May 26th 2022 / General Stone Care
3 Tips for Repairing Porcelain Countertops and Tubs in Your Home
Porcelain countertops and tubs are beautiful to look at, but when they start to break down and chip away, they're hard to keep looking good. Fortunately, porcelain isn't as hard to work with as you might think, so if you learn how to repair porcelain countertops and tubs in your home, it will stay beautiful while saving you money. Here are three simple steps that will help you do just that!
1) Clean Before You Start
This tip may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised by how many people think they can fix scratches on a countertop or tub—or cover them up with tile—without first removing all of that unsightly dirt. Don't worry; even if your countertop or tub is dirty, it can still be salvaged. All you need to do is grab some dish soap and a sponge to get rid of built-up grime. Now that your surface is clean, it's time to repair any damage you've found. Whether you're dealing with cracks in your porcelain or white marks from water spots, there are three ways to fix porcelain: fillers, resurfacing products, and tiles.
Let's take a look at each option.
- Filler kits contain everything you need to repair small scratch and ding marks on your bathroom surfaces, including multiple color options and an applicator tool designed specifically for filling holes. If you opt for filler instead of replacing or resurfacing your porcelain entirely, make sure not to overfill your ding mark; most sink holes should only require about a half-teaspoon of product. Start by dabbing the filler into place, then add more as needed until the hole has been filled evenly. When you've got just enough product, use a damp rag to wipe away excess material so that what remains looks natural. Once your surface is smooth again, it's time to move on to step two: applying a sealant.
- Resurfacing products are similar to fillers in that they cover scratches and dings in countertops and tubs. However, while fillers can be used on any type of porcelain surface—including white—resurfacers are made specifically for colored ceramic tiles. Resurfacers work best when applied directly after cleaning a surface because they dry quickly and will form an airtight bond with colored tile if applied within 24 hours of cleaning. As with filler kits, you should use only as much resurfacer as you need to fill your ding mark; overfilling may cause problems later on.
- Tiles are another option for repairing porcelain surfaces like countertops and tubs. While it's possible to find tiles designed specifically for bathroom surfaces (think: white or colored subway tiles), there's also a wide variety of decorative options available at home improvement stores like Lowe's or The Home Depot. All you have to do is pick out some new tiles that match your existing decor, then cut them down into small squares using tin snips or a utility knife. Once your new squares have been installed, clean them regularly, so they stay looking great for years to come!
2) Patch, Don't Sand
Sanding out a scratch on your countertop or tub may seem like an easy fix, but you're actually doing more harm than good. The rough sandpaper will only cause additional damage to your counter/tub over time. Instead, grab a patching compound and lightly fill in your scratch. Lightly sand down with 100-grit sandpaper to make sure it's smooth. Wipe away any excess material. If you've got some paint leftover from another project, use that as well—it blends in better than other colors. And if you don't have any paint left over? No worries!
Grab some acrylic craft paint from any craft store for less than $5 and get painting! It's super simple to do yourself; no professional help is needed! Just remember: You'll want to prime first if there are still shiny spots left after sanding. This is especially important if you're covering up a dark color with a light one (e.g., red paint covered by white). It's also recommended that you seal once everything is dry so that water doesn't seep into your counters/tubs again!
3) Consider Alternative Solutions
There's nothing wrong with making a call to a local handyman. If you don't feel comfortable tackling it yourself, hire someone to do it for you. The good news is that fix-it jobs around your home are becoming increasingly easier to complete on your own (especially with so many DIY tutorials on YouTube). Even if you decide to pay a pro, keep in mind that hiring someone to help can save you money in other areas of repair (e.g., plumbing and electrical work) if one problem forces you into another fix.
Save yourself money by repairing porcelain countertops rather than buying new ones. Even if you're new to DIY, porcelain is simple to repair as long as you know how to deal with broken pieces, chips, scrapes, and scratches.