How to Paint a Clawfoot Tub
Have an original clawfoot bathtub in your old house bathroom? Brighten up your bath and create a sunny vintage bath look by painting your clawfoot tub a tranquil pastel color.
The wear and tear of a 100 year old clawfoot bathtub can be unmistakable; the heat of the water is in itself very trying to any paint or enamel, especially when, as often happens, the water is allowed to enter the bath in a near boiling state. Obviously, the hotter the water the greater is the wear and tear on the surface, whether the bathtub is of the highest quality or is of a cheaper make. But apart from the heat of the water, the soap and grease which abounds in the bathroom is in itself a means of destruction to the paint.
The best plan in refinishing an old tub would be to have it taken out and sent to a tub refinishing company, who sandblast the bathtub and paint it in a special manner and with a special paint. The trouble and expense, however, of removing a cast iron tub is considerable, therefore, many prefer to paint their period fixture. An easier way to give your vintage bath a new look is to paint only the outside of the tub.
The first step in refinishing a clawfoot tub is to thoroughly clean the surface of the tub, and this, as in all operations of repainting, is very important. At the risk of being tedious, the necessity of getting every portion of the surface absolutely clean before the paint is applied must be emphasized, and in this case it must be absolutely dry. Sometimes the faucets of the bathtub leak a little; if so, this must be repaired before the repainting is commenced, otherwise the job will need to be redone.
The best way of cleaning a clawfoot bathtub is to first thoroughly scrub with soap and water, using hot water and plenty of elbow grease; any ordinary strong soap answers the purpose. Next, rinse freely with cold water with a sponge or cloth. When dry, you are ready for the first coat of paint.
An ordinary paint brush will be used in refinishing a clawfoot tub and care must be taken not to miss any areas, and not to apply the primer too thick. A very thin even coat is necessary. Adhere to the drying time recommendations of the paint manufacturer before applying the top coat of paint, and again before applying the third coat. If the paint shows any signs of roughness it may be lightly rubbed over with very fine sandpaper between coats. As a rule three coats will be ample and two will usually suffice. If the paint is properly mixed and properly applied there will be no difficulty in determining when the surface has received a sufficient number of coats; that point will be reached when the clawfoot bathtub is quite uniform in appearance.