Refinish a Rusty Cast Iron Bathtub
LESLIE: Ann’s out in Big Sky country in Montana listening on KBLL. What can we do for you today?
ANN: Hi. I have this tub, turn-of-the-century – that’s from 1899 to 1900 – old tub that has a pedestal under it rather than claw feet. And the outside of the tub – it’s been outside in my backyard for three years and the outside of the tub has rust spots on it. And the pedestal – the inside of the pedestal is totally rusty and the outside has rust as well and old paint and stuff. And I’m putting it on a brand new, white tiled floor and I don’t want the rust to get onto the floor. And I want to know how to get it painted and get it cleaned up and painted so that it looks decent in my new bathroom.
TOM: So basically, you want to stop the rust from coming through the feet – or the bottom of the pedestal – onto the floor.
LESLIE: Well, and also it sounds like this – the whole item needs to be recast. You know, when you’re dealing with a cast iron tub, all of the finishes are baked on. So it’s probably, you know, best to have it professionally done and have it completely reenameled.
ANN: That would be great but it weighs 1,000 pounds.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah.
TOM: Yeah, we know. We know. But the – you know, the enameling kits that you can do yourself are just not nearly as effective. Think of them as a glorified paint job for your tub. And with something that’s as gorgeous as that, that might be something that you want to have done professionally.
Now if you’re simply just trying to reinstall it without worrying about transferring this rust, you might want to think about a material that you could put between the pedestal and the floor to sort of stop any rust from coming through that area.
LESLIE: Like a membrane or …
TOM: Yeah, think of like a rubber – like a piece of rubber roofing material that was cut flush with the bottom of the pedestal so it didn’t really show. But it would prevent any contact so that any rust couldn’t come through.
Alright, Ann, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.