Most of the work we did in the bathroom was just reglazing, painting, and cleaning the existing fixtures and walls. We didn’t do any tearing out, except for the vanity and medicine cabinet. We actually loved the old white subway tile, basketweave tile floor, and cast iron tub and tiled-in features. It’s just that all of those things needed some reconditioning to be great again.
You can see the poor condition of the built-in soap dish and toothbrush holder here. Apparently these features are all cast iron with a ceramic glazing over them. The glazing had worn down to expose the cast iron which ultimately rusted.
The badly rusted soap dish here had rusted and run down onto the tub. Also, the finish on the tub had seen much better days – rusted cast iron spots are poking through all over it. We also removed a caulking strip that had been in all the joints between the tub and wall to reveal a pretty badly mildewed area which would need a lot of cleaning and repair.
First, we did some research on having our tub refinished. Being full cast iron, I can’t imagine how much it would weigh or how difficult it would be to try to get this thing out of here. Plus, we liked the fact that it’s nearly indestructible and incredibly heavy duty. We did some internet research and got a recommendation from our neighbor for a tub reglazer. These guys can come into your home, spray on a new finish for your tub in just a few hours, and leave with you a great new tub ready to use in a day or two.
We ended up going with Aquarius Limited for our tub refinishing, and we couldn’t be happier! A great home repair blogger in the area recommended him too, so we gave him a call. Tim came over with his son, reglazed our tub in just a few hours, and explained to us how to maintain the great new finish (wax it with car wax every six months – wow!).
Here’s the room all covered in plastic to protect it from the spray:
And here’s the brand spankin’ new tub!
Pretty good, right?
We actually wanted Tim to reglaze all of our built-in features as well (two towel bars, toilet paper holder, two soap dishes, robe hook, and toothbrush holder), but he said we could actually do it ourselves much simpler.
So, we went to Home Depot, picked up a do-it-yourself tub reglazing kit (yeah, you can actually do the whole tub yourself, but after reading a lot of reviews online, we decided against that), and set to work on all the built-ins.
This is the towel bar to the left of the sink. I’ve removed the sconces, because we painted in there during all of this, too. The process was fairly straightforward; it mostly consisted of taping off the to-be-reglazed areas, cleaning them with a TSP solution (3 times!), then brushing on a couple coats of enamel finish. It took a while, though, because the cleaning was lengthy, plus we had to wait several days between coats.
But, like I said, it was a simple project. I’d highly recommend doing this to give some tired or outdated fixtures a new look. It’s much simpler than replacing the tub or retiling the whole wall, plus we’re really happy with the results.
The only other things we had to do in here was to get a new faucet for the sink (we picked one out that matched the existing wauter faucet in the shower) plus a toilet handle to match. We painted trim and the walls (a light tan color), and we were done! I’ll show you the results as soon as I can snap a few pictures.