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Unbroken's avatar

How does one sand and refinish a tub?

Asked by Unbroken (10267 points ) December 19th, 2012

Mine or rather my landlord’s looks bloody awful.

It is of course not a plastic shield nor is it porcelin. I am wondering if this is a project a novice could endeavor or what sort of tools are involved etc. I would need to sand first because aside from looking very shabby it still is largely covered.

Oh and I did ask my landlord if he would be willing to do it and he said he would when it didn’t require sanding. Which I am certain is ridiculous also he is the self proclaimed handy man of the building and as stipulated in the lease he charges 50 an hour plus parts.

Judging by his caulking job on the tub premovein where he simply recaulked over the old creating a massive inch seal on either side. Well he is learning.

Any heartening, educational or funny stories are also welcome.

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10 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What’s it made of?

woodcutter's avatar

Last one I did was with a sledge hammer. And a dust pan.

rooeytoo's avatar

Is it fiberglass? There are sealers you can use on that. Then paint after sealing. I once tried to paint a porcelin tub and no matter what I did, the dripping was terrible. It ended up looking as if it had candle wax dripped all over it. I think if I were to try again, I would spray, I think that is how the pros refinish tubs, they spray them!

Unbroken's avatar

This is an enameled steel. But it has been coated with something on top of the enamel. And I wish @woodcutter. @rooeytoo A sprayer would be good to use I think I can rent one.

woodcutter's avatar

Sanding the finish on a tub might make more problems for you. There are chemical strippers that will soften that whateveritis paint and make it possible to gently scrape it away. This will reveal the original finish. However you can’t help but wonder why it is someone wanted to cover that up. I would guess that it is bad as well hence the shoddy cover up. I think this is a project you will never win on. The ship has probably sailed.
Those tub refinishing kits sold at DIY stores are a joke and are an expensive waste of money. You might achieve a decent outcome with these but I promise it will be temporary. If temporary is what you need to get yourself out of a pinch it might be worth trying.

jaytkay's avatar

@woodcutter Those tub refinishing kits sold at DIY stores are a joke and are an expensive waste of money. You might achieve a decent outcome with these but I promise it will be temporary

My parents had a tub re-finished and it looked good for (maybe?) three or four years. I don’t recall exactly.

It was disappointing.

Unbroken's avatar

@woodcutter temporary should be fine. I do wonder what was wrong with the original underneath.. As long as it doesn’t look like a drippy candle.

@jaytkay How was it disappointing? How long were you expecting it to last.

How labor intensive and long of a project is it… A week end thing?

woodcutter's avatar

A tub that is old and lost its luster will be rougher and be easy to stain because the finish is more porous.The color changes to a dull splotchy surface. So someone may attempt to put a new shiny finish on it and make it easier to clean and look nice. It is usually a pretty big job to replace the tub outright so that is why these second chance tub repair kits are so popular. If only they worked as advertised.

jaytkay's avatar

@rosehips Disappointing because the tub may have been forty years old, I thought a new finish tub would last a long time, too.

Unbroken's avatar

Well thanks for your help. Nothing lasts 40 years these days.

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