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Enamel Bath Resurfacing

Discussion in 'off topic' started by mandryka, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    Has anyone ever done this? What are the things to be aware of? Is there a recommendable company? How long does it last for?

    It's a Victorian roll top. It'll be a shame to get rid of it! But it's showing its age.
  2. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    April 27.—Painted the bath red, and was delighted with the result. Sorry to say Carrie was not, in fact we had a few words about it. She said I ought to have consulted her, and she had never heard of such a thing as a bath being painted red. I replied: “It’s merely a matter of taste.”

    I had got a chill, and decided to have a bath as hot as I could bear it. Bath ready—could scarcely bear it so hot. I persevered, and got in; very hot, but very acceptable. I lay still for some time.

    On moving my hand above the surface of the water, I experienced the greatest fright I ever received in the whole course of my life; for imagine my horror on discovering my hand, as I thought, full of blood. My first thought was that I had ruptured an artery, and was bleeding to death, and should be discovered, later on, looking like a second Marat, as I remember seeing him in Madame Tussaud’s. My second thought was to ring the bell, but remembered there was no bell to ring. My third was, that there was nothing but the enamel paint, which had dissolved with boiling water. I stepped out of the bath, perfectly red all over, resembling the Red Indians I have seen depicted at an East-End theatre. I determined not to say a word to Carrie, but to tell Farmerson to come on Monday and paint the bath white.
    Rob998, ff1d1l, foxwelljsly and 3 others like this.
  3. Marky-Mark

    Marky-Mark pfm Member

    I had a clawfoot tub re enameled. Looked great, though a little slippery without a mat. I'd say the first spot of peeling took a good 10 years to happen, maybe more. After 20+ years there's a slight roughness under foot (without a mat) and a soup tin sized spot beneath the spigot.
    mandryka likes this.
  4. steve watkins

    steve watkins pfm Member

    I used a company on the Isle of Wight. It was about £500. You have to get it to them, out of the house etc it was a bit of effort.

    I have also had two epoxy painted it took two days to do, with etching etc and a while to fully cure. They looked and functioned well enough but the finish was not up to vitreous enamelling and was always a concern.
    Care is needed when cleaning but that is also true of enamel. No scourers or abrasives if you want to keep the finish.
  5. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    There must be some outfit that does it somewhere, but I have not come across anyone re-enamelling anything.
    Unfortunately modern use of the word enamel usually means polymer, probably most often epoxy.

    Enamel in the traditional sense (i.e. vitreous enamel) is a glass coating, which is why it is so hard and brittle, and hence why it is so hard-wearing but chips and flakes so reasonably readily.
  6. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    I should have made it clear, I'm thinking of having it done in place, which means epoxy I think. Resurfacing rather than re-enamelling. I've changed the title.
  7. doctorf

    doctorf left footed right winger

    I had a bath re-enamelled in situ about 35 years ago.
    I seem to remember it was a major operation, not just a coat of something painted on.
    It was fine until we moved house about 13 years later.
    I've now got a roll top which is about 20 years old and will need re-enamelling in the next 10 years, if I live that long.
  8. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    Renameled or resurfaced? Did they take it away to a hot oven, or did they do it in place and let it cure?
  9. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    That must have been an epoxy finish if they didn't take it away. That's reassuring.
  10. doctorf

    doctorf left footed right winger

    I suspect you are correct.
  11. Marky-Mark

    Marky-Mark pfm Member

    Sorry I didn't mention that -- this was the in-place service. So the resurfaced option. I believe it was in the 300 USD range (mid 90s).
  12. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Keep Music Vile

    Ours was done with Epoxy and got rough as hell in no time. I wouldn't bother next time. Get a new bath.
  13. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

    Great thread , just about to get a place with a steel bath with what i believe is enamel . They are a total pain to break up and get out as sharp edges and very heavy so hope it stays in good condition!!
  14. mandryka

    mandryka pfm Member

    This is worrying. Who did you use?
  15. Barrymagrec

    Barrymagrec pfm Member

    When my parents house was built in 1960 the bath was fitted into a recess in the very small bathroom. Unfortunately the builders made the recess slightly too small so they chiselled a grove at the tap end in order to slide the bath in sideways. When the bathroom was redone fifty years later the bath had to be smashed up in situ, lots of noise and mess.
  16. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    There are two types of vitreous enamel bath - pressed steel, and cast iron. Pressed steel baths are quite a bit lighter than cast, but still very heavy.
    Cast iron is reasonably easily removed from a bathroom (in pieces) as it is brittle - just smash them up with a sledge hammer, just beware glass/enamel shards everywhere, overalls, eye and hand protection very highly recommended.
    Pressed steel either has to be cut up in situ or removed whole. The only way that I found to easily remove a rather garish pressed steel one from my bungalow was to "wear it" like a tortoise's shell and walk it out, which turned-out to reasonably easy, you just need someone to direct things so that minimal damage is done to door frames etc., and something to protect the floor as the trailing end drags.
  17. foxwelljsly

    foxwelljsly Keep Music Vile

    I can't remember - but I wouldn't do it again - it was rough within a couple of years, but not so bad as to make a warranty claim. Unlike yours, our cast iron bath wasn't antique and we gladly smashed it up with a lump hammer and replaced it with a large modern steel enamelled bath - which is a lovely place to spend a hungover Sunday morning. I hate plastic baths and have been very happy with this compromise. You can get 6mm acrylic reproduction freestanding baths - we had one in our last house - but they are not cheap.

    If I was wedded to an antique cast iron bath, I would look at proper re-enamelling.
  18. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

  19. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    The hassle with al plastic baths and epoxy refinishes is that they are not at all scratch resistant. You absolutely CANNOT use any abrasive on them AT ALL if you want to preserve any kind of finish for any time at all.

    I had a standard plastic bath for a few years that was pristine as they can be kept perfectly clean with regular use of one of the pump spray detergent-based bath/shower cleaners, a soft cloth and a little elbow-grease. A girl-friend knew different and against my absolute instruction not to, bought some bath cleaning pads, the sort with the surface finish of something like a fletton brick. One cleaning left a pattern like the common swirl pattern used in Artex.

    Abrasive cleaners also ruin vitreous enamel, just more slowly.

    One tip - dilute the cleaning solution about 50;50 so that you can be very generous using it. I usually spray the bath after using it and give it a quick clean from inside the bath, before it is used next
  20. Bart

    Bart pfm Member

    I would get some medical advice on your foot and your spigot!

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