When heavy objects hit the slick surface of a cultured marble shower, they can leave a deep gouge or hole. Most gouges or holes can be repaired with a little sanding and a prepared resin compound. Repair kits come in solid colors to blend the repair into the rest of the shower wall as much as possible.
A deep hole in a swirl pattern in the cultured marble shower can't be matched, but you can repair it and color match to the best of your ability with a repair kit. Large holes may mean that the entire shower wall needs to be resurfaced.
Safety Precautions and Tools
Patching a hole in cultured marble typically requires using polyester resin. Always follow the manufacturer's directions when working with these types of materials. Wear safety goggles and a respirator to ensure that the fumes from the resin don't irritate your eyes, nose or respiratory system.
Work in a well-ventilated area. Make sure the shower surround area where you will be working is dry and free of soap scum.
Begin the Repair
Smooth the cultured marble shower area as much as possible. Jagged holes or gouges may be harder to repair, and imperfections may show after the final clear gelcoat is applied. A round ball grinding stone drill attachment can achieve a smooth, concave surface quickly and easily without damaging the shower surface further.
Grind the area around the hole to make a smooth crater. Don't go deeper than needed. This can create more problems when filling the hole. Make sure that the area is free from any grinding marks or scratches.
Once the area is smooth, use 80- or 100-grit wet-dry sandpaper to smooth out the repair and follow that with a buffing pad to further remove any latent scratches or imperfections. Sand the area about a 1/2 inch around the repair. For larger holes, tape off sections that won't be affected so that the protective coating doesn't inadvertently get scratched or damaged from the aggressive sanding.
Repairing Shallow Holes
Depending on the width and depth of the hole in the shower, an application of gelcoat may be all that is needed. After sanding the shallow hole, apply a layer of clear gelcoat over the repair and allow it to dry according to the manufacturer's directions. Sand the edges of the repair, if needed, and buff the area to a high shine.
Cultured Marble Repair Kit Instructions
Choose a repair kit that closely matches the shower surround shade. Mix the repair compound according to the kit directions. Pour the prepared compound into the hole or gently scoop it in with a craft stick.
The compound will turn lighter as it cures. Level the fill with a plastic knife or the edge of a plastic putty knife. Fill the hole until the resin compound overlaps the edges. As the compound dries, it will shrink. Allow the resin to dry for 24 hours before gently sanding and buffing the repair area. Finish with the gelcoat and allow that to cure for 24 hours and up to 72 hours. The finish should be smooth and not tacky before using the area.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.