Q: I’d like to refinish a cast iron clawfoot tub, but the prices I’ve been quoted are outrageous. Is this something I can do myself?
A: A cast iron tub can be refinished. However, be forewarned that this is a challenging project that’s usually best left to an experienced professional. With that being said, refinishing a tub is basically a painting project, so mask off all the edges and protect everything you don’t want painted with a drop cloth. Then repair all nicks and holes with the appropriate filler and sand the areas smooth. In fact, some professionals recommend using Bondo auto body filler, sanding it with progressively smaller grit and finally wet-sanding with 1,000-grit for a glassy finish. Prime the tub with an epoxy primer, and spray on an epoxy-based appliance paint, which creates a hard, durable shell. (Reprinted by reader request from a previous issue of EHT).