My name is Lisa and I'm a crafty girl with wanderlust working as an engineer by day. My blog chronicles projects in my home as well as pictures and stories from my travels.




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Refinishing My Bathtub

My last big task to finish in my bathroom was refinishing the outside of my old cast iron bathtub. The porcelain inside was in great condition but the outside was another matter. From afar it didn't look terrible but the paint was peeling a bit and the pale yellow color didn't match the bathroom's color scheme.

I looked up a bunch of things online about refinishing the outside of a bathtub and set to work. I covered the floor around the tub and used a stripper approved for indoor use to start removing the layers of paint. I had no idea how much paint was built up on the tub. Cream, yellow, green, peach... Just about any pastel color you could think of had graced the tub at one time or another. I kept applying stripper, waited for it to do its magic and then scrapped off yet another layer of paint. After I had most of the paint off I used my sander to get a smooth surface on the tub.

I was so excited when it was finally time to paint. After putting a coat of it on, however, I knew it was all wrong. The color was too bright and too blue to work well with my wall color. Frustrated, I headed to Lowe's with a sample of the wall color and of my original tub color choice to pick out something else. I found a color that was a bit more green hued and duskier, bought a quart in semi-gloss and returned home to try again.

Immediately I knew the second color was the perfect choice. After two coats I was really happy and eagerly pulled up the paper around the tub to clean up. Unfortunately, some of the stripper had dripped and soaked through the paper causing the finish on my floor to bubble up in a few places. I felt sick and couldn't believe that I had done this. I used a fine grit sandpaper to sand it off so you can't really see it anymore. I'm not sure if I should refinish my floor or if there is anything else I can do. If I do refinish it I'll wait until it gets warmer so I can have the windows open for ventilation. What would you do? Have you ever done anything like this? Do you have any suggestions about what I should do?

Anyway, apart from my floor mishap, I love how the tub turned out. It looks fresh and new and it ties into the rest of the bathroom so much better now. I just need to make my ceiling fan vent cover and I'll be all done with my bathroom to-do list.

If you are interested, check out the rest of my bathroom posts here: Bathroom Blog Posts

Reader Comments (8)


Your bathtub looks fabulous! And I just read that you also finished the last project in your bathroom. You must be so happy. I imagine it is a completely different feeling to walk into that room now.

I was sorry to hear about the paint stripper on the floor. :(

Congratulations! Can't wait to see what project you pick up next.

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRene

Thank you so much, Rene! It is a completely different feeling now. Before even though everything looked okay when I would walk into the bathroom I would just beat myself up about all the little things that were missing or needed fixing. Now I feel happy to have everything done. I just need to get things cleaned up (i.e. dust and move the air compressor and other tools out) and I can take some final pictures to share.

February 28, 2012 | Registered CommenterLisa

Bathtub is your personal space that is why it's just right that you paint it however you want. To better express yourself and enjoy your time in the bath!

July 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterplumbing supplies

I just love freestanding tubs - and now this one looks amazing - where did you find yours? I want to find one that I can redo but in red i think...

Tara- Thank you! My bathtub was already in my home when I bought it, the tub just needed a little TLC. Maybe you could try salvage shops or Craig's List to find one.

January 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterLisa

I read your blog and this is really informative blog on Bathtub Refinishing.


December 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjasonspigner

To better express yourself and enjoy your time in the bath!I just love freestanding tubs - and now this one looks amazing

August 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commentergreengridsystems

I have looked at many bathtub refinishing blogs, and this has been the most helpful. I'm scared that I'll ruin my floor in the process of refinishing. That's why I research it so much, and I'm glad I read this post to learn more. Thank you!

April 30, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMonica Ashton

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