Porcelain and enamel sinks and bathtubs are some of the most resilient fixtures in the typical home, but they’re not invincible. If you accidentally drop something hard and heavy like a cast iron skillet, you could easily chip the surface. Fortunately, the repair job is easy, too.
Your DIY sink or bathtub repair starts at your local hardware store, where you’re likely to find a selection of epoxy repair kits. You’ll need one of these repair kits and a sheet of fine-grit sandpaper, if you don’t already have some at home.
Before you can begin repairs, you should clean and dry the chipped area thoroughly, then give it a few passes with the sandpaper. This will remove any small particles that remain and give the chipped surface a rough texture that will make it easier for the epoxy to form a strong bond.
Epoxy consists of two separate solutions. Mix the solutions according to the directions on the package, but don’t mix the entire quantity at once. If you have a large or deep chip, you’ll need to apply the epoxy in multiple thin layers that will need to dry in between, so it’s best to work with small batches.
Many kits include a small applicator brush, but you can also use a fine paintbrush or toothpick to apply the epoxy. Perform this step carefully and be sure to adhere to the package’s directions about drying times. After you’ve applied the final coat, leave the area untouched for at least 24 hours.
If the final product leaves an uneven surface, you can use sandpaper to carefully flatten it out after the epoxy has fully hardened. Wait at least a week before attempting this or any harsh scrubbing of the area.
A Perfect Match
Because most sinks and tubs are white, most of the repair epoxies you’ll find are also white. Some have a single tone, while others can be mixed at various proportions to allow for a range of shades and a closer match. Read the packaging carefully if you’re concerned about this.
If the shade match isn’t exact, you can always touch up the area after the epoxy has fully hardened by using enamel paint. Finding the right shade of enamel paint isn’t necessarily easy either, but there are a few ways you can accomplish this.
Try contacting the manufacturer of the sink or bathtub to ask about color swatches or codes. If that doesn’t provide any clues, move on to your local paint store. If you have the chip that originally broke off, bring it with you to help with color matching. If you don’t, take some paint color samples so you can make your own comparisons at home. Be sure to inquire about enamel paint and the range of available colors. Sometimes nail polish can be a better match, and also will do.
With a little luck, your chipped sink or tub will be easy to fix. But if you find that the damage is too severe, or if you decide you’re ready for a change, call John Schoeffling Plumbing to learn more about your options for replacement.