House Reno Part 2/3 - Bathroom + Bath restoration

The Bathroom....

The bathroom after demo

The bathroom after demo

The bathroom was a major bargaining tool in this house purchase. It didn't look like this when we first took a look but it was still pretty horrendous. The walls were primed as you can see here above the missing gib and there was a cast iron bath along the back wall with an awkward basin sitting at the end of it to the right (sadly the 'before' photos are on a now defunct phone)

The real problem in there was the trampoline-like floor! All around the bath the floor was completely rotten and with no under floor house access due to concrete solid piles between each room, we had to take a punt! Luckily, once we got in behind the floor and walls, it was bad but not unfixable.

With a 105 year old house we knew it was going to need to be entirely re-wired and that insulation would be an issue with its lovely aged, but draughty wooden floors but it was quite interesting to see the old building techniques and amazed at all the work that has gone into the walls as shown here and sealed with lathen plaster

Gorgeous huh! ;) As you can see here on the right, solid concrete separates every room making underfloor insulation near impossible without a fortune have to go into making holes in the floor of every room. 

The bathroom is only a very small 2.1 metres by 2.3 metres so that had its upsides and downsides. Cost wise it helped us in that less gib, less flooring, less vinyl, less work. I have to make a special mention to my inlaws for this bathroom. They were the ones to rip off the walls, the floor, remove rotten wood and replace it with new, they did half of the new gib (the tidy half) and alot of the plastering. So they saved us a fortune in time and money and knowledge!

Kerry and Paul kicking some ass while saving ours.

Kerry and Paul kicking some ass while saving ours.

I do think that by the time they were done there was a sigh of relief as moving the newly restored, cast iron, claw foot bath quietly tested their patience...

The master gib-stopper! The house LOVED this stuff - used a whole bucket!

The master gib-stopper! The house LOVED this stuff - used a whole bucket!

The Bath.....

I haven't decided yet whether this was a good idea or a terrible one, or if I would do it again...

I brought a cast iron, claw foot bath, filling with rust and chipped all over for $120 and picked it up from Dunedin (though actually all the way from Ohai) I figured that surely it would scrub up no problem and that the over all look would be PERFECT and a real feature for a house older than 100 years old...

Easy! Right?

Easy! Right?

  This is what I was faced with. Note that the photo of the feet above was AFTER I had given them a hefty dose of rust converter and scrubbed them down with a wire brush. Before that they had layers of cream and mint paint with rust on every paint free patch.

The inside was severely discoloured and rusted from years of neglect and the outside had seen many coats of paint along with some deep chips along the rim.

My next step was to use some more potent rust converter on the inside of the bath and around the brass plug hole, followed by some meths and an overall light sand of the the entire interior. (If I do this again I will sand the inside of the bath more thoroughly and a little more)

The outside got a similar treatment with a more thorough sanding in preparation for a paint

Propped up in the garage for work

Propped up in the garage for work

After its first coat of kill rust spray paint

After its first coat of kill rust spray paint

Please note that I hate spending money and a quote to get the bath professionally refurbished ranges from $500-$700. I did a bit of research and found that you can buy a 'Bath and Tile' specific paint for over $100 from mitre 10, but I was still determined I could work it out cheaper.

I looked into the bath and tile ingredients and searched for similar products which is when I came up with good old car paint! Which makes a lot of sense too and at $15-$17/can (needing 2 minimum for the state the bath was in)

These are the products I used:

- Wattyl Kill Rust x2 for $17/can (Supercheap Auto)

- Selleys Appliance fix for the chipped edges $19 (Mitre 10)

- Septone Rust Converter $20 (Supercheap Auto)

- Hammerite Smooth Silver Metal Paint for feet $19 (Mitre 10)

- You will also need a sturdy wire brush, some fine sandpaper and a fine bristled paintbrush


I ended up with loads of rust converter and silver paint left over (Great for painting the tips of pinecones as Christmas decorations)

As it was fitted after coat number 2

As it was fitted after coat number 2

Before the bath was fitted I painted the exterior with the dark grey 'Caroline Bay' paint that I had used through the rest of the house.

As you can see - it could have benefited from a 3rd coat of white or a more talented spray painter but for a rental property I was happy with the outcome and may look at a 3rd coat when we go to sell it one day.

I would also removed the brass plug fitting and polish it up pre-paint and put it back once fitted as I ended up just painting straight over it.

It took four or us plenty of sweat and stress to get in up around the back of the house and inside and I think the inlaws were cursing me towards the end. I MAY have promised them I won't do a cast iron bath for the next one but I'm not sure if I was serious just yet.

I feel it was worth it and I love the bath. Time will tell how well my job hold us but the total cost of refurb was about $80 + the bath cost of $120 - bringing us to a grand total of $200 for a character bath that suits the house beautifully. 


Tips and Tricks:

- Don't skimp on preparation

- Use the appliance fix paint AFTER the spray paint as it caused it to peel and react the other way around so I had to clean it off and start that area over

- Remove the plug hole first

- Wear a face mask!! Seriously - my nostrils were white and stuck together for a day afterwards, i'd hate to think how many precious brain cells i lost!!

- Get at least 4 people together to move the sucker around and use my life/back saving idea of sliding it around on old carpet once inside!



Check out Part 1 of the renovation series under 'adventures, renovation or upcycling' - Purchase and Painting!