Sunday, February 26, 2012

FAQs - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly On My Painted Bathtub. Inside and Out.

I've been promising this post.  And procrastinating, cuz it didn't sound fun.  But here it finally is, sorry it's late!  My bathtub turned into quite the major hit (well, as far as Kammy's Korner is concerned that is!  If it gets a pin on pinterest, I consider it a hit - haha!)  It got a shout out from Funky Junk Interiors, BetterAfter, and Domestically Speaking to name a few.  (Sorry if I missed you.  There were more but I can't think off the top of my head.  Then again,  thinking goes on inside the head last I checked.  Holler and I'll add you!)  

There were SO MANY QUESTIONS  (and most of them were the same) about it that I'm going to try and answer them all in this post rather than answering all the questions personally.  I'll try and cover them all.

Please note:  I am NOT an expert, professional, or bathtub scientist in any way shape or form.  I'm just a DIYer who figures it doesn't hurt to try!  So try I do!   (Especially when it's $25 verses $800!)
If you can recall, I painted the inside with Rustoleum's Counter top coating  (paint).  This picture is taken just a few days later.  Looks perfect, doesn't it?  

Now it has been just over a year and I'm going to give you some close ups so you can see how well it has or hasn't held up.
We were having a major problem with rust (we live out in the sticks and have our own well) and I think the rust really tinted the paint an orangish color.  I'll let you be the judge on how well you think it looks one year later.  I'd say not bad, but not fantastic either (like around the drain, which was where it's biggest problem was to begin with)...
Q: what will happen if I drop a shampoo bottle on it?
A: Probably nothing.  It seems to be able to take a fairly minimal beating, unless it's something hard like metal or ceramic.  Our cat loves to get her drink out of the tub so we keep a ceramic dish under the faucet and I think it hit the side of the tub once rather hard and the result is pictured above.  However, it is quite small when you compare it to the penny.

Q: Does this tub get every day use?
A: We rarely use it for baths because we have a whirlpool bath in our master bath upstairs so usually the jets win out over the beauty of the clawfoot.  However, since it is right off the back porch, the kids frequently get stripped down and "hosed" off with the sprayer when they come in all muddy from the oudoors or sandy from the sandbox.  It's also handy to wash out my paint rollers in, and since it's also off the kitchen, sometimes I fill it with soapy water to mop the floors with rather than a bucket.  
Q: What do you use to clean it?
A: I have found good ole' Comet and an old sponge work great.    So that's what this girl uses.  I scrub the daylights out of it, and no the paint does not rub off like a few of you worried about.  It's enamel and is pretty permanent.  Well, except for what you'll see in the next photo... haha....
Pin ItOkay, here' s a a good close up of the drain area.  Now, you can't see the drain in the before picture - shoulda moved that darned cat dish - but it was HORRIBLE.  We're talking dark orange rust and bad to the bone.  So anthing would have been an improvement.  After a year, it is starting to show through a little bit and the paint is starting to crack a little in spots to the left of the drain, as I have so conveniently pointed out with the arrows.  I'm not sure if this is due to it being in almost a constant state of wetness?  Also, we've recently installed a new system that is taking care of the rust issue. I think when it gets bad enough, I'll just scrape it down a little bit there and slather on some more countertop paint. Which brings me to the next question....

Q: What was the prep work involved?
A: I just scrubbed the daylights out of it so it was super duper clean, then scraped off as much loose paint as I could with a putty knife, then made sure there wasn't a speck of moisture and THEN started painting.  You can read about it HERE.

And now for the easy part.  The outside!

Q: What kind of paint did you use?
A: Glossy black.  I just did it right over top of the existing white paint.  It was really bumpy and rough, so it didn't seem to need any prep.  I just wiped it down and rolled the semi gloss black paint over the stencil with a foam roller.
If you want to read about the original popular post that sparked the questions, click HERE.  It shares in greater detail how I painted the legs, did the stenciling, etc.
more questions:

Q: I have pink sinks and tub that I can't afford to replace. I thought I'd have to hire an expensive company to paint. Have you used the counter paint on anything else. Do you think white would cover the light pink on the tub and sinks? Was it hard to apply? Any suggestions?
A: If using the white, you'll have to plan on SEVERAL coats to cover the pink, I'm sure.  I think I must have put seven coats on the bathtub to cover it all? Yeah, a lot! I also had light pinkish colored sink/vanity that I painted with gray countertop paint and I only used two coats and it's been almost a month and they've held up great so far.  Okay, actually I was too chicken to paint the sink so I put tape around the inside so it would like a drop sink and painted the porcelain countertop around it.  I'm not sure if it would hold up in a sink or not?  I think if you got it thick enough it would.  I got a few drops once in my kitchen sink and it does NOT COME OFF.  Click HERE to see my bathroom counter/sink area.  It's also fairly easy to apply, but if you're just doing one color, the hard part is to get it on even.  I tend to do things fast to get them done and end up with the paint thicker in one area and thinner in another and you can see lines or unevenness when the light hits it a certain way.  Otherwise it's fairly easy, just make sure to use a small foam roller.  You may want a more granite look, that way if there are any chips they won't be as noticeable either.  Click HERE to see my painted kitchen counters (done in gray tones) and HERE to my mom's (done in brown tones).

Q: Is the finish glossy or matte?  
A: Matte.  However when I used it on my kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity, I put several coats of polyacrylic on it which gave it a shine.

Q: Would I do it again?
A: In a heart beat!  Great, affordable solution to an otherwise major eye sore in the house!!!  Even if it does happen to get a few chips here and there, it's not a big deal to pull the leftover paint back out and touch it up as needed.  I can deal with touch-ups once every year or two if it saves me thousands of dollars!

