Old porcelain bathtubs, such as clawfoot style and others, are made from cast iron materials which have porcelain coverage. This look makes your bathtub looks elegant and creates romantic atmosphere. However, within years, your porcelain bathtub may look discolored and worn out, thus you may want to replace it with the new bathtub or refinish it so it could look like new again. The cast iron tub refinishing process is including the usage of dangerous chemical liquids, thus professional service is required.
However, if you want to do it by yourself, it is also fine, but you need to consult with the professional first before refinish it by yourself. First thing to do is clean your bathtub from the accessories such as drain, metal cover and others. You can scrub the surface of the bathtub with abrasive paper, so the remaining porcelain surface will be off from the cast iron. Make sure the bathtub is free from porcelain coverage and dried properly. Use plastic to cover the surrounding of the bathtub, including from the walls and floors.
Before you use the chemical liquids, cover your face with respirator and goggles. Do not forget to use long sleeve cloth and rubber gloves when applying the chemical liquids. To make sure that your bathroom is well air circulated, you should open both door and windows, and turn on the fan to help it circulate properly. Then, prepare all the chemical liquids by its procedure orders.
First thing to do for cast iron tub refinishing process is to brush the entire bathtub with etching liquid such as hydrofluoric acid. This liquid will not be reacting over any plastic materials around the bathtub, however you may want to make sure it is safe enough with using the plastic coverage around the bathtub. For at least fifteen minutes, the etching liquid will be processing the porcelain surface that is still there. You can use baking soda to finish the reaction of etching liquid and then rinse the entire bathtub with clean water. Leave the bathtub until it dry completely.
Next thing to do to cast iron tub refinishing is to fill in the paint sprayer with porcelain paint, the epoxy primer. It is usually comes in dark color, so you can see the result after you spray it immediately. Keep the sprayer gives light coating over the surface and make sure no drips occured. Then, as final step, use the topcoat paint for porcelain for approximately four to six times of coating process. It will take about two days to dried completely before you install the accessories back to where they were located on the bathtub.
With detailed instruction and guidance, you can refinish your own cast iron bathtub so it will look new and elegant. However if you do not have confidence to do this by yourself, it is much better to make sure that you hire professional technicians. It will cost you more money, but the result will be acceptable and you can be hassle free with all the preparations. Nevertheless, cast iron tub refinishing process is quite challenging to do, but the result is worth every penny.