A few months ago we discussed our search for the best solution in dealing with the historic claw foot tubs located at Snapdragon Inn. This previous post
covers some of the main points and how we selected Miracle Method.
Well the results are in (though this post is somewhat delayed) and we could not be happier with the outcome of our decision to keep the 84 year old tubs and try to bring them back to life.
Below are some before, process, and after pictures that will illustrate how we restored the tubs. The refinishing process is not meant to make a historic item look new and store-bought, so the imperfections in the original iron casts of the tubs remain as they were when they were shipped to Vermont. But the finish is brand new and allows current use, better care, and long term maintenance of the tub for decades to come.
Legs were removed and tubs set up on covered surfaces in well ventilated rooms.
Additional ventilation was set up. The tubs were scraped and peeled to remove years of paint and residue from the cast iron. This stripping process took hours and was an attempt to bring tubs back to the cast iron to confirm condition and provide a surface for refinishing.
While our tubs had no major imperfections, any small nicks that could be improved were filled, sanded and cured to provide a new surface for the refinishing process. The pictures above show part of this process.
As we discussed in our first post on tubs, the next step involved coating the tubs with a new surfacing material. The process seems much like an auto body repair if you were to see it happening, but the artistry is in knowing how to apply the product, how to salvage the unique features of the tubs, and how to achieve a smooth finish. The picture above shows the interior coating in progress.
A before/after shot of the faucet holes on one tub. This is midway through the interior refinishing process. The improvement is pretty dramatic and in person, the finish seems brand new.
We were very happy with this vendor.
We will provide some final thoughts and pictures on the tub project once we have them in place in the finished bathrooms. One of our goals with Snapdragon Inn was to retain a sense of place and history with the property and figuring out a way to make these great pieces of history work for the inn was very satisfying for the team.
Have you seen me?
We are looking for a claw foot tub leg that looks like the one pictured below. Email us with any leads.