats of paint. 
I could live with a few coats.. but seriously it is ridiculous.

Fugly Fact #3:
There were only two feet on the tub when we moved in. They were painted gold and there were only two of them. Apparently bricks were the best choice for replacing the missing legs.
I'm not surprised by the things that I find in this house anymore.

 Here is the tub when we got it out of the bathroom and onto the operating table. 
See the blue paint.. yeah I think the entire bathroom was once painted that color.
 Here are the feet after stripping, cleaning, grinding, and base coating them.
I like the claws.
 It took a little work to get the replacement feet to fit the old tub. They didn't exactly have strict standards back in the day. Unless you have the exact feet that originally came with the tub, you probably won't get a good fit.

White, blue, yellow, flesh, marble... just a few of the many colors that this tub has seen.

 My supervisor.
 Down to the cast! Getting all the paint off this thing took forever FYI.
Seriously... the chemicals required to coat the tub interior are no joke.

Quick Summary of the process:

1) Wash the tub out and scrub away all the funk.

2) Wash the tub out again with a lightly acidic soap that melts old silicone and scum. Your    tub will never be cleaner!!! After this step I considered leaving the inside alone.

 3) Scrub the tub with some really caustic brown goo... This stuff basically eats away at the old porcelain coating.

4) Wash the tub out with water and get all the "chalky" porcelain residue out with tack cloth.

5) Spray a bonding agent/ base coat onto the tub.

6) Spray the topcoat on and Presto! Pretty new tub!!

Pretty new tub!! (Minus the hardware) 
I was surprised by the finished quality of the enamel used to re-coat the tub. I've heard horror stories about its ability to hold up to everyday wear and tear, but this stuff looks rock solid! Obviously, I'm not going to use an abrasive pad on it.. but I've tested some inconspicuous spots and it is holding up!
 The legs are all shiny and new.

We went with a flat metal paint for the outside color, and the legs are high gloss. The shiny white, shiny legs, and flat body make a really good contrast. Hopefully, this tub will make a later appearance in a nicely remodeled bathroom! So the tub saga is To Be Continued.....

1 comment:

  1. this tub is awesome! Thanks for being such an amazing handy man Rick!! I had fun working on this with you :)