March 1, 2013


We appear to be stalled out on the bathroom remodel. The problem? The tub. Well, actually the tub isn't the problem, the winter temperatures are.

If you've been following this series of posts, then you probably know that we're keeping the original tub, a clawfoot.

Old photo of the original tub, with our Rascal (no longer with us)

The tub has been, for quite awhile, in the hallway.

It's nice that we have a 5 foot wide hallway.

The reason for this is that it needs refinishing. The outside surface had chipping paint. The inside wasn't too bad, except that the shine had worn off in the bottom of the tub, and there was some pitting, plus a dip in the bottom. This dip held water, so that there was a permanent water mark there. We debated whether or not to try and fix it before recoating the inside of the tub.

The challenge with all this, is that everything, paint, adhesives, finishes, all need minimum air and surface temperatures. These must be anywhere from 64° F (18° C) to 72° F (22° C), depending on the product. The temperature in that part of the house is usually in the upper 50s (mid-teens). We've kept the space heater running continually, but to heat the entire cast iron tub to 72, we had to resort to the brooder heat lamp. On top of that, the products all need good ventilation, because of the chemicals. Opening the doors and windows is obviously quite counterproductive!

Consequently, the going is slow. We have made some progress however. Dan started by applying something decorative to the outside.

It's a cast iron doo-dad from Hobby Lobby. I suppose they would call it a decor item. He stuck it on with JB Weld. Then he painted the outside of the tub.

The tub fixtures are chrome, so he spray painted the legs similarly.

Here's where we are at the moment.

This is the back side of the tub.

He did decide to try and fill the dip, but I don't think that's gone as well as he hoped. His next step is undecided, but this must be done before he can apply the new tub finish. If it weren't so rainy and muddy outside, I think he'd happily switch to an outdoor project.

Even though winter seems the best time for indoor projects, this kind of thing is better suited to summer. The tub though, is the next thing to install in the bathroom. It has to go in before the sink and toilet. After that, all we need is towel racks, the mirror, and a door. And we're done. So close and yet so far away.

[UPDATE: Dan was finally able to finish the tub in April. See Tub-A-Dub-Done for a photo, details, and the next challenge we faced.]

Tub-A-Dub-Dub © March 2013 by Leigh 


Tombstone Livestock said...

Tub looks good but bet you prefer it is in the bathroom. You're making progress at least.

The Cranky said...

You've made a great start on the tub but I can imagine how frustrated you both must feel at this point.

daisy g said...

It's looking good. It won't be long now!

Kris said...

I share your frustration on certain household projects. When I'm stuck inside for winter, certain things (painting, refinishing, etc.) cry for attention while I have 'free' inside time. But that heat-n-ventilation thing bites me every time too. Glad you are progressing on the tub, though. It keeps incentive going, no?

Leigh said...

TL, would definitely prefer it in the bathroom, LOL. We've had another cold snap though, so we're at another standstill.

Jacqueline, that's true, but I can't imagine saving it for summer, if you know what I mean. Still, maybe we ought to plan things better, LOL

Daisy, I hope so!

Kris, the tub resurfacing is the worst because it needs the highest temps and best ventilation. Ordinarily, we'd get a sprinkling of pretty days throughout the winter. Not so many this year.

Anonymous said...

Love the technical term "doo dad". Hope it warms up for you so you can get another project knocked off your to do list. We haven't been all that warm here either.

Sandy Livesay said...


I love what Dan has done to the tub. I'm praying for some warmth this way Dan can finish up the work on the tub and not worry about the tub drying properly.

We have several painting projects here but need to wait for the warmth.

Hurry up Spring!

60schild said...

Hi, I have been reading your blog for some time, but this is my first comment. We salvaged an old tub from our very first house, a turn of the century Victorian. The legs and the slots on the tub were numbered. We definitely noticed that the front legs were approximately 1/2 shorter than the back legs to allow for drainage. Don't have a great answer for the dip or low spot except to add some heavy duty metal spacers under the bag legs perhaps?

Leigh said...

Stephanie, lol. I thought it sounded better thank 'home decor item" but couldn't think of anything else. :)

Sandy, I am so with you on that, hurry up spring! I feel badly for saying that though, because soon I'll be complaining about the hot weather. :)

60schild, thank you so much for the comment! That's a good question. Considering the way this house was built, it wouldn't surprise me if the legs were put on wrong, LOL. Dan did check for some kind of marks or numbering when he put the legs back on, but didn't find any. That doesn't mean the legs aren't different heights though. I'll have to measure them and see. I'll suggest the spacers to him as well. The puddle in the tub isn't too bad, but I'd like it better if it could drain completely.

60schild said...

Sorry for the typo in the last sentence.....back legs of course. Good luck with the tub plumbing. Melissa

Mama Pea said...

We encounter that all the time . . . the fact that with "projects we can do in the winter", you often still need fresh air and circulation for a process to turn out successfully (and so we don't kill ourselves at the same time with chemical fumes)!

Once you get the tub out of the hallway, I'll bet you still walk down it for a while hugging the walls. Hee-hee.

Susan said...

So true! I have a few projects that are just one or two steps from being completed, but those steps must happen outside. Not going to until April! I need a workshop!

DFW said...

Baby Steps. It looks really good!

Sherri B. said...

That tub is going look great in your new bathroom. Love what your hubby did with the outside. Do you think that maybe that dip is supposed to be there...for comfort?

I'm having a cookbook giveaway, please stop over for a look

Have a great weekend. xo

Katy said...

Hey Leigh-
I've refinished one of these using marine products - acid cleaner and some patching (fiberglass resin based). It didn't require the spray on products (that are pretty much appliance paint and don't last). Just in case you are interested in my process (i blogged about the whole thing)

anyway. It's looking great. Those old tubs are worth the wait.

