Monday, April 15, 2013

Tub Time: A Cinderella Story (of sorts)

Over the last few months we've been working to get our house ready to sell. We've taken down wallpaper and repainted almost ever room in the house, which has been a feat in it's own right with 4 kiddos under foot.  We decided to have our realtor stop by a couple of months ago to get an idea of what projects we should make a priority and what projects should get nixed. He pointed out that the worked we'd done so far was great but mentioned that the bathroom tub needed some attention. It was a good solid tub but had that worn out look. You know, the look that reminds you of Cinderella before the fairy godmother showed up. We agreed but didn't have the time or money to search for a new one that would fit our current space. Our realtor mentioned refinishing it so we decided to give it a try.
I had seen a tub refinished on one of those DIY shows a few years and checked out a couple of stores for the product I'd seen but no one carried it. I figured Amazon sells pretty much everything and sure enough for less than $25 I was able to get a Tub & Tile Refinishing Kit in white (Rust-Oleum offers a couple of other colors as well). At less than $25 a kit, I gave it a shot and was amazed at how nice our tub looks! Here are some before and after pictures.
The tile went almost to the ceiling previously and you can see what kind of shape the tub was in
We tore the tile out and put in a tub surround

See how dingy the tub looks compared with the surround
Can you tell the difference?

It looks like a whole new bathroom!
This has nothing to do with the tub refinish, but I just had to share my great find.
These light fixtures were originally $40 each and I got them for $10 each. 
The whole bathroom remodel (tub surround with refinishing kit and surround, paint, and new lighting) cost us under $800 and it looks SOOOO much better! We did spend $250 on labor to have the tub surround installed as there was some drywall work that needed to be done at the same time.

Some notes on the refinishing kit:
  • It has a VERY potent odor and can make you feel a bit loopy so be sure you have REALLY good ventilation
  • Definitely use painters tape as it does NOT come off easily if you get some on the floor or surrounding area
  • The kit says to remove all your hardware but we just covered them with aluminum foil and duct tape, which worked just fine but I am a perfectionist so I even used a razor blade to get everything perfectly taped off
  • It does take 6-8 hours from start to finish depending on how long it takes you to do the prep steps (there is a fairly involved cleaning process). Once you finish the prep work you can put the enamel on in one hour intervals. There is enough enamel to do 3 coats but it was getting quite late when I finished the 2nd coat (2am) so I decided to be done. 
Having done this, there are some pros and cons.

Pros -
  • It's inexpensive (less than $50 total between the kit, cleaning supplies, and special rollers)
  • It's fairly easy work
Cons -
  • It's takes a chunk of time - once you mix the two parts you have to finish the project as you only have 6-8 hours of use
  • It has to cure for 3 full days so it might pose a problem if you're refinishing your only shower/tub area, we made sure to do it the night before leaving on a 3 day trip
Here is a link to the product we used.

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