Tuesday, March 13, 2012

{See Part 1, and Part 2.}

There are several bathtub refinishing products and services I want to compare. This has gotten so complicated I want to make a video on fiberglass/porcelain patching. I'm an engineer in the composites industry, so I'm even more nitpicky analytical than usual. But I think this information is super helpful for anyone considering refinishing old porcelain. {I have no sponsors whatsoever and I don't get paid to review products, and I also don't work for any of the manufacturers or dealers of the products I'm writing about.}

I found the stuff that made the old clawfoot tub brand new. It's cheap, and NO EXPENSIVE PAINT SERVICES REQUIRED! Check it out for yourself:








 And remember the vintage sink I was working on as well? Check out the drain after 1 cleaning:


The sink is in worse shape than the tub -- it needs some patching for deep chips and pits in the porcelain. But I think I found another product that will fix those too. That's coming next.

Can you feel how excited I am?  MaryKate On And Off Hull & Bottom Cleaner.  woot! The active ingredient is muriatic acid I think.. the label says it's for use on fiberglass only, but porcelain is just as indestructible as fiberglass. I'd suggest trying toilet bowl cleaner before buying MaryKate, but if that isn't strong enough to do the job this is the stuff. My dad had it in his shop for working on his boats, and it worked like a charm.
{EDIT ! NOTE: Please don't pour MaryKate acid down the plumbing pipes in your house. If your bathtub is already installed in your house you need to find a way to rub the acid on the porcelain without washing it down the drain and possibly causing damage to plumbing}

Next: How to patch porcelain the absolute best possible way. :)

Remodelaholics Anon
Five Days Free For All
Posted by Katy On 8:31 AM 25 comments

25 comments :

  1. That tub turned out beautiful! Love the color. They both cleaned up great. I am so happy for you that you were able to save them. Great job!

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  2. Very nice! We just paid somebody to come in and refinish our tub. The reason we went with a refinisher is that we wanted a different color. We're thrilled with the results. BUT - my farmers sink in our butler's pantry may get this treatment!! Thanks!

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    1. Ya I agree very nice, where do we purchase the MaryKate cleaner? I had this same problem the other day and my general cleaner did not work. Thanks . Fanus from SGH

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    2. Looks as if the link is in the name ...

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  3. Standing ovation my dear!
    Wow! Better than new! Thanks for sharing.
    For you sink, I once saw Nicole on DYI's Rehab Addict spray her porcelain sink on the inside and it turned out great.
    Any update on the sewer situation on the lot?
    Just for the record, I can't wait to see your new bath!
    dee dee

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  4. Dee Dee, I'm waiting on a contractor to get back with me before I make the next big decisions. I've got one estimate for the foundation and I'm waiting on the framing now. I don't know what I'm doing yet :(

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  5. Gorgeous! Just add bubbles!

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  6. I know what it is like to work with contractors... sometimes their timing is not ours. Praying for you as you make these big decisions! I know you can do it... your strength shows is all you do.
    dee dee

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  7. So excited, they both came out beautifully. Can't wait to get started on our tub. looking forward to seeing the fixtures you choose.

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  8. un-flipping-believable! you must be building up some serious pipes in those arms after that scrubbing! sooooo worth it!!

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  9. Oh, so awesome. That exact tub was in the old house that we bought, and we've been trying to figure out what to do with it. You have given me hope. Thank you so much for the info!

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  10. Your tub looks great. Please, let me know what you are going to use to fill in the cracks. thanks ka_coop@yahoo.com

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  11. Thank you for sharing! I have an old sink I am going to try this on!

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  12. Hi, MaryKate products apparently do not ship into Canada for some environmental concern. Do you think that any other hull cleaner (that I can get at a marine supply shop here in Canada) would work as well? They all seem very caustic.

    I have two old claw foot tubs, a farm kitchen sink, and 2 old corner sinks that came from a barber or hairdressing shop to restore.

    Thanks if you can help,
    Marilyn

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    1. Hi Marilyn, I tried to email you but your address wasn't attached to your profile that I could see? I would try the toilet bowl cleaner first since that is an acid-based product, but if the stains are really bad then I would definitely try the stuff from your local marine supply store. Ask them if it's acid. Yes it's caustic -- def need ventilation and gloves !

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  13. So...just wanted to make clear, you did NOT paint the inside of the tub? And, you only used spray paint for the exterior of the tub? thanks!

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    1. that's right - I did NOT paint the tub. Only used car paint on the *exterior* of the tub. The interior was refurbished with acid, basically.

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  14. Hello Katy! I just bought a vintage farmhouse sink and I am going to try to refinish it myself. I found your post to be very helpful! Did you use the MaryKate cleaner on the outside of the tub as well or you just spray painted it like that?

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    1. i used the acid wherever it was completely necessary on the inside but the outside of the tubs and sinks are very rough - I just used comet on them and then painted.

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  15. Won't the acid make the surface really porous? We cleaned some tubs with muriatic acid and the only want to remove any stain after that was to use the acid again.

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    1. yes I the nature of this method is that you are "eating away" at some of the porcelain, so it has limitations. You can't just keep using it over and over again, but I have not found the surface to be so pourous that I needed to do that. I think if you give it a "clear coat" of epoxy that would be ideal, so that you don't need to worry about further stains. I would do that, before I would use one of the "epoxy paint services" out there, because once that paint wears off it looks pretty bad too.

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  16. Do you think this would work on vintage stove porcelain? Or should I use something softer?

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    1. I have not refurbished an old stove (yet, haha), so I can't say for sure without seeing a piece and knowing something about it. If it's porcelain over cast iron, then it's basically the same stuff as these bathtubs. But I don't know what kind of sealer you can or can't use on a stove that will get super hot ? I have not researched that.

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