Porcelain sinks can develop chips, holes and scratches that mar the surface and create a bad appearance. Fortunately, porcelain surfaces can be re-glazed or finished to make the surface look new. Many products are available for recoating porcelain tubs, sinks and countertops. In addition, professional contractors can give your stained and scratched porcelain a new coating that will last years.
About Porcelain Sinks
Porcelain is a ceramic made of clay materials, generally kaolin, heated to a high temperature to create a hard, glass-like surface that resists water. Generally, porcelain coatings are applied to sinks and bathtubs that are made from cast iron, steel or acrylic materials. The porcelain creates a durable, glossy finish on the material that is both tough and easy to clean. Porcelain can become damaged, however, by impacts from heavy cookware, scratching of the surface or chips in the finish.
Professional porcelain resurfacing contractors can be found in many communities throughout the United States. These contractors can resurface bathtubs, sinks, countertops and other items either on-site or in their facilities. The contractor will remove all caulk materials from around the sink area and clean and prepare the surface with chemical products that aid in adhering the new coating to the sink. They then apply the acrylic urethane coating to the sink and allow it to cure, generally for 48 hours, according to writer Richard Weir of the ThisOldHouse website. Another, more expensive method, reapplies an enamel coating and bakes it onto the surface at 1,475 degrees Fahrenheit. Both of these methods can give new life to old porcelain sinks and tubs. Abrasive cleaners should not be used on recoated fixtures.
A number of bathroom fixture resurfacing kits are available for do-it-yourselfers. These kits generally require the removal of caulking from the sink area, cleaning the surface thoroughly and treating it with solvents or other preliminary materials to create a good base for the acrylic coating. The topcoat is then carefully sprayed on in several layers to produce an even finish. Drying and curing may take several days, during which the sink should not be used. These kits can give variable results, so do-it-yourselfers should research the products carefully before using.
Costs of Refinishing Vs. Replacement
Replacing a bathroom or kitchen sink can cost $400 or more, depending on the quality and materials you desire, according to the CostOwl website. Resurfacing your existing fixtures can save money and still provide a fresh, new look to your bathroom or kitchen.