Painting the OUTSIDE of a cast iron tub.

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Carolyn252, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 New Member

    Nov 11, 2005
    We've got an old clawfoot cast iron bathtub. We've stripped the old paint from the outside of the tub. What is the best paint to use now? Should we use latex or oil? Should we prime it or not? (The inside of the tub is in perfect condition and does not need any work.)
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    GOOGLE painting cast iron claw foot tub

    From the site:
    Tub refinishing can cost an additional $500-$1000. Refinishing is a painting process that will repair defects in the porcelain. The interior of the tub is body-filled, sanded, acid-etched, primed, and painted. The exterior is sandblasted down to the original cast iron, and then primed and painted. The tub will look smooth and brand new again, but will not last nearly as long as a new cast iron clawfoot tub. In fact, a refinished clawfoot tub has to be treated much more gently than a new tub, so if you plan on using it on a regular basis, it would be much more economical to purchase a new clawfoot bathtub.

    If I were going to paint the outside of the tub, I would consider epoxy paint. The material is a small cost. If the inside needs refinishing I would buy a tub that doesn't need refinishing.

    If you can't sand blast to white metal it will soon show rust through the paint. You may be able to do a decent job if you use a primer that is designed to prevent the underlying rust from bleeding through.
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  4. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber

    Aug 7, 2005

    I agree with Bob NH.

    Use epoxy.

    Leave the inside alone..............
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    I agree with the epoxy paint and primer. I'd suggest the spray cans of epoxy, you stand a better chance of a smooth finish, but don't let it break your heart if you are less than satisified with how it looks when you finish. Post back when it's finished, some of use would like to hear how it turns out.
  6. lnapier

    lnapier New Member

    Nov 29, 2005
    Rustoleum works - 10 years and counting.


    I painted an old stripped clawfoot cast iron tub about ten years ago, and it looks great now. No rust has spotted through the paint. I probably should have had the interior refinished, but meant to replace it at some point anyway, but haven't really needed to do it so far.

    I started with a coat of "red rustoleum", technically known as Rusty Metal Primer

    Then I used two coats of rustoleums "Protective Enamel"

    I think I probably mixed two colors to get the light blue grey tone I wanted. I was very careful to let everything dry really well, carefully painted to the lip of the inside enamel, and followed all the instructions.

    My Dad was the one who pointed me to the Rusty Metal Primer, and said that it used fish oil or something like that so it would smell awful when you applied it, and you shouldn't be cheap with it, but very liberal, and it would take forever to dry, so I needed to be patient. It wasn't *that* bad, and it has worked like a champ for the past 10 years. Also, I did all the application with a brush, so I could make sure I had a good coat everywhere. It's not a glossy smooth surface, but that wasn't what I was expecting, and it looks like what it is - a vintage tub.

    Good luck!

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