Claw Foot Tub Resurfacing

Typically constructed of sturdy, rust-resistant cast iron, claw foot tubs were 19th century luxury items found only in wealthy homes with access to plenty of heated water. Lined with porcelain, antique cast iron bathtubs exist today because of cast iron’s extreme durability and low melting point. Modern claw foot tubs are made with acrylic, fiberglass or a compound of materials that simulate real cast iron.


Collectible or modern claw foot tubs come in four styles: classic rolled rim, double slipper, slipper, and double-ended tubs. Slipper tubs have one end raised and sloped to provide a comfortable relaxing position while double-ended tubs have rounded ends. Classic claw foot bathtubs will have one rounded end and one somewhat flat end.

Unfortunately, most antique claw foot tubs have been painted and repainted numerous times to conceal chipped or eroded porcelain. Restoring a claw foot tub to its original, pristine condition doesn’t mean slapping a coat of paint on it and expecting the paint to remain. Let our refinishing specialists reglaze your valuable claw foot tub with the appropriate materials so that it looks like you recently purchased it from a 19th century merchant.

What’s involved with the claw foot bathtub renewal process?


The majority of claw foot bathtubs are cast-iron tubs with porcelain overlays, so it is the porcelain you need refinished. To accomplish this, we apply a chemical etching substance that removes the gloss. Then we coat the unfinished surface with a high-gloss, polymer paint topcoat that returns your old clawfoot’s charming, old-world personality. Before we start resurfacing your claw foot bathtub, we will protect your bathroom floor and other components by laying a plastic tarp on the floor and over surrounding walls. We also protect the tub’s exterior surface and its feet from the etching solution.

The resurfacing process involves primer and paint materials that are applied using an industry-specific sprayer. In order to achieve a professional appearance, the primer and paint must be sprayed as evenly as possible over the entire surface of your claw foot bathtub. We must keep the spraying in motion continuously while making sure the right amount of paint is placed on your bathtub. We do not recommend that you try to resurface your antique using over-the-counter products and instructions from amateur websites.

Transform your boring to brilliant with our 8 layer system

Bathtub refinishing is a great choice to transform the look of your existing tub. Our high gloss, durable coating will renew your outdated surface in a matter of hours, so you can use your tub the very next day. We also excel at rusted tub repair in Maryland, which involves resurfacing cast iron or pressed steel enamel tubs. When cast iron or steel bathtubs are made, manufacturers coat them with a porcelain veneer that, after time, erodes to expose the original casting. When water and steel or iron interact regularly, rust inevitably forms.

Can my tub be repaired?

Chances are, yes!  Rust mostly occurs around the drain and overflow plate which can be repaired.  While we cannot fully inhibit the rust from forming once it has started our process can slow it down.  Our trained technicians use a combination of acid etch and elbow grease to remove the affected metal.  The acid etch eats away at the rust which leaves the bare metal exposed and ready for the new surface, and the technician sands away and rust that was not eliminated by the acid etch.  Oxidation can severely damage your tub but as long as the structural integrity of the tub is not compromised it can usually be repaired during the tub resurface.

What can’t be repaired?

It is important to keep in mind that resurfacing is a cosmetic fix, meaning that some tubs just cannot be repaired.  In most cases these are fiberglass tubs or shower pans.  Overtime that fiberglass becomes more brittle and flexes and eventually cracks due to pressure from use, structural, or otherwise.  If the cracks leak then the tub or shower pan will most likely need replacing.  While resurfacing can mask the appearance of the cracks it cannot prevent their eventual return.

“I would recommend Custom Tub & Tile to a friend for a couple of reasons. One, I thought the overall process was actually advertised accurately, which I seldom see.  Two, I really like the staff at Custom Tub & Tile, they were very friendly and very accurate.  And they delivered exactly what they said they were going to do on time and at a very good cost.
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“I decided [Custom Tub & Tile] had the best materials, the best guarantee, and the best price…The technician who came knew exactly what he was doing…It’s surely been a year and a half or two years and the tub looks like the day he did it.  I have absolutely not a mark, not a scratch, and no evidence of any deterioration whatsoever .  My only regret is that I didn’t have it done in the other bathroom!”
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“I could not have been more pleased.  What I liked about [the technician] was that from the moment I met him I had a sense of confidence about his capabilities.  He was neat, he was polite, he was obviously an expert at what he did…When I got home the place was immaculate and the tub was beautiful.”
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“I had a fantastic experience and I think Custom Tub & Tile won my business because of the patience of [their office staff] who responded to probably a countless number of emails asking [them] all sorts of different questions about their process…[They] very patiently, clearly responded to every single one of my questions.  And that really impressed me.”
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