For the past few months, Athena Calderone, an interior designer, stylist, chef, and author of Eye Swoon, has been camping out in a small apartment in her Brooklyn brownstone while it’s under renovation. “When I temporarily moved into a vacant apartment in my just-purchased brownstone, the existing bathroom was in bad shape, with a scuzzy, powder-blue stained tub,” she says. “I know I sound like a prima donna, but I could not imagine using the space on a daily basis.”
“Enter the obsessive, problem-solving side of my personality. I knew that you could reglaze a worn bathtub, but I didn’t realized you could reglaze ceramic tiles and flooring as well. I took a shot in the dark and Googled ‘bath refinishing’ and came up with Supreme Bath in Brooklyn, who came to my house and reglazed the entire bathroom in one day—tub, floor, and wall tiles—all for $800.”
How does tub and tile reglazing (also known as resurfacing work)? First, the tile is cleaned to remove dirts, oils, grease, and soap residue. Then, any chips or cracks are repaired and the surfaces are prepped with an acid etching, which creates a porous surface. After the prep work is complete, a surface primer is applied, followed by a top coat.
The Refreshed Bathroom
Above: “The reglazing plus a fresh coat of white paint from Super White Benjamin Moore completely transforms the space,” Athena says. “I wanted the brightest white because it’s a narrow and dark space.” The Sterling Windham Toilet is $136.43 from Home Depot.
Above: The white Lillangen Mirror is $50 from Ikea. The vintage Danish spatter painted vase is an eBay find.
Above: A budget hand towel option: The Linen Kitchen Towel in natural from Linen & Gifts is $6.25 via Amazon.
Above: Athena’s gray linen shower curtain from H&M (shown reflected in the mirror) is no longer available; for something similar, consider the Vintage-Washed Belgian Linen Shower Curtain in pewter, currently on offer for $99 at Restoration Hardware.
Above: The bathroom before.
For another genius (and low-cost) remodeling project, see Kitchen Upgrade: The Low-Cost DIY Black Backsplash. And to read about our own adventures in bathtub reglazing, see DIY: Refinishing the Bathtub in Time for the Holidays.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on June 22, 2016.