What you’ll need to paint your cast iron bath

  • Rubber gloves
  • Sugar soap
  • White spirit
  • 120 grit emery paper
  • 80 Grit emery paper
  • 36 grit emery paper
  • Dry Rag
  • Paint brushes or rollers
  • oil based red oxide metal primer
  • oil based undercoat
  • oil based coloured paint of your choosing

1. Prepare the surface

Surface needs to be degreased using sugar soap. Make sure you wear rubber gloves at this stage because sugar soap can be very harsh on your skin. When the surface of the bath is completely clean, sand it thoroughly down with emery paper. This is best done by hand for a rustic finish, leaving a few bumps here or there. However if you want a silky smooth finish then you may want to use an electric sander with some 80 grit emery paper to get a more polished finish.

This sanding process provides a ‘key’ for the paint to stick to. Be sure to completely remove all dust when this stage is complete. The best way to do this is to degrease the surface with a rag dipped in white spirit and allow this to dry.

3. Prime the surface of the bath

Before applying a coloured paint you will need to use a metal primer. An oil based red oxide metal primer is the best. When this is dry, give the bath a quick rub down with fine sandpaper to even the surface out.

4. Apply an undercoat

Dust the bath down and apply a coat of oil based undercoat. Make sure the undercoat is oil based. Paint it out using a good quality soft brush to get the undercoat as smooth as possible. When the undercoat is dry, give it a very light sanding over with some 120 grit emery paper to provide a key for your choice of coloured paint.

5. Paint your bath

In this final stage you can use any oil based paint of your choosing. You’ll get great results applying with a roller, the professionals use a spray. Make sure you pay close attention to the drying times listed on your paint – and take care not to smudge the finished bath.