Back to the Bog Garden

I left off working on restoring the clawfoot tub for the bog garden last year (we got months of wildfires, I ended up fostering more kittens this year than usual, and also my work got really busy, like working until 2am most nights busy). But I really want to get that done and set up, so I set myself the goal of working on it a little every day for the next few weeks to finish it up.

One of the things that had held me up before was the feet. They are super rusty, two of them have been painted over that rust with latex paint, and I could not quite figure out how I wanted to handle that. I pondered hand-cleaning them with steel wool, but that would take forever, and what I do not have is an infinite amount of time. So I did some research on chemical rust removal.

rusty clawfoot tub foot

This week I went and got some Evapo-Rust. This stuff is pretty amazing. You soak your parts in it, and it removes the rust. You can re-use it, so when you are done you just pour it back into the bottle. Even better, maybe the best, is that it is skin-safe (and eye-safe, though I did not test that; basically you don't need to wear goggles in case of splashes).

rusty foot soaking in Evapo-Rust

I cleared the actual dirt off the feet, and one at a time I've been soaking them in a bucket of Evapo-Rust. Every time I go by it, I use an old toothbrush and give it a little scrub to help things along.

The first one I soaked for 24 hours, and this is how it came out (I took this photo right after I pulled it from the bath):

clawfoot tub foot with no visible rust left

The bright orange dots there are dots of formerly white latex paint that were stuck in the rust.

There's still some rust on there, in the impressions in the design. I'm leaving the second foot in for 48 hours, and I'll put this back in after that one is done. But it looks pretty amazing, and would be just fine like this.

The next task is to remove the latex paint from the other two feet. For that I am using Goof-Off's Graffiti Remover. I haven't tested this yet, but I do have other paint strippers I can try out if it doesn't work. Once I've got most of the paint off, I can soak them in the Evapo-Rust.

The rust coating I put on the tub body last year must have been too old, because it didn't completely work, so I've got some work to do there, as well. I'm going to wire brush the tub all over to clean it up. Then I got a new can of rust converter -- this one is Dupli-Color Rust Fix, because the local auto body shop didn't have AdCoat. I'll also use that on the feet.

Then it's a final paint coat, and I can get to plumbing.

posted by ayse on 04/03/21

2 Comments

The easy way to get latex paint off of metal items is to simmer them overnight in an (old) crockpot, on a low setting. Works a charm. I've not seen any damage to the metalwork done this way.

Good work on the tub!

The crock pot method works less well when the paint was sprayed onto rust. But if it was sprayed on clean metal, yes, that's a super easy way to get it off.

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