Refinishing A Clawfoot Tub.

I wrote briefly in the previous update about the top floor bathroom and how the tub was left to rust and rot. We knew when we purchased the home that there was a leak leading from it into the boys’ bedroom below. But we didn’t know how bad it was until we opened the ceiling. The previous owners let water sit and rust an otherwise lovely clawfoot tub. And since it was leaking into the bedroom below, they deemed the entire bathroom off limits, you know, instead of repairing it. Because, why would anyone want to fix something? No. Instead, they told their middle child (the one whose bedroom was in the finished attic) that she shouldn’t use that bathroom at all.

So, it sat there unused and rusting. Meanwhile, a family of five shared one bathroom. Not that that’s a big deal; we’ve been doing just that. But why have five people share a bathroom if you don’t have to? Especially when someone uses the bedroom attached to it? (Both our boys are too young and/or scared right now to move to that floor. In time, however, I am certain they will be fighting over it.)

So that was annoying. But this isn’t remotely close to being the worst problem we inherited. This is nothing. I’ll share the rest of it over time, I am sure.

Anyway, here’s how we inherited the tub:

The rust around the drain ate through the tub and so water was basically pouring out onto the floor below, which was then pouring into the ceiling below. So. Yeah.

Anyway here’s the finished product:

We priced getting a new clawfoot tub, but they are very pricey. So I started researching having the tub sanded and refinished. Originally I was planning on doing it myself. But since I’m pregnant, and the finish involved can be toxic, we decided against it.I paid someone instead. They came out, sanded the tub, got rid of the rust and then refinished both the outside and inside for right around 500.00. (It would have been cheaper if the tub was outside or in an otherwise better ventilated, and bigger space.) So, for what it’s worth, if you have a tub that seems like it’s past its prime, don’t throw it out! You can have it redone for so much less than buying a new tub. And if you’re up for a challenge, they sell kits at Home Depot specifically for this type of job.

We purchased the fixture from Amazon. You may see it here. I had our awesome plumber install it all AND make sure the leak was fixed. It is! Come over! Have a bubble bath!


  1. It’s lovely! Yay for usable bathrooms and old houses and pretty tubs :).


  2. I LOVE that you were able to refinish the tub – it’s beautiful!


  3. i am loving all of these home improvement entries. especially the before and after pics. we just bought a new house and are in the throes of home repair. it really is never ending but there is nothing so satisfying as standing back and seeing how far you have come.


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