Clawfoot Tub Refinish- Part 1

This past weekend the clawfoot tub that you saw we got here, received some love and attention! When we first got the tub, we knew it would have to be refinished somehow. There's a few different ways of refinishing tubs though. If the outside of the tub your refinishing is in good shape and there are not too many layers of paint, then one could easily just repaint the outside. Ours, however, had many layers of paint and in some spots, there were big gashes of where the paint had chipped off leaving an uneven paint surface.

So for our tub, we decided to strip it down to the cast and start fresh. It's a whole lot easier said than done! I left the new color up to my husband and to my surprise, he chose to go with black. Actually, if it were completely up to my husband, we wouldn't have a tub, haha! Anyway, black it was! I was inspired by Leanne Ford's clawfoot tub that she shared below. Instead of repainting hers, she stripped the tub all the way down to the cast and left the raw material unpainted. I love the look!

Photo via Leanne Ford

Since we have a new build, I want as much character and old charm in the spaces. SO with that said, to stripping down the tub we go! 

We started the process off by using paint stripper by Dad's Easy Spray.
It was what we had laying around and it does the job just fine! Public service announcement: do not use foam brushes. They will have a chemical reaction with the stripper and ruin the brush. Also, use gloves when applying this onto your project. Pretty much do the opposite of everything this photo shows, haha! 

You'll want to apply a nice heavy coat over the area of stripping and about 10-15 minutes later, this is what you'll be left with! The paint will start to lift and then that's when the real work starts!

Use a heavy-duty scraper and get to work. We found that it's best to start scraping when the stripper is still wet. It's a lot easier to lift the old paint up rather than letting it dry a little bit.

After 5-6 coats of scraping and stripping, we were finally through the 4-5 different colors on the tub. That tub has seen some pretty shades of the rainbow including blue, mint, pink and teal! Once we had all the old paint off the tub, I wiped down the tub with water to neutralize the stripper (and to clean up the tub). 

To get more grim and layers of age off the tub, Taylor helped me take a wire wheel to the sides. This was getting us somewhere and the look of the tub started to change quickly.


Can we admire all that patina and raw cast iron below?! Finally no more paint and it's starting to gain some new life. We still have yet to do the flip side so there's still more work to be done but we made huge progress. 

You're probably wondering what's going on with the house? Things have been pretty quiet over here as we're building up our funds again and moving onto some of the more boring but very vital parts of the build; plumbing and HVAC. Here at the beginning of September, plumbing is going in so that'll be one project to cross off the list! It's a slow and steady kind of build but that's where the memories come in!

Hugs, Alyssa

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