One of the tubs in our new home has a few spots where the enamel is chipped away and the metal underneath has started rusting. I don't want to replace the tub yet, so how can I clean and patch the tub? Not so much concerned with aesthetics as with prolonging the life of the tub.

  • If the rust has stained areas around the chip CLR is an excellent cleaner. Use before sanding of course as that requires water.
    – user32220
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 11:34

3 Answers 3


With one of these: Enamel Repair Kit

You simply sand out any rust in the chipped enamel, then paint on a new enamel coating. The finished repair should be permanent, and if well-done nearly undetectable.

  • Thanks - I assume I'll need to remove the rust first. From the image it looks like it comes with sanding paper, do you know if this is the case? Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 19:09
  • If it does, great, if not then grab some 220 and 320-grit wet-dry sandpaper and have at it. Make sure you sand out ALL the rust and remove any oxidation that hasn't quite turned into red cast-iron rust; you want shiny bare metal far as the eye can see before painting on the enamel touch-up.
    – KeithS
    Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 19:13
  • Great, thanks (I just realized I missed the part of your answer where you said: "You simply sand out any rust"...) Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 20:09
  • Exactly what I would do Keith, good call. +vote Commented Jul 29, 2011 at 20:32

I first use a mini wire brush,not too stiff bristles..you can sand some too,then vacuum all dust out.Then apply a rust coverter(i use OSPHO)this will"kill"and convert any remaining rust to "black"metal.Wait 24 hrs.then I tape off 1/2 inch outside of problem area(I use blue painters tape..much easier to remove than regular masking tape),then tape newspaper to cover an additional12 inches out for any overspray when I prime it),spray with oil primer from can,like rustoleum,not too heavy let dry then apply enamel final coat,2 will probably be better and last longer,id let this dry as long as possible,finished!


Salt in vinegar and a stainless steel scrubby will dissolve rust. Dry, then apply touchup to a warm tub.

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