Getting the fixture ready
For long term durability and proper adhesion, correct surface preparation is crucial. We begin this process by removing the caulking from around the tub and thoroughly cleaning the surface with scouring powder and scuff pads. Surfaces that have been painted or glazed before must be tested for both proper adhesion and compatibility with the new coating. Any old coating that fails these tests must be removed with the use of a chemical paint stripper. This is referred to as stripping. Removal of this old coating will allow the new material to bond directly to the substrate.
After the fixture is clean and dry, a blend of acids is used on the surface. This blend, called Porc-Etch™, is used to condition porcelain, glass, ceramic and vitreous china surfaces. These acids break down the surface of the substrate, creating a porous, etched surface. Etching is like sanding a surface before it is painted. It gives the applied material something to 'bite' into. These acid blends also pull moisture from the substrate and help kill surface rust. Once the acid wash is complete, the acid is neutralized and rinsed away.
Next the surface is inspected for small holes, chips, scratches and damage caused by chemical or water erosion. These areas are repaired using a composite polyester filler. This fill compound is built up, shaped and sanded to blend in the damaged area and produce a uniform surface to apply the coating to. Then any contaminates that may be left on the surface are removed to assure proper adhesion of the new finish to the porcelain or ceramic.
With the use of professional grade masking papers, tapes and drop cloths, the area surrounding the fixture is covered to protect it from overspray. Caulking is also applied at this time, if applicable. At this point the preparation is complete.
On with the coating
Our coating consists of two separate materials that are sprayed onto the surface of the fixture. The first of these is a two component, quick dry, high build, epoxy primer system called Ultra Grip™. We use this epoxy primer for its corrosion protection, adhesion qualities and its ability to hide minor surface imperfections. Three coats of this material are applied in about 10-15 minutes time. Warm forced air is used to assist in the drying of the primer coats for faster dry times.
The second material used in our coating process is an aliphatic acrylic urethane topcoat. This is basically a plastic coating without heavy metals such as lead. Glas-Tech™ is a sprayed on, non-porous urethane that not only provides excellent protection against staining, it leaves a high gloss finish that is resistant to impacts, chemicals and moisture. This is accomplished through a resin rich layer that rises to the top of the refinished surface as it dries. Three coats of this white or color tinted material are applied in about 10-15 minutes. This completes the refinishing process.
After this process is complete the refinisher will remove the equipment and drop-cloths from the home, leaving the masking paper and tape surrounding the refinished surface. Since the surface is still wet, removal of the masking material would cause damage to the finish. For this reason we ask that the customer remove this masking after 24 hours have passed. This also helps prevent excess dust from landing on the wet surface.
In it's entirety, bathtub refinishing can be completed within 2-4 hours and larger projects, such as tub andtile refinishing, can usually be completed in one day. The process is the same for both tub and tile refinishing. When they are refinished together, the coating will create a water proof barrier that will protect the grout and caulking from mold, mildew and dry-wall rot. The refinished fixture(s) can be put back into use after 24-48 hours.