Here’s how I know recycled building materials are more popular now than ever before. For the first time in my 19 years of renovations, I couldn’t find a free clawfoot tub. Our very first house, my husband got one from a work buddy who was renovating and another of his buddies, a firefighter, helped carry it in. That helpful firefighter later lost his life in 9/11. On other houses, we ended up with yet another friend’s tub after their renovation and a Craigslist free posting.
Fast forward to 2012 and the only free tub I could come up with was up three flights in a Victorian attic. I’m cheap but not that cheap. Those things are heavy!
I paid Brooklyn salvage king Eddie Hibbert $100 including delivery to Rockaway. When he took the tub out of the van, it was not the same one I chose at his shop but I didn’t have the heart to make him haul it back. Not after all the discounts he’s been giving me over the years.
So, it needed reglazing.
I’ve actually had someone reglaze a tub for me before and it didn’t work out so well. These were the days before social media. The internet existed but there was nowhere to complain about guys like this. The tub started peeling within a month and my only recourse was BBB which didn’t get me too far.
This time I went with Al and Dave whom have been in the business for 40 years and come highly recommended. Five hundred bucks including stripping and tax makes this the priciest tub I’ve ever bought. It looks good. Not perfect because the tub was in bad shape, but I don’t need perfection in an antique. The only thing that makes me nervous is that I do see drips, which makes me think it’s going to start peeling. I hear that these things never really last but I can’t imagine throwing away a cast iron tub because it’s impossible to restore.
The process took a bit over three hours to strip and paint. It was dry to the touch a few hours later but cannot be used for about three days. The painting room (bathroom) should be warm, well ventilated and dust free.
Fingers crossed it will last. If not, at least these guys can be held accountable unlike the first hack.