Having a coloured bath without the crazy price tag
Coloured baths are all the rage at the moment. If you follow a number of interiors community biggies on Instagram then you’ll find coloured baths everywhere. From @comedowntothewoods and @theturnerhouseproject and their pink tubs to @livedin365 and @the_idle_hands and their yellow bathroom pops, it seems that the bog standard white bath is on its way out.
When we started planning our bathroom renovation in autumn 2018 we knew we wanted to include a freestanding bath in the design. And when we started pulling together our mood board for the space it became clear that we were going to need to find a navy blue freestanding to fit in with the concept for the room.
Great, coloured baths are everywhere we thought. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem to do some online searching and find the right one. How wrong we were. We’d had a freestanding bath in our previous house so knew we could get a white one for not much more than an inset bath. But finding a coloured freestanding bath without doubling the cost (and more) didn’t seem achievable. In fact, finding one in a navy blue seemed pretty much impossible.
We eventually found one that was the right colour but it was cast iron and just short of £900, so it was out of the question. We didn’t want to spend more than £7,000 on the bathroom including fittings, labour and materials. So, spending nearly 15% of the budget on the bath itself and then the additional spend on reinforcing the floor to hold a cast iron bath was going to blow the budget out of the water.
Surely, if we can’t buy it then we must be able to do this ourselves we thought. I’d recently been on a furniture painting course with Done Up North at Chirpy in Chapel Allerton, Leeds and learnt all about how versatile Fusion mineral paint was on various surfaces. So I dropped Nicky from Done Up North a DM asking her if she thought we could use the paint on a new acrylic bath. She reassured me that with the right prep the paint should work really well so we decided to go for it!
After checking the different
Fusion blues available with the tiles that we’d decided on for the space we bought the paint from Jo at Chirpy. So, when our new white freestanding bath arrived from Victoria Plum and after the plumber had got the first fix sorted we got to work on it.
Step 1: Prep
In order for the paint to take to the acrylic we needed to roughen up the surface. So I hand sanded the outside of the bath with a 240 grit sheet of sandpaper.
Once I’d gone round the whole of the bath I then wiped it down with a tack cloth to make sure as must dust was removed as possible. This was a really quick and easy task and although it feels counterintuitive to sand a brand new bath it was needed to make sure that we got the best finish to the bath once it was painted.
Step 2: First, Second and Third Coats!
The one key thing I’d learnt on the furniture painting course was not to apply too much paint with each coat and to just apply more coats if necessary. So the first coat went on, but it really didn’t have a lot of coverage.
So, after that was dry (which didn’t take long) I applied a second coat. This looked better but it still definitely needed another coat. Whenever I saw any obvious brush strokes or some unsightly blobs I just sanded them down in between coats. I applied three coats of the paint to get the coverage I wanted without having obvious brush strokes or blobs of unsightly paint anywhere.
Step 3: Final Coat
All this painting had been done outside of the bathroom so the next job was to move it into place and get the second fix plumbing completed. And so once it was in situ I gave a fourth and final coat for luck. You might think how on earth did she manage to do all this with a small tub of paint? But the beauty of Fusion paint is how far a small amount goes. I bought a 500ml pot and it did 4 coats on the bath, 4 coats on the vanity unit for the bathroom, a couple of coats on the utility room sink unit and there’s still some left for another project! So, although the pots aren’t cheap you get a lot out of them.
It’s been a few months since the bath was painted and it’s holding up really well. It gets used daily by Arthur and Edith and there’s a lot of splashing but the paint job looks just as good as it did at the beginning.
If you’re thinking of incorporating a coloured bath into your bathroom but haven’t found what you’re looking for or think they’re out of budget, think again! You can get the bath of your dreams at a fraction of the price and you don’t even need to work that hard. Win, win!
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