Boy do I wish I had more to say about this project than you are going to be doing a lot of sanding and scraping…..but I’m afraid that is exactly what I am going to say….
Step 1. Craigslist! Only the best projects and horror stories start with Craigslist! I bought this beauty for $250.
Note: One of my blogging pet peeves is when people find AMAZING deals on Craigslist and their blog looks like this: (Step 1: find something on Craigslist that is so beautiful and such a great deal no one could every replicate the scenario. Step 2: Have your “hubby” do something so complicated and detailed to the Craigslist item that no one could recreate the scenario. Step 3: Add a fresh coat of paint yourself and viola!) However! I am confident you will be able to find a fairly affordable claw-foot tub on Craigslist. The hard part is getting the 300-400 pound bugger safely back to your home! My hubby helped me! Bwaha.
Step 2. YOU GUESSED IT! Scrape! Sand! Smooth! By no means was mine smooth by the end of my treatment, but I scraped and sanded until nothing more would come off. Some people get tubs that are so run down that they completely strip the tub of its porcelain and get almost get down to its original cast iron. I generally like being that intense but this tub didn’t call for it. Here is a good video in case it does! Here is another good one where they use good old fashioned elbow grease!
Step 3! Painting the lions feet! I remember the first time I saw a claw foot tub as a kid. I was absolutely tickled that it actually had claw feet (I’d figured it was just a thing adults said that couldn’t be trusted, like “horsepower” and I had learned not to get excited about things like that). Either way, just like the rest of the tub it takes time and lots of sanding. I couldn’t use a hand sander because of all of the grooves so I used this wire brush instead. If you are cooler than me you will get one that attaches to your drill. After that I used hammered copper rust-oleum spray paint after I was done sanding. Even though I hadn’t painted the tub yet I still took a lot of precaution to not get spray paint on the tub.
Step 4! Painting! Painting a claw foot tub with Rust-oleum Tub and Tile. (I swear I don’t work for rust-oleum) Holy hell be careful with this stuff! If I could turn back time I’d wait until it wasn’t winter so I could do this outside. I read the instructions, I had a fan on, the windows open (It was 0 degrees outside) and I was working on it late at night with my boyfriend tucked away in bed all the way upstairs. I ignored the part where it said wear goggles (I soon got goggles) and I wore a run of the mill mask (get a good one). Long story short, the smell woke my boyfriend up within 15 minutes of me painting with the stuff and us and the dogs slept at a friends house that evening. It probably took 15 minutes to paint once everything was all taped off but that smell from this epoxy takes about 12 hours to totally dissipate (unless you’re smart and go outside). I looked and looked on the box and there aren’t actually any temperature regulations for the paint. This was odd and I meant to call the company! Anyway, coat it on with a little roller brush and when it’s done be ready to get outta there! My boyfriend made me purchase this guy before we flipped the tub over to do the inside and it works GREAT! Just be prepared to sleep with it on 🙂
Step 5! On the inside of the tub, I personally used multiple coats of Lime-Away, all the elbow grease I could muster, and sanded it down with regular high grit sandpaper until nothing was shiny on the inside porcelain so the paint would stick. On the outside of the tub there are no rules! Sand the hell out of if with whatever you want! Be cooler than me and get a sander that attaches to your drill here! And paint it with whatever you want! Most people just use regular primer and paint on the outside of the tub. I did not take this route because I wanted the whole thing to look like shiny porcelain.