  I hope I answered all your questions.  If not, ask and I'll try to answer... but I think I've given you about all I know! :)


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  1. Thanks for this. I know I'm one of the folks you emailed you bugging you about it lol.

  2. We painted our olive green tub and tiles about three years ago, and it did take several coats, and we've had some slight chipping as well (esp around the drain, just like yours). But, overall, it's been a fantastic solution for a terribly ugly tub!
    Thanks for sharing your post!

  3. Kammy--I don't know if it would affect the painted finish inside your tub, but Naval Jelly removes rust stains. Our first house was a 2-story Victorian with an old farmhouse sink/drainboard. The city water was VERY hard & left salt (mineral) deposits around the faucets & on the drainboard, which weren't affected by other cleansers. Then I discovered Naval Jelly, which I painted on with an old toothbrush, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinsed well. Result--shiny faucets & no mineral residue on the sink/drainboard. I had to do this every couple of weeks, because our water was HARD (wanted to make sure everyone understood that!). I would recommend testing it in an inconspicuous area before cleaning a larger area, & not leaving it on for any longer than necessary. We live in another town now without such hard water, but I still keep Naval Jelly/Rust Dissolver around for cleaning rust or minerals off metal or porcelain. You can buy it in most hardware stores or at Walmart in a 16 oz. bottle--pretty cheap.

  4. I had my tub done by a professional and it didn't hold up this well, it started peeling. I had a warranty on the tub, but didn't want to smell the fumes again, it was the most horrible 2 days of stink.

  5. So good to know, I've been telling my sil about this technique, but we weren't sure how it would hold up. I'll link here here. Thanks.

  6. Great Idea! Think the countertop paint can be applied to shower tiles as well?

  7. My Oh My Oh My!!! So glad I ran across you at Fregal Friday. This is awesome!! Thank you for all the info!!

  8. From what you did to the bathtub and the countertops, I can tell you're an excellent DIYer. Your fabulous budget designs are just amazing, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if it becomes the talk of the town by DIY netizens. Do you have plans to renovate other rooms?

  9. I live in a rented house with a wonderful old gas range with a "chrome" top--which is terribly rusted. Do you suppose this countertop paint would work on that? I wouldn't paint the burner pans or the area under the burners (too scared of how it might react to high heat!). We have super hard water, too, and ugly dark brown tile in the shower, which is hazy from mineral deposits. Think it would work there, too? P.J., are you saying that naval jelly removes mineral deposits (not just rust)? Thanks for the detailed post and all the helpful replies. The tub and countertops look great!

    1. What will work on that rust is solvent stripper... Take it right off. Now it will take any paint off also, and you will have to re-paint the area you're talking about, but solvent stripper and maybe a little paint thinner will be the way to go.

  10. Grote Soms zie ik heel mooi en makkelijk gemaakt blogs, maar in de meeste opzichten zijn ze zeer nuttig zijn als uw blog.

  11. We live in a 1917 farmhouse with one bathroom and an OLD clawfoot tub. The bottom has been cracking and peeling for awhile and as I picked at it it went almost to the bare cast iron! We cannot afford the price of refinishing so I saw your tub picture on Pinterest and started reading your blog. While the hubby is out of town this weekend I am attempting to do the same thing to my tub! After one coat I knew the bottom would have to be filled so I bought some Bondo. Not sure I got it sanded totally perfect but its better than what it was, that's for sure. I still have several coats to go but so far I am pleased with the results. The only real problem I had was at Lowe's trying to tell the paint guy I wanted the countertop paint tinted white! It took 20 min., 2 phone calls and 3 different men to finally figure they could add white to the mix!!! Then they found out I was doing a tub and they said......this is for countertops!! I told them about Pinterest and seeing your tub etc. They looked like I had 3 heads, LOL. I took a before photo and will take an after one also then post it on FB. Thanks for your brave venture into trying new things! I think I will paint my old table with this stuff next!! Its great!

  12. Also, Lowe's has a roll on paint for refinishing tubs I have read good results about. I have a clawfoot tub to refinish and will try it; it's under $30 for the kit. I think the key is, clean gently, use lightly, and clean up promptly and the finish should hold up. If not, the cost is not so prohibitive to do it again.

  13. Question: Should I try and scrape/sand off any chipped paint from the previous "cover up" job someone else did? Or just paint on top of it?

    1. I scraped off as much as would come off. Try to get as much off as you can. If there are "chunks" coming off, you will see the outline of the edges when the new paint dries. In my case, anything was better than what I had so I wasn't super perfectionist about it.

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  15. Hello, I have rust spots in my clawfoot. Not pretty one like the one's you had lol. Will this method work for that or should I treat the rust seperately and then paint it?

  16. Hello, I have deep rust spots in my clawfoot (not as cute and light as yours). Should I treat the rust seperately and then paint over it or just apply the countertop paint directly?

    1. For SURE treat the rust first! Read the 3rd comment at the top from PJ. She sounds like she knows what she's talking about. :) She says to use Naval Jelly.

  17. i have an old tub the my husband did some work and a refinisher re done for us but 5 years later i have several small chips like your photos above, i was wondering if you thought i could fill my chips with the rustoleum paint?? thanks! great blog

  18. my husband traded some work for our claw foot to be refinished 6 years ago and mine has started shipping little spots like your photos above and i was wondering if you thought i could fill the chips with the rustoleum paint?? thanks!

  19. For small chips grind it down and sand it smooth around the edges and clean it off. Use automobile body filler. Sand smooth and clean again. Paint over it with your white paint. Or if your tub is ceramic use a ceramic filler and sand it smooth.


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