Remodeling: Selecting the Perfect Finishing Touches

A Guide To Fixing Chipped Enamel On A Cast Iron Bath

When it comes to renovating your bathroom, you can carry out minor fixes yourself, whilst leaving the main areas of work to your remodelling contractor.  A porcelain enamelled cast iron bath tub can look really stylish and add a great retro feel to a bathroom, but small chips around the edge can ruin the bath's appearance.  Here's how to tidy up small areas of damage on your enamelled cast iron bath tub.

What you'll need

  • porcelain repair compound (available from good DIY stores)
  • enamel paint (specifically for use on bath tubs)
  • coarse sandpaper
  • cotton buds
  • putty knife
  • razor blades
  • nail varnish remover
  • methylated spirits


  1. Start by drying the area to be repaired thoroughly; if the surface is damp, the repair compound product won't adhere properly and the fix won't work.  You can do this by using a hairdryer on a low heat setting, or simply leave the windows open for good air circulation and allow the bath to air-dry.  
  2. Now you'll need to even-out the damaged area to get rid of any rough edges.  To do this, use a piece of coarse sandpaper, concentrating on the chipped area only and working in small circles, until the surface feels smooth under your fingers.  
  3. The sanding process will leave a residue of fine dust on the damaged area.  You can clean this off by using a cotton bud soaked in methylated spirit.  Allow the area to air-dry completely before proceeding.

Applying the porcelain repair compound

  1. Your first job is to mix the repair compound with your enamel paint.  You can do this on an old plate or piece of tile, using a plastic spatula.  The idea is to mix a small amount of paint in at a time until the colour matches the porcelain on your bath tub.  
  2. When you're happy with the colour match, take a small quantity of compound on your putty knife and put a dollop into the middle of the chip.  Now spread the mixture outwards until the whole chipped area is covered evenly; you might need to scrape away any excess with the knife.  
  3. Allow the compound to dry thoroughly, as per the manufacturer's instructions.  
  4. To finish the job, use a cotton bud soaked in nail varnish remover to blend the edges of the repair into the rest of the surface.

In conclusion

You can repair minor chips to your enamelled cast iron bath tub by following the instructions above.  For more serious cracks and areas of damage, you may be best to ask your remodelling contractor to tackle the job for you.