While porcelain enamel is a popular and durable bathtub and sink surface, it can chip occasionally. This can lead to creating an unsightly focal point in an otherwise attractive bathroom space. The same may also need repairs if the tub or sink becomes worn out and difficult to clean. However, there are easy and inexpensive DIY enamel repairs to successfully restore and repair the damage and bring the bathroom tub or sink to their original glossy finish.
For many DIYers, a quality bath chip repair kit can do the job quite efficiently. Typically, these are available as a two component epoxy with a catalyst and a hardener and can be bought from the adhesive section of most hardware stores and home centers. The porcelain enamel repair kit is also available in an assortment of colors, and if needed, two colors may be mixed together for a more precise match.
How to Repair Enamel
If the chip or crack occurs in an area that remains relatively dry, such as the outer surface of the sink or tub, then a single application can suffice well. But if damage occurs in the sink basin or inside the bathtub, repeated applications may be needed for damage repair.
To get started on the repairs yourself, follow these simple instructions:
- First, thoroughly scrub the area to be repaired with a sponge and soapy water to ensure that no dirt or other small particles are on the surface to be treated. This step also takes care of removing any traces of oil or grease from the surface as well.
Blot the chipped area with the help of a towel or use a hairdryer to ensure that the surface is completely dry. This is very important for allowing the repair compound to adhere to the affected area and cement the patch.
- Next, sand the damaged area with 220 grit sandpaper to ensure smooth edges and surface before repair work can begin.
- Sanding will take care of dirt and rust removal along with roughing the chip so epoxy sticks to it. Take care to only sand the damaged area and not the surrounding surface as sanding can scratch the surface of the undamaged porcelain.
- Clean the sanded area with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and wait until the surface dries completely.
- To use the repair compound, mix the two epoxy ingredients according to the package directions. Using a putty knife or small brush, fill the chip by applying it to the center of the damaged area. Spread compound towards the edges of the chip and slowly add more compound until the edges are covered.
- Scrape off excess compound so that the edges are smoothed and leveled with the surrounding surface.
- After application, the compound needs ample time for drying out, so wait at least 12-24 hours before using the sink or tub.
- Also, it is important not to scrub the treated area for another seven days.
Remember that repairing enamel does require a certain level of craftsmanship to not only clean, sand and fill the old surface but also to match and bond the porcelain patch precisely. To get a perfect result, the new finish should blend seamlessly with the old surface.
If the damage is extensive and the job seems beyond personal scope, it is recommended to get help from professionals who can resolve your bathroom’s resurfacing needs.
Removing Stains and Deposits
Restoring a bathtub or sink tainted by yellowed spots or other stains can be done by mixing baking soda and hot water to form a thick paste. Use the paste to scrub the enamel surface and remove any dirty buildup and soap scum. Rinse with warm water.
Another option to treat bathroom sink and tub stains is to mix ¾ cups of bleach with one gallon of water. Pour in a spray bottle and spray on the sink or tub enamel surface to remove stains. Leave the solution on for five minutes before rinsing well with water.
For tougher stains, mix 1 tbsp. of trisodium phosphate substitute with one gallon of hot water. The trisodium phosphate acts as a stain remover as well as a degreasing and cleaning agent. Apply to the stained surfaces and rub with a cleaning cloth.