cast iiron tub - refinishing exterior - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by kavita, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. kavita

    kavita New Member

    Dec 12, 2004
    g'morning all -

    i'm refinishing the exterior of a cast iron clawfoot tub.

    it appears to have a coat of latex paint on it now, over the primer. the paint is in fairly good condition but i'd like to change the color.

    there are a very few, small areas where rust pock marks have appeared through the paint.

    i've refinished tubs before (sanding, priming with rust oleum primer, top coat of rust oleum paint) but someone recently told me it's okay to use latex wallpaint as a top coat.

    has anyone had experience with using non-oil-based paint as a topcoat on a cast iron bathtub?

    i love the ease and clean-up of latex, but i can't imagine using a waterbased paint over cast iron - even with the presence of an oil-based primer.

    your experiences?

    many thanks, kavita
  2. handsrusinkc

    handsrusinkc New Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    how about rebath

    I saw this thing on HGTV where this company ( I am pretty sure that they are called Re-Bath or Rebath) sells you a custom made bathtub cover...its a piece of plastic molded to fit your tub exactly. They have a warehouse with thousands of tubs, when you order one, they mold it in whatever color you want. You then simply put it over/into your tub and it covers the whole tub and front of it. It looked good on the show. Probably pretty expensive, but not as expensive as replacing the tub.
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  4. Clayton

    Clayton Plumber

    Sep 26, 2004

    If the paint on the tub is in good condition now then a high quality gloss latex should work fine. The important part is making sure to repair the rust spots and preping the surface properly for the latex paint.

    I would rather recommend using a gloss acrylic enamel instead of latex. You get the ease of water clean up with a harder more durable finish,but I think it would be best if sprayed on.

    No matter which you choose, you should go to a store with a knowledgeable paint department to get instruction on the best way to treat your rust spots for the paticular paint you want to use.

    good luck.
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    First, it seems you do understand the MOST important instruction for painting:
    preparation is EVERYTHING. Sand the spots where rust is showing. Use the best rust inhibiting primer you can find...probably oil based. Actually, I also like to first use a Rustoleum product called 'rust reformer'. It "locks in" the rust so it can't come thru.

    You can definitely put latex paint over an oil primer. Keep in mind that "latex" is a generic term. You definitley want to get the best 100% acrylic product that you can find.

    Today, EPA regulations have so restricted the composition of oil based products which may be sold to consumers that a top of the line water based paint is probably a much better product than any oil base which you can buy.
  6. kavita

    kavita New Member

    Dec 12, 2004
    thanks for the considerations, folks -

    interesting, the ReBath idea. since this old tub is in excellent condition in and out, i won't be needing a mask of that sort - but it's an interesting concept, to be sure.

    i picked up the tub tonight and have seen the full underside. it looks great, almost no rust apparent at all.

    a previous user of this tub painted the exterior, and i'm not yet certain whether the paint is latex or oil-based.

    i find the color unpleasant so i'll proceed to sand and scrape as needed, follow with the rust-oleum primer product jimbo mentioned (reformer).

    as i recall, painting over oil with latex is do-able, but painting with oil over latex is trouble. time to brush up on my painting etiquette before putting a drop of paint on this tub!

    thanks again for your input,

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