and tubs are much prized by historic house hunters, but they’re not always in good condition and, in the case of mid-century fixtures, not always to contemporary tastes. Cast-iron bathtubs and vitreous enamel sinks from the era of the house should be saved unless the porcelain is rusted through or seriously cracked. Give any suspect fixture a thorough cleaning (Bon Ami and a sponge or soft plastic bristle brush work well without damaging the surface).
If the enamel finish is worn through in spots but the fixture is in otherwise good condition, have it reglazed by a professional who uses a two-part acrylic polyurethane resin coating that resembles the original enamel in shine and appearance. The work should be guaranteed to last at least five years. Whether done in your home or in a shop, the process requires etching the fixture to allow the new enamel to bond with the tub, sanding and filling nicks and abrasions, and multiple coats of finish.
If you’ve inherited bath or kitchen fixtures from a much later era, consider saving them as part of house’s history if they are in good condition. If not—or if the colors are hideous in context or taste—replace them. Offer any fixtures in good condition to a salvager, or sell them online. Someone else may want a yellow bathroom sink or jade-green bathtub.