Good As New
Refinishing may be the most practical way of restoring a built-in bathtub, but for those lucky enough to have a removable claw-foot tub or cast-iron sink, the dream has long been to give it a new finish that matches the hardness and durability of the old one. Custom Ceramic Coatings, of Lenzburg, Illinois, is pioneering a method to re-porcelain tubs in a furnace, the same way these fixtures got their original glossy skin. The process involves sandblasting off the old finish, then baking on a new enamel coating at 1,475 degrees Farenheit for about four hours. "It's genuine porcelain enamel, the same glass coating used on bathtubs you buy in stores," says owner Kara Kopplin. Her company has already successfully restored steel sinks for about $250 to $650. (Clay fixtures, like toilets and pedestal sinks, can't be refired.) The cost to treat a bathtub should range from $800 to $1,400; shipping will be extra.