How to Patch Porcelain on Old Fixtures

12:42 AM Katy 25 Comments

{To see how I restored the clawfoot tub with MaryKate acid, click here. This is the last post in this series, on patching porcelain and restoring old tubs and sinks.}

First, get some Marine Tex in white. Second, you need the color tints for matching, I bought a kit from EverCoat that contained all the tints and a polyester patching product (that I'm not using). You could use it, but a 2-part epoxy resin system like Marine Tex is the hardest possible material.

(sorry for blurry phone pictures, the budget doesn't look good for a camera anytime soon) :P




 First mix up the color: for an off-white porcelain I used a touch of brown, black, and yellow tints. Then I put a little dab on my putty and mixed it in.
I kept messing with the tint until I got something I was happy with.
 (Here's my dad showing me how much hardener to mix with the putty, about a 1-to-5 parts ratio)
 Then I applied it to the chips in the porcelain. Make sure the surface is clean and dry before application, and then smooth it the best you can. Afterward you'll have to wet sand this to get it perfectly smooth, since this epoxy resin dries as hard as glass!

We are getting there!

Note: this is the reason I won't use those bathtub refinishing services. Those are epoxy paint coatings. They are not going to stick as hard as a 2-part epoxy resin mix. They will wear, and if you've painted an old cast iron/porcelain pink bathtub with white spray coating, the pink will show through eventually.

That would drive me insane if I paid big $$$ for that paint job. If I couldn't save up enough money to replace a fixture like that, I'd patch it with this resin and clean it with MaryKate acid cleaner, and embrace the 1950's. (If I could find a way to put it in a 2500 degree kiln and re-porcelain the whole thing, that would be the ideal!)

{Note: I don't receive anything for promoting Marine Tex, Evercoat, or MaryKate acid cleaner. These are marine products used to repair fiberglass boats, and they work fantastic for this application. All together these products cost me less than $50 and restored my clawfoot tub and vintage sinks to like-new condition.}

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25 comments:

  1. Awesome, awesome info!!! When I renovate, I try to salvage as much as I possibly can, so this is great to know!

    Thanks!
    --Katie
    @ Creatively Living

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  2. Katy it's looking beautiful, amazing what a little love and patience can do for something so neglected. On to Mr. Shopsmith - good luck!

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  3. You are as creative and smart as they come! Great job!
    dee dee

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  4. This right here is why I love the internet. (Well, that and cat pictures.) Not being a boater I would never know these products were out there and would work for this application. Thanks for working this out and sharing it with the masses!

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  5. How do you think this would work on a tub that's already been resurfaced (i.e., "painted") and the new surface is chipping/peeling off?

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  6. You can't put this over top of the paint coating, because the paint coating is coming off.

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  7. WOW, so glad I found you on Pinterest! You and your Dad are awesome! And generous, so grateful you shared this! I've been wanting a sink with drainboards (like I had oh-so-many-years-ago and thought I should have stainless steel instead, LMAO!). Well, I haven't found one that wasn't stupid expensive - and voila, the house we just bought has a wonderfully deep porcelain sink! No drainboard, but free is free. Believe it or not, someone painted it with enamel! Just filling the tubs with hot soapy water and letting it sit an hour got most of it off. The rest I plan to attack tonight after work. :) Now I'm very excited to try both your suggestions to end up with a beautiful AND deep sink! Thanks again!
    CyndyB in NE Texas
    P.S. Looking forward to exploring your entire blog, looks like a great one!

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  8. Thanks a bunch for your all your research and hard work figuring this out! I have one of those clawfoot tubs that was "coated". The entire bottom is a mess of gaps where the coating came off and rusting original porcelain. I'm going to experiment a bit with some of the products you recommended and see what kind of a restoration I can come up with.

    Also good tips for the vintage kitchen sink in my future!
    -Gayle in the Beautiful Ozarks

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  9. Great tutorial Katy. I'll definitely have to show this to Dan. :)

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  10. Thank you for the wonderful ideas! I believe sometimes the best man for the job is a "woman" and I enjoy attempting home improvements myself. Your encouragement and advice certainly helps!

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  11. Thank you for doing this little article. We are wondering what to do with the farm tub we have and this will really help. Money spent somewhere else is the best. We have what we have because of our frugal ways. People wonder but they just don't get ...you gotta save where you can. Thank you again.

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  12. Thank you! I have tried everything. A former tenant neglected the tub...worst thing that I have ever seen. It was really a nice tub at one time and I didn't want to replace/resurface. So, I have been trying everything under the sun. I did make some progress with some of the products, but still wasn't 100% satisfied. So, I decided to try the toilet bowl cleaner first, before buying the Mary Kate (as you suggested) and it was amazing! I am about 95% there. Trying to decide if I want to repeat witht he toilet bowl cleaner of just go ahead and get the Mary Kate. I have a question for the Marine Tex....when you say "wet sand", what do you mean and what type of sand paper should I get? Again, I thank you for sharing this!!! Marianne

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  13. So I just did the toilet bowl cleaner a couple of times and it came out completely white....I cannot not tell you how many things that we tried on this old tub. With each thing, it would get a little better, but nothing got it 100 percent. So happy that you posted this...thank you!

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  14. Thanks so much for this -- I have a 1929 original sink, much beloved and original to our home, and have been lamenting what to do with it and where the finish has come off near the (new) drain and a couple of old water drip ditches.

    Quick question -- did you apply any shiny gloss finish once you finished with the Marine Tex? Or did the acid bring up a similar shine to the original?

    btw -- white vinegar straight up and rubbed into the sink will bring back a good shine, too!

    Thanks! d in denver

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  15. Awesome I have a clawfoot tub & a sink from the 30s that need to be refinished this should work just fine
    Thanks

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  16. Question....I am little confused did you put the gel on first and then the hardner? Or vise versa? This is wonderful. I chipped my tub when I was remodeling the bathroom. Thank you kindly for your reply.

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    1. you mix the color with the putty first. Then you have to mix the putty and the hardener together in order for the chemical