Finishing Products for Clawfoot Tubs

Whether your home has an old clawfoot tub in the bathroom or you purchased one to install, refinishing a clawfoot bathtub is a lengthy process, even with the right items. The number of steps required to restore your bathtub will partially depend on the tub's condition, but bathtub refinishing projects typically take at least a few days. The right finishing products will help.

Stripper Solvent
Before you begin adding a coat of paint anywhere on your bathtub, you'll need to strip the outside with a stripper solvent. Dip the tub feet into the stripper first and let them soak for a few minutes or longer, depending on the manufacturer's instructions. claw-foot cast iron bathtub Strip away any paint with a small, skinny scraper. Wipe away any small flakes with a bristled brush. Once the feet are done, apply the stripper to the sides of the tub and remove any paint.

Sandpaper
The inside of a clawfoot tub isn't typically stripped during refinishing, but it is sanded a couple of times to even the surface and help paint adhere. Typically the surface is sanded at least once with a large-grit sandpaper. Most often sanding occurs after cleaning but before the interior surface is acid-etched. Sanding may also take place before coat of paint or between coats to help the coats adhere.

Acid-Based Cleaner and Paste
After the initial cleaning, an acid-based cleaner or paste is often applied to the inside of the tub to help remove impurities and roughen the surface, so paint will adhere better. In some cases, acid-based cleaners are used in place of traditional sanding.

Body Filler
If dents or chips are on the outside of the clawfoot bathtub, you can use a resin body filler. Body filler is typically used by mechanics to fill in dings and scratches in automobile bodies, but the resin works well to fill in problems in the outside of cast-iron bathtubs as well.

Epoxy Primer
Once the surface inside the bathtub is prepared for paint, an epoxy primer is usually applied. Unlike regular primers, epoxy primers are thicker and will fill in any cracks or chips in the porcelain as applied. Check the packaging before you purchase an epoxy primer to ensure you've picked up an epoxy you can use on a bathtub.

Paint and Polyurethane
After the primer has dried, paint is applied to both the inside and the outside of the bathtub. Depending on the look you want to achieve, you can use a combination paint-and-polyurethane mixture or two separate products to complete the refinishing or reglazing process inside and outside the bathtub.