Make the old look new again

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Marc Atiy­o­lil

DEAR Marc:

I have an old claw-foot tub which I love but the out­side of the tub is looking a lit­tle drab. Is there any­thing that can be done be­sides re­plac­ing it? Wendy Dear Wendy: There are cer­tain things in your home that add char­ac­ter to the space and also re­flect the era of the house. If this is an an­tique claw tub that was orig­i­nally in­stalled when the home was built, then I sug­gest r efur­bish­ing it to keep the essence of the space in­tact.

Be­fore start­ing your re­fur­bish­ing project, start by as­sess­ing the en­tire bath­room. Is the tub the only thing that needs to be changed in the space? Most likely if the tub is looking a lit­tle drab, the en­tire bath­room also needs a lit­tle spruc­ing up.

I sug­gest re­paint­ing your en­tire bath­room to give it a fresh new colour scheme and in­te­grate the cho­sen colours in your re­fur­bish­ing project. Choose one neu­tral colour for your walls paired with one to two ac­cent colours. The ac­cent colours cho­sen will be used in your tow­els, ac­ces­sories, mats, and most im­por­tantly on the base of your claw tub. As the claw tub is some­thing unique that not every­one has, you want your ac­cent colour on the base of the tub to con­trast with your wall colour (pri­mary colour) so that both de­sign el­e­ments work to­gether but also stand on their own to make that much needed state­ment.

Once you have se­lected your ac­cent colour for the base of the tub, visit your lo­cal paint store and ask for spe­cial­ized paint for the claw tub re­fur­bish­ing project. You want to in­vest in qual­ity paint and primer as you don’t want the paint to chip and peel with the ex­po­sure to the mois­ture through the years. Be sure to prop­erly sand the area prior to ap­ply­ing the primer. This is ex­tremely im­por­tant to en­sure the longevity of the paint coat there­fore take your time sand­ing and prim­ing the area.

When the area is ready for a coat of paint, paint the en­tire sur­face go­ing up into the in­side of the lip to have a clean pro­fes­sional look just in case some­one does de­cide to lay on the floor and real- ly an­a­lyze your de­sign project. Be sure not to paint the ac­tual out­side lip of the tub as you want the con­trast be­tween the white of the lip and the ac­cent colour on the base.

Once the en­tire base of the tub is painted, con­sider up­grad­ing your bath­room faucets. Faucets make a last­ing im­pres­sion and will give your bath­room a fresh new look. Be sure to pur­chase faucets that re­flect the era of the house there­fore if you have an older home, look for an­tique looking fix­tures.

As soon as your bath­room up­grades are com­plete, be sure to take a step back and ad­mire your de­sign project. En­joy!

— Canwest News Ser­vice

Marc Atiy­o­lil is a celebrity de­signer, home-trend ex­pert and the ed­i­tor-in-chief of

Cana­dian Home Trends Canada’s Home Decor Mag­a­zine

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