Bathtub Beauty Begins

This morning we decided it was time to work on the clawfoot tub for my bathroom. Chris didn’t seem too excited about the initial cleaning it needed, so I said I’d do it. We needed to check whether the giant feet we’d bought would work, anyway.

Here’s Tubby after the large debris had been removed. He’s pretty filthy.

So, we emptied the big stuff out of it (a sink and some lamp parts) and turned over. I didn’t do that part. Upon close examination, we determined that nope, those are totally the wrong legs for the tub. I’m headed off to Etsy to buy some that look more like the right thing, for a lot less money.

This is mighty unattractive, but shows the big damaged area Chris has already started to repair.

While ole Tubby was laying on its side, I emptied the dust and debris that had been filling it throughout the renovation. That was disgusting. Next, I got to work on the exterior.

Side of Tubby before I smoothed out the sides.

I next got down and dirty with the exterior, which apparently was covered, since it’s all rough. A lot of the original paint was peeling, so I smoothed it out with a scrubber pad. It’s not perfect by any means, but is smooth enough to be a base for primer and all the loose stuff is gone.

Some more spots of damage and peeling.

After that, I removed stains and globs of adhesive that were on the inside of the tub. That required more of the degreaser stuff and a lot of scraping. One thing I learned is that porcelain is tough! It wasn’t damaged one bit by my cleaning efforts.

After the scraping, it’s smoother and you can see some green primer that proves I did something.

Finally, I cleaned the inside of Tubby. Probably no one had cleaned the poor thing in decades. The inside is in pretty good shape, with just another couple of places we’ll have to put Bondo on to repair. There is a big rust stain where water probably dripped for years, but I discovered that it will come off, and there’s whiteness under it. We’re going to get some of that kind of cleaner that dissolves rust to work on that part more, and on some other rusty areas. There’s still quite a lot of work to do on this fellow.

Happy Tubby! All stains and drips are gone, other than that one in the front, which is substantially better, actually.

All in all, though, I am proud of the work I got done! It gave Chris time to stain more doors, which puts us that much closer to finishing out the door trim and hanging them permanently. We’re getting mighty close to being able to do the floors!

I guess I’ll add a couple of hours at the end of the day to my “real job,” but it was worth it to get this stuff done.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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