Bathroom renovation project help, please.
August 20, 2008 6:27 PM   Subscribe

How can I get paint off a porcelain bathtub?

It's a non-latex flat interior paint that was applied to part of the surface, and it's very noticeable and ugly in an off-white color that does not match the original surface. Someone suggested scraping it off with a single edge razor blade but I worry that will scratch the finish, not to mention taking forever.

I don't think it was done to cover any stains or rust, it looks like somebody just started to paint it one day and didn't finish.
posted by longsleeves to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
A few places are saying that Goof-Off might help you.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:36 PM on August 20, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks but I understand Goof-off works for latex paint only
posted by longsleeves at 6:57 PM on August 20, 2008

You're worried about the finish on a tub that someone has painted? I'll bet you that somebody started painting it for a reason, like maybe there's a huge rust mark or something. People usually paint tubs as a last resort. I'd use a bit of elbow grease before resorting to noxious chemicals.
The enamel on an old porcelain tub is basically a layer of glass. A razor blade in one of those holders that's made to get paint off windows glass should work. The only issue is that if the razor blade metal is too soft it may leave marks behind the way a pencil does on paper but shouldn't actually scratch it. A cream cleanser should buff out the marks.
posted by bonobothegreat at 6:58 PM on August 20, 2008

heat gun.
posted by hortense at 7:13 PM on August 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding heat gun, and razor blades, but also adding paint stripper.

All have worked for me in the past on a porcelain clawfoot, but paint stripper was the winner in the end.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:26 PM on August 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by TomMelee at 8:21 PM on August 20, 2008

Best answer: Here's what professional tub refinishers do:

After removing fittings, refinishers clean off soap scum with a razor blade and solvent. Then they tackle any old paint with a scraper blade and a chemical stripper similar to the kind used on furniture. The stripper also loosens rust, which is more thoroughly dispatched with a grinder.

So you can do that yourself and then perhaps you will find you need a professional refinisher anyway. For small mars and modest unattractive areas such as a rust stain, there are DIY kits like these.
posted by dhartung at 10:08 PM on August 20, 2008

And just so you know, it doesn't cost that much to have a professional strip and re-epoxy a tub. I've had it done twice in NYC, and it was about $400 each time. And it only takes a few hours.
posted by kimdog at 6:10 AM on August 21, 2008

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