Q. I sometimes see cracked and stained claw-foot bathtubs at salvage shops. How big a deal is it to get one looking like new?
A. Restoration is a semi-big deal but can be worth it if you love your tub, says Brian Schacht, who operates Advanced Refinishing (877-562-8468; www.advancedrefinishing.com), a nationwide tub restoration business, out of Kings, Illinois (about 80 miles west of Chicago). By restoration, which runs $595, Schacht doesn’t mean the quickie reglazing jobs that some contractors do in your home. He and his crew take your tub to his shop, where they sandblast it down to its cast-iron shell, then paint the outside with an industrial enamel. He can also replace a tub’s feet and add plumbing fixtures. Schacht picks up and delivers to customers within a 100-mile radius. For customers beyond that, he builds wooden crates to ship the tubs via FedEx. Most of his customers choose white as the color of their newly restored tubs, but if it’s purple you want, it’s purple you get. Recently, black on the outside and white on the inside has been hot, Schacht says. “It’s really just an old look, but it’s back.”
-Leslie Mann

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