Ed said...

Before you know it, it will be too hot to do such projects!

The JB weld is some good stuff. When we moved into our house last summer, the wrought iron railing going downstairs was broken and missing a spindle. I used JB weld as a temporary fix until I tear up the carpet and can remove it to properly fix it before installing hardwood flooring. It has held up really well.

Leigh said...

Melissa, actually I read it correctly. ;)

Mama Pea, I often think of you as we're in the midst of all these projects, LOL. I admit it will be nice to get that tub out of there!

Susan, you're right. A workshop would be perfect. Preferably a heated one!

DFW, thanks!

Sherri, it's hard to imagine how or why the dip is there, It did leave a mineral ring from not properly draining. Actually, we could just leave it. Dan wanted to see if he couldn't fix it though.

Katy, thanks, I'm curious as to what you did. Are you talking about the outside or the inside of the tub? Dan used a paint recommended for cast iron on the outside, and bought an enamel tub surface refinishing product for the inside.

Ed, Dan really likes it too. Glad to hear it's that good of a product.

CaliforniaGrammy said...

That tub looks so nice and deep and comfy with the sloped back . . . I'm sure you're anxious to take a nice warm soothing bubble bath. Won't be long now, as long as the weather cooperates!

Nell said...

I have recently "found" you and so enjoyed your writing and went back a couple years to enjoy and found a list of gardening seeds and plants you were ordering and I thought it was such an excellent list I wanted to hang on to it to maybe get some ideas. At 75 i'm still trying to learn from others. So I right clicked to place it on my desktop so I wouldn't loose it and to my surprise you had a block. I saw that one time in the past and thought how strange. Someone puts so much out for the world to see then says but don't look too close you might,,,do what? So..I'm sorry you feel that way. You are talented with words and ideas. It was nice reading.

Leigh said...

Thanks Janice. The forecast doesn't look too promising for next week, but spring is on the way. :)

Nell, I appreciate your kind words. I'm sorry you are disappointed in my no right click and that you don't understand why I would put so much into my work and then not let others just take it. I agree that a seed list isn't the same as original writing, but there's no way to do right click only on parts of the blog. If you would like me to send you the seed list, I'd be more than delighted to!

In fact, any time someone is considerate enough to ask me for a photo or to republish some of my work, I always agree as long as I get credit for it. Who doesn't want credit for their work? On the other hand, I once had a whole series of posts stolen (from another of my blogs). Everything, the text and photos, were all copied and published on someone else's website, but without my byline. The only reason I found it was because of a link I'd included to another of my posts. Some one clicked on that link and it showed up in statcounter. From there I found the website with all my posts, plus posts from dozens of other blogs, with no credit. The purpose of this pirate website was to sell under the counter viagra. They stole others' work to make it look like a legitimate website. I felt so violated. And used. I was able to track down one other whose photography had been stolen (because he put his website as a watermark on his photos), and we were able to take action to have the site shut down.

I know that is extremely different from your purpose, but I don't understand why people think they do not need to respect others' copyright.

Looks like this turned into a soap box event, LOL. Several folks have voiced their dislike of my no right click (as they do my word verification). Like everything else in life, it's unfortunate that the practices of a few affect us all.

Renee Nefe said...

Bummer that you're stalled by the weather. I hope you get a nice warm day when Dan is home so you can get it finished....maybe move it outside?

It is looking great though.

Unknown said...

I know the frustration you feel. What you have done thus far is awesome! Sending warm wishes your way so you can get that tub back where it belongs :).

Have a great weekend!

Practical Parsimony said...

I have found my pictures on Pinterest, but a link back to me is included. No one asked me. Is that sort of thing a violation? At first, I was shocked. Then, I was okay with it. I am not sure how it all works. Should I be flattered? I am sure you were right to be upset. Thanks.

Leigh said...

Renee, at first we had the tub outside but moved in in cuz of the temps. It is hea-vy. I'm not sure if Dan'll want to move it outdoors again or not.

Jen, thank you! We're really happy with how it's turning out. :)

Linda, I felt that way the first time I found my photos from Pintrest too. Like you, I was relieved that at least credit and a link was provided. I actually get quite a bit of traffic from Pintrest. A lot of folks put Pintrest pix on their blogs, but then it's up to them whether or not to include owner credit. I read about one gal who found a drawing of one of her Pintrest photos in the idea section of a big ladies' magazine. No credit was given her. She did contact them and they profusely apologized and printed a subsequent acknowledgement. Still.

There has been some debate of the legality of Pintrest. Pintrest itself has a disclaimer as part of it's terms of usasage. Actually though, how is it any different than Google Images, Yahoo Images, or Bing Images?

Recently there was a stink because Facebook had decided to change their photo policy so that they owned all photos uploaded to Fb, and gave themselves the rights to do as they wished with them, including sell them for profit. I believe they backpeddled on it however, when there was mass cancellation of Fb accounts.

This is a moral problem that cannot be fixed with laws. Copyright laws already exist, so more laws won't help. I don't have an answer, but I suspect the problem will continue to get worse.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought to consider if all else fails with regard to the small dip in the tub.
Walmart sells bundles of 16 cotton washcloths for $4. I think i might be likely to buy several bundles. Then after I had finished my bath and the tub was rinsed and drained I would use my hand as a squeegie to scrape the remaining water from the dip. After that I would toss down a wash cloth to sop up what remains.

Leigh said...

Anonymous, I have to agree that often, the simplest solutions are the best! I think, though, that Dan often gets caught up in the challenge of a project, IOW, "can I do it?" I didn't think the dip was all that bad and suggested leaving it, but he wanted to see what he could do. It is a good way to explore materials and learn, no matter the outcome.