Evaluating Our Antique Clawfoot Tub

clawfoot tub feet
Now that we had our antique, cast iron, claw foot tub Clementine finally in our home after three years of storage, it was time to give her a good once over to see what was required to get her back to her former, functional glory.
We knew she’d seen a hard life before us. As her seller in Pittsburgh told us, she lived with an elderly woman in her trailer for as long as anyone one could remember. When the elderly lady moved South for the better weather, the trailer sat abandoned with Clementine and her sister, the matching porcelain sink, for a handful of years. The trailer park was sold and the remaining trailers demolished — but not before a contractor (the seller’s brother-in-law) rummaged through and saved our Clem. Her sister the sink didn’t make it, unfortunately. The seller took Clem in, but used her as landscaping decor until they decided to sell her on eBay.
So our girl came to us after decades of wear and tear and quite some exposure to the elements, yet still with minimal damage and rust. However, she wasn’t perfect, and we had to decide how to treat her wounds.

First, the most obvious issue was the inner tub. Scratched and missing some huge chips, the inner bowl required immediate care before we could even dream of using her.
The rest of her outer body showed a few cuts and scrapes, but surprisingly, little to no rust. Her feet, however, were a completely different story.
Her feet bore the weight not only of her solid body, but of her exposure to the elements.
refinishing a claw foot tub
Over all, it wasn’t a bad picture. We would need to remove her feet in order to clean, sand, and seal them. We would also have to repair the missing chunks of porcelain in her tub and re-glaze the patches (if not the whole thing). Our knowledgeable family member suggested products that would be suitable for the task, and after scouring the Internet for the correct items, we waited patiently for them to arrive.
Up next, we’ll take a crack at repairing the tub, so stick around!

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