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“Make do, or do without.”
That was one of my mom’s favorite sayings. She taught her kids early on, that if you can’t afford something, you make do, do without the luxuries, until you can save up and afford it. I knew that principle was going to apply here.
When we first bought our home, four years ago, I knew that at some point the main bath would need a complete gutting and remodel. My dream is for a nice big soaking tub and a huge walk in shower. Unfortunately, that is way out of my budget right now. However, there are still a lot of things that can be done to spruce up a tired old bath.
Our house was built in 1962. It is a typical ranch style of the period. Three bedrooms, one full bath, one half bath in the master, kitchen/dining room combined, living room, and full basement with laundry in the basement. The full bath still has most, (although not all) of its original tile. You guessed it; Eisenhower pink! That gorgeous, old, thick tile that just isn’t made any longer.
Unfortunately, at some point in the history of the house, the tile around the bathtub must have been damaged because it had been replaced with a hideous fiberglass surround and the original pink tub had been refinished in white.
Fast forward to the present. After many years of use that old tub was so stained, it remained battleship gray no matter how many times I cleaned it. The finish was also chipped and peeling in spots. That’s how I realized that it had originally been pink and had already been refinished once. I could see the original finish under the gray(white).
Yeah. Really, not pretty. That huge splotch there is where the re-finish has come off and you can see the original pink of the tub.
I was already considering my options when the next shoe dropped.
We had been having some dripping from one of the bathtub faucets for a little while. It had been somewhat under control until suddenly it decided to become a continuous leak. Apparently there was a faulty valve that needed to be replaced. That was going to require the plumber to tear into the wall.
A new bathtub and replacement pipes are completely out of budget right now. Fortunately, we have a friend of a friend who happens to be a very good plumber who volunteered his services. We just had to pay for parts. He tore that part of the ugly fiberglass surround down, got into the wall, fixed the pipes, replaced the faucet, and put everything back up. (Thank you Davian & Bobby)
Now it was my turn.
With nice, shiny new faucets, I wanted to spruce up the bathtub as well. I had been doing a lot of research and finally settled on Rust-Oleum’s Tub and Tile Refinishing Kit.
This is such an AWESOME product. I cannot sing its praises enough. This epoxy paint can turn even the ugliest duckling into a beautiful swan.
As with most projects, the key here is the prep work. You must be very careful to follow the directions on the prep work to be certain that the epoxy will adhere properly.
To prep the tub, I removed the shower curtain, cleared out all soaps, shampoos, etc., and removed the overflow cover. I attempted to remove the drain cover, but corrosion has pretty much rusted it in place, so I elected to paint over the top of it.
There are several steps in cleaning:
First I cleaned the bathtub with a mixture of water and bleach. Once the tub was clean, I rinsed it thoroughly and allowed it to dry for approximately an hour.
Now I began sanding the various chips in the paint. The goal was to get rid of any lose paint and smooth down the edges as much as possible. I filled the deep gouges with Water Weld.
Water Weld is great for fixing deeper gouges, BUT, make certain that you knead the lighter and darker parts together VERY WELL. Otherwise it will not activate to harden. It can be sanded as well so it is excellent for this type of application.
Once you have sanded the entire surface of the tub, use tack cloths to pick up any dust.
This is after apply the first cleaning and applying the Water Weld. I’m waiting for it to cure before I start sanding.
Clean the bathtub thoroughly again, this time with Comet and the drains with Lime Away. Rinse thoroughly. Allow to dry completely.
Make certain that you have a respirator before you ever open up this paint. I use one like the 3M Cartridge Respirator:
Believe me, you will not want to be anywhere near these fumes without a mask on. They will knock you out. Make certain you have fans going and windows open. Not kidding here. Do not skimp on the respirator! You will definitely need it. For this job it is an absolute necessity.
Open up your Rust-Oleum Tub and Tile Refinishing Kit and mix it up according to the directions.
Now you are ready to paint!
I recommend using a high-quality brush to cut in the edges of the bathtub and a roller for the flat surfaces for the tub. For the more difficult curved surfaces of the bathtub, use a brush for ease of application.
Work slowly and methodically. Do not overload your brush. The first coat of this will go on very runny so you will want to be very careful. Neatness counts.
Once you have completed the first coat, and you back is killing you and your knees are threatening to divorce you, take a break. Give it an hour, maybe two. Let the first coat dry. Then go back and apply the second coat.
Now the hard part…….you wait…..for at least three days.
Isn’t that GORGEOUS!!!!!
Beautiful, shiny new bathtub! I am very pleased with the result. Of course only time will tell, but I have seen many, many good reviews on this product. I will update in six months to let you know how it has stood up to wear and tear. I’m very pleased with how lovely this turned out. Ultimately though it is just a temporary. I hope that within the next year we will be able to do a complete gut of the entire bath and remodel it.
I’ll keep you updated.
See you on the porch.
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