If you’re reading this, I’ll guess you’re just like me and you dropped something in your tub and now you’re left with a chip in the porcelain that drives you nuts. Not only is it ugly, but if it goes all the way down to the steel, then your tub will start rusting quickly if you don’t repair the chip.
If you are a perfectionist, you could call a professional to reglaze your tub and make it perfect again. Or if you’re more budget conscious, like me, then a small patch that costs under $5 bucks fits just right. Follow the steps below and you’ll be good to go in just a short while.
For this repair, I used the Magic Porcelain Chip Fix product ,which was easy to find at the hardware store and pretty affordable. There are lots of similar options if you can’t find this one. I have never used this product before, and so, I’m walking through the process with you and I’ll give you my feedback about the product as we move through this post.
1. Surface Preparation
Sand the chipped area with 80-100 grit sandpaper to smooth out and level the edges. Protect the surrounding area with blue tape to make sure you aren’t scuffing up the rest of your tub. Clean the area with an abrasive cleaner like Comet and rinse it thoroughly with water before drying it off with a clean rag or paper towel. Allow it to air dry for at least an hour.
2. Mix Epoxy
Pour both vials of epoxy into the plastic mixing tray (which is essentially the plastic packaging) and mix them thoroughly for about a minute. Pour half of the epoxy into a separate container and place it in the freezer to be used later. The freezer slows down the curing process and extends the working life of the epoxy, in case you need more than the recommended two coats. Let the other half stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Place blue tape around the repair to prevent making a mess and use the little included brush to dab a light coat into chip. You can clean up any spills immediately with a damp paper towel. Clean the brush using lacquer thinner in preparation for the second coat, and then wait 45 minutes. Apply a second coat to the area and allow the surface to dry for 24 hours before using. For cooler temperatures or higher humidity, the drying time may be extended up to 72 hours. Wait five days before cleaning the repaired area, and use only non-abrasive cleaners.
My Thoughts on the Product
Overall, I liked the product, but I would make some changes to the application steps I listed above the next time I use it. Hopefully, I don’t chip my tub again, but with small children around the house, this will likely not be the only time I need this!
I would recommend applying a 2nd coat sooner than 45 mins, because I was able to achieve a super smooth finish on the first coat, but the epoxy had gotten tacky enough that upon applying the 2nd coat, it left a rougher surface. Maybe I’d even apply a thicker 1st coat and see if I could just let it cure like that.
I did get some runs and drips, so keeping the wet paper towel handy is a must. I also found that creating a little tape shelf underneath to catch any drips seemed to work well. The color match wasn’t perfect, but it certainly looks better than the black spot that was there before. It may not be perfect, but with a little finessing, you can get these repairs to blend in pretty well. At the very least, you’ve bought yourself some time before the tub needs a full refinishing.
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I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.
6 thoughts on “How To: Repair a Chipped Tub or Sink”
Never learned this method before. Very helpful!
Thanks for the tips, really helps out !
Great article !
I have an old lavatory that has become rusted at 2 places where there is metal touching. how do I repair with rust?
Unless the tub is pulled, sandblasted and then reglazed (in a kiln) there is no such thing as refinishing. The professional “re-glazer” is painting on a finish that is not glaze. Once fired glaze has a glass like finish that paint and epoxies cannot match.