If you own a porcelain-lined bathtub, you may be dismayed by the presence of chips that have left ugly dark or rusty depressions in the finish. However, the good news is that you can repair these chips yourself without much expense or difficulty. Below is how you can accomplish this task and get an old tub looking good again:
Tools and materials needed
- Angle grinder or rotary tool
- Grinding wheel or head
- Trisodium phosphate powder
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Auto body filler
- Putty knife
- Epoxy primer
- White epoxy paint
- Small foam brush
- Clean rags
1. Remove any rust or chipped edges - with an an angle grinder equipped with a grinding wheel or a rotary tool and grinding head, remove any accumulations of rust from the chipped area. In addition, grind away edges that are uneven or flaking, so you will have a smooth surface with no sharp edges.
2. Clean the chipped area - mix a solution of one-half cup of trisodium phosphate powder with one quart of hot water and use a rag to apply it directly to the chip and surrounding area of the tub. This will remove any residual oil, soap or other substances that inhibit adhesion of the body filler. Rinse the chipped area with clean warm water to remove any trisodium phosphate residue and allow the site to air dry.
3. Apply body filler to the chip - with a putty knife, apply a thin layer of body filler to the chip. Be sure to spread it flat and outward slightly beyond the boundaries of the chip itself. Shape the filler to match the surrounding lines and allow it to dry overnight.
4. Remove extra filler and shape the repair - once the body filler has dried, use a piece of moistened fine-grit sandpaper to remove the excess filler. Be careful when sanding the transition areas between the chip and porcelain finish to avoid flaking. If you discover any flaws in the repair, repeat step 3 and 4 until you obtain the look you desire. Wipe down the site of the repair with a clean, damp cloth to remove sanding dust.
5. Apply primer - with a small paintbrush, apply a thin coat of epoxy primer to the site of the repair and its surrounding area. Allow the primer to dry, then apply another coat to the same area. Permit the primer to dry overnight before painting.
6. Paint the chipped area - once the primer has dried, paint the primed area with white epoxy paint. Use a foam brush to keep brush strokes at a minimum, and keep the coat very light. Allow the first coat to dry, then apply a second or subsequent light coats to the repair, so the paint is blended with the neighboring porcelain.
If you'd rather have a professional do the job for you, contact a bathtub refinishing company like Tub Solutions Inc.