Porcelain is a popular kitchen and bathroom sink material, although it’s a bit more prevalent in bathrooms than in kitchens. While porcelain is reasonably durable, all it takes is an object dropped in the sink or a thermal shock to cause a crack.
Once the crack is there, you can’t go back. That said, you might be able to fix it, providing you have the time and motivation to do so. Luckily, repairing a cracked porcelain sink is a pretty straightforward process, and we’re here to walk you through every step of the way.
What Causes Cracks In Porcelain Sinks?
Cracks can happen as a result of several things. For example, porcelain sinks are usually composed of a sheet of metal, then coated in porcelain. The metal is a conductor of heat, so the sink loses heat quickly. Most times, it’s cold to the touch, even when your kitchen or bathroom isn’t cold.
When hot water comes into contact with the porcelain, the thermal stress created can crack the sink’s surface. This is a common cause of hairline cracks in porcelain sinks.
Alternatively, dropping a heavy object in the sink can cause a crack, too.
Can A Cracked Porcelain Sink Be Repaired?
Yes, cracked porcelain sinks can be repaired! Of course, some damage is easier to fix than others. For example, you can quickly and easily repair a small hairline crack with a porcelain repair kit. However, significant cracks that extend all the way through to the other side of the sink might not be so easy to repair.
While you probably could repair a porcelain sink with a major crack if you were motivated enough, it might be best to buy a replacement instead of meticulously trying to repair the old one.
How To Repair A Cracked Porcelain Sink
If your porcelain sink is sporting an unsightly crack, you can probably fix it. So, try these repair steps before you start shopping for a new sink (we’re all for it, but you might not have to). The process is easy, even if you’re entirely unfamiliar with DIY projects.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- All-purpose cleaner
- Soft sponge
- Cotton ball
- Porcelain repair kit
- Touch-up paint for porcelain
- Fine grit sandpaper
- High-gloss paint or glaze (optional)
You can find most of these items at your local home improvement or hobby store. Porcelain repair kits are widely available at major stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware. The items that come in the kit vary, but our materials list should cover all of the bases.
Clean The Sink
First things first, you need to clean the sink, so you have a clean surface to work with. Use the all-purpose cleaner and sponge to thoroughly clean the sink and remove any dirt, debris, or residue.
After scrubbing the sink, rinse it with warm water. Dry the surface with a clean towel.
Sand The Damaged Areas
Once the sink is clean, use your fine-grit sandpaper to scuff up the damaged area lightly. Rub the sandpaper over the edges to roughen them, as this will help the epoxy from the repair kit adhere better to the surface.
Make sure you only sand the damaged area, avoiding the surface around it. This way, you won’t end up with scuffs and scratches all over the surface of the sink. Once you’re done sanding, wipe away the dusty residue with a towel. Alternatively, blow the dust away with a can of compressed air.
To ensure you remove all of the sanding dust, wipe the area clean with acetone. Saturate a cotton ball with acetone (or nail polish remover), then gently wipe the area. Allow it to dry completely before moving on.
Prep And Apply The Epoxy
Next, you’ll need to prepare the epoxy. Some repair kits come with pre-mixed, ready-to-go epoxy, while others require mixing several ingredients when you need the epoxy.
If the epoxy doesn’t come pre-made, follow the manufacturer’s mixing instructions to prepare it. Avoid prepping the epoxy in a confined space, like the bathroom, as the fumes can be pretty intense. So, mix the compound in a well-ventilated area, then bring it back to the space the sink is in. In some cases, the mixture might need to sit for a few minutes, so be sure to allow resting time as necessary.
Once the epoxy is ready to use, you can use it to repair the sink. Using the applicator brush, apply epoxy in the crack. Fill the crack entirely with epoxy until it’s level with the sink’s surface.
If several coats of epoxy are necessary to fill the crack, make sure you wait at least five minutes before applying each layer. Once each layer dries, sand it lightly for better adhesion between the layers.
After the crack is completely filled, allow it to dry. The manufacturer’s instructions should outline a specific timeframe you need to wait. Once the epoxy is completely hardened, sand the surface to level with the sink’s surface.
Apply Touch-Up Paint
Once you sand the surface to level it with the sink and brush away the dust, you can apply touch-up paint. This will help the repair blend seamlessly with the rest of the sink. In some cases, the epoxy might come in a color that matches your sink (widely available for white sinks), so touch-up paint might not be necessary.
If the epoxy wasn’t dyed, apply the touch-up paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You might need to use several layers to cover the epoxy completely.
If your porcelain sink features a glaze or high-gloss finish, you can blend the repair into the sink further by adding a high-gloss paint or glaze. Or, if your sink is a bit old and could use a facelift, the paint or glaze is a great way to freshen up its overall appearance.
If you decide to apply a layer of high-gloss paint or glaze, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s application instructions.