Perk up a Plain Tub: August's selection from A Year's Worth of Easy Upgrades gallery from this old house
Photo: Tim Young/IPC Images
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August: Stencil a Plain Tub

Give your cast-iron soaker a dash of whimsy with a stenciled embellishment. Large-scale images, like the carp pictured here, also hide minor imperfections. For crisp edges, affix the stencil to the tub's side with repositionable mounting spray. Working from the outside inward, use a flat-tipped stencil brush to "pounce" on oil-based paint in a dabbing motion. Peel off the stencil at a sharp angle while paint's still wet. If the tub's whole exterior needs a pick-me-up, scrub it with a stiff wire brush, then coat with oil-based primer and paint before stenciling.
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