How to Re-Finish Your Antique Claw Tub DECOLAV Style

There’s nothing better than to soak in a hot tub surrounded by candles with your favorite aromatherapy candles and some soft music playing in the background. Ahhhh, take me away. It seems that today even the antique claw tubs continue to get attention from even the most discerning of tastes. There’s something alluring about this nostalgic bathroom fixture known for the big giant claw feet we’ve all seen from time to time. In this blog, we give you some tips on how to re-finish this heirloom tub to make your bathroom sparkle with envy.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to find one of these bathtubs, you may be scratching your head trying to determine how to refurbish it back to showroom new. Buying one from places like EBay or your local antique shop may be an option. However, if you’re purchasing one of these items used, you can almost be sure that refinishing it will come next. These tubs are sturdy made of cast iron and then lacquered for a clean finish. Brand new they can range in price from $1200 and up. If you’re trying to save a little money and want to give a tub like this a makeover, then keep reading.

  1. Strip it with Paint Stripper
  2. Scrape it with 3-inch putty knife
  3. Apply Bonding agent (hydrofluoric acid)
  4. Clean claw feet with acid, files, dental picks and sandpaper
  5. Clean the surface with hot water
  6. Repair any chipped enamel
  7. Use an auto body filler for the chips after cleaning
  8. Sand with 220-grit paper after the filler hardens.
  9. Use paint sprayer and apply three coats of epoxy primer to both exterior and interior and let completely dry.
  10. Apply an epoxy topcoat to both interior and exterior.
  11. Add your faucets after positioning and securing plumbing.

Finishing the tub is relatively straightforward. It’s prepping before adding your epoxy that will take the most time. Follow each step and don’t forget to check with your local hardware store for the proper epoxy and paint sprayer. When using the sandpaper start with 220 and then go into 320 grit paper for a super smooth finish. Your paint sprayer should be low-pressure.

Make sure you allow a complete dry anytime you apply epoxy or acid substances.

By following these 11 steps, your claw tub will look like it came out of the manufacturers. These are beautiful tubs that deserve preservation. This timeless style will make a stunning addition to your bathroom and give you years of use to come.

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