A porcelain sink repair or a tile chip repair? This guide tells you about the types of repairs you can undertake yourself without calling in a professional.
There are many ceramic sink repair kits out there, but they are not all made equal. Do the research to make sure the one you choose will be right for your project.
All these terms – porcelain, ceramic, enamel. What do they mean? Well, ceramic and porcelain are made from fired clay, the difference is that porcelain is non-porous, so it doesn’t need to be glazed like ceramic products. Enamel is the finish applied to the ceramic or, on older fittings, cast iron.
With a ceramic sink repair, it will usually be the enamel that needs fixing. If the enamel chips on a cast iron tub, you need to fix it right away, or the metal will rust.
Tools and equipment needed:
- lacquer thinner
- wet and dry, fine emery paper
- a cup of warm water with a few drops of washing-up liquid
- a putty knife to mix the two-part epoxy
- a trowel or metal plate to mix the putty on
- enamel paint to match the sink (which usually comes with a small brush)
To repair a porcelain sink, follow these tips and tricks:
- Clean the damaged area with lacquer thinner first and allow to dry.
- Mix the putty using the putty knife on the back of the trowel (any stiff surface will do).
- Apply putty to the damaged area making sure it is fully filled.
- Dip your finger in the warm water and smooth off the putty, molding it to the surface.
- Allow to dry for 15 to 20 minutes, then wet the emery paper and lightly sand down the putty.
- When dry, apply the enamel paint to the area. After about 30 minutes, the sink is ready to use, but it’s better to leave for 24 hours before cleaning.
It happens! You drop something heavy on a tiled floor and a tile chips. You may also get some movement in the house causing tiles to crack. Whatever the cause, you must decide whether to replace the tile or to repair it.
If you have a matching tile, then it is always best to break out the damaged tile and replace it, but if not, there are ways to repair the problem. Epoxy gels are best for vertical surfaces, but putties can be used for both the floor and wall. Here’s what you should do for an effective ceramic tile repair:
- Clean the damaged area with a wet cloth.
- Mix the epoxy resin and hardener in equal amounts, in accordance with the instructions. Putties should be kneaded between the fingers (always wear gloves for this) or by using a putty knife.
- Apply the putty with a knife, forcing it into the joint.
- Use a damp cloth to smooth off the repair and remove any excess material.
- If the chip is at a corner or the edge of the tile, use the knife to form a joint so the repair is not so obvious.
- Once cured, you can paint the putty to match the tile.
What is the best product for the job? Well, that depends on the size of the repair. For small chips, LePage Gel Epoxy works great. This is a two-part epoxy consisting of a resin and a hardener, which comes in a convenient dual syringe. Apply the gel to the surface so it can be lightly sanded with wet and dry emery paper before it cures.
On larger chips, try LePage Polyfilla Plug and Fix. This is an easy-to-use epoxy filler that bonds, fills, seals, and waterproofs. It simply needs to be cut, kneaded, and applied. It fills gaps and works well on ceramic and porcelain. Easily cleaned with water while wet, it is sandable and paintable in 60 minutes.