• In this video, This Old House host Kevin O'Connor explains how to refinish a cast-iron tub.


    1. Use utility knife to remove old caulk from around perimeter of tub
    2. Scrape caulk from face of tile with razor scraper.
    3. Spray tub with acid-based commercial cleaner.
    4. Wait 5 minutes, then scrub the tub.
    5. Cover the walls with plastic sheeting.
    6. Apply acid-etching paste to tub with a scrub brush.
    7. Wait 15 minutes, then wash the tub with clean water.
    8. Spray on primer; let dry.
    9. Spray tub with a topcoat mixture of white paint and high-gloss polyurethane.
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    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Patience and plenty of elbow grease is required to clean and prep the tub for the finish coat
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • utility knife
        Utility knife
        used to remove old tub caulk
      • single edge razor
        Razor-blade scraper
      • scrub brush
        Stiff-bristle scrub brush
      • paint sprayer
        Air-powered paint sprayer
      • air compressor
        Air compressor

      Shopping List

      1. Acid-based commercial cleaner for cleaning tub

      2. Acid-etching paste, which preps the tub for primer

      3. Plastic sheeting to protect walls during paint spraying

      4. Masking tape for securing plastic sheeting

      5. Canvas drop cloth for protecting the floor