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Chicago Home & Garden Magazine

BY PATRICIA SCHULMAN
PUBLISHED SEPT. 4, 2008

Refinish Your Old Bathtub?
Q.  I love my old, extra-long bathtub but the surface is wearing away around the drain and the cast-iron is showing through. In fact, the whole thing looks kind of dull. Can I get it refinished?

 

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A. Jim Wagner, general manager of Ark Porcelain Refinishing Service, (165 Prairie Lake Rd., East Dundee, 773-763-6600; arkrefinishing.com), thinks there are three reasons to get a bathtub refinished and you’ve got at least two of them. “One is cosmetic—if you want a new color,” he says. “Two, if a tub is damaged or has wear-erosion. And three, old finishes have lead in them and the process of refinishing a tub encapsulates the lead so that it can’t leach out into the water.”

Ark’s pros use a modified silicon epoxy, available in white and custom colors, and apply it with a compressor-sprayer. They prep your tub by removing all caulk, stripping it of old paint, acid washing it, and then fine sanding it. They also mask your bathroom to protect it from spray. The process takes about three to four hours, and the glaze takes a week to cure before you can get it wet. Refinishing a standard-size tub in white costs $400 to $500; colors cost about $50 more. Wagner says the refinishing lasts about 20 years, depending on how much the tub is used and how carefully it is maintained. He recommends using a foaming or liquid cleanser such as Scrubbing Bubbles.

 

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ARK Porcelain Refinishing Service

Tel: 773.763.6600 Tel: 847.836.1872
Fax: 847.836.1896

 

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