Taking Things a Little Too Far: The Inadvertent Home Improvement Project

Taking Things a Little Too Far: The Inadvertent Home Improvement Project

Gregory Han
Oct 21, 2008

One of things that has always bugged me since moving into the apartment we've called home for the last few years has been the bath tub. It's a great vintage cast iron claw foot that is probably a little younger than the 1917-built structure; many hours have been spent rub-a-dub-dubbin' within its comfy confines. The only problem with it is that it has had several spots where the refinished coating was noticeably peeling away and showing a lot of discoloration thanks to years of use. I recently made the mistake of trying to remove just a little bit of it to see what the surface was like underneath. \ I ended up doing more than just "a little bit", and now find myself committed to finishing what I started. Check out the mess I found myself getting into below the jump.

Yup, that's the mess and a half I created above because of my own curiosity. There was something very satisfying using a sharp razor blade and removing the peeling tub coating, and I continued on until I had removed all the stained and loose coating from the back, resulting in a large section with the original coating revealed underneath. But I ended up stopping about 20 minutes into it, realizing I didn't necessarily have a plan of what I'd do once I peeled off all the coating.

A couple years ago when we first moved into our apartment, my better half and I were lazying about in bed when she began peeling a little loose corner of paint near the headboard out of boredom. She ended up removing such a big chunk that we ended up repainting the whole bedroom to cover up the spot; a judgmental mishap that worked in our favour, since it ended up being the impetus for us to fully repaint our place. But in the case of the bath tub, refinishing the interior is a difficult DIY project and hiring a tub resurfacing service costs around $400-$500, more than a budget-minded renter such ourselves could seriously consider. DIY spray kits are less than $100, but only last one year and require proper ventilation and careful prep work. Has anyone out there done their own tub reglazing project (we've noted that SarahC over at AT Chicago has had her tub reglazed)? Any tips or personal recommendations for local LA services?

For now, the tub remains partially peeled. I might return to it this weekend and strip off other sections, like the one near the drain and see how it all looks once its stripped bare to the original coating. But something tells me I might have gotten myself into a mess that might take a bit more time and money than I'm willing to invest.

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