Fixing cast iron enamel
September 25, 2019 9:56 AM   Subscribe

I've got a small chip in my cast iron shower pan. What's the best way to fix it? I've seen a bunch of kits that range from white paint to UV cured epoxy. Has anybody done this? Or is it a job for pros, and what kind?
posted by Marky to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's small enough for DIY, I think. First *make sure* your tub is enamel. If a magnet sticks, its enamel. If not, it's porcelain. They make repair kits for both. They are pretty straightforward, I've patched a few chips on my tub with them.
posted by ananci at 10:05 AM on September 25, 2019

If it's cast iron, there's a 100% chance of a magnet sticking, no matter the coating.

Better to check with the manufacturer's website, or the labeling on the product if you were to try to order the same thing. If you ordered online, check the deets in your order history.

You man also just season that one little spot of iron with a drop of oil and some heat, and then ignore the chip.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:02 AM on September 25, 2019

The color suggests cast iron, not porcelain. Rust is insidious, paint seems inadequate. I'd probably dry it well, and use the epoxy.
posted by theora55 at 11:05 AM on September 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

I’ve used (multiple coats of) white nail polish in the past, if cost is an issue. It didn’t look perfect but it looked better than before.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 3:43 PM on September 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

If it's rusted, you absolutely have to remove all the rust. This will involve removing the enamel around the chip as well, until you have clean, bare metal. Not removing the rust means the pan will continue rusting away under the old coating as well as the repair. Be sure to sand the enamel around the chip before you paint, to improve adhesion.

Enamel touch-up paint is pretty easy to find; the big-box hardware stores stock basic white. You need very little. It won't be as durable as the enamel that's baked onto the metal, but that probably won't matter; if your shower pan doesn't flex the paint is unlikely to crack. I hadn't been able to color-match the enamel in my tub when I had to touch it up (the tub was over 30 years old, so the once-white coating had aged), but it was close enough that I didn't care. Color-matching whites is difficult, particularly in bathrooms with no (or very small) windows.
posted by ardgedee at 3:57 PM on September 25, 2019

we used this on our cast iron tub a few years ago and it seems to have held up fine. 2nding others suggestions to remove the rust first.
posted by Dr. Twist at 10:30 AM on September 26, 2019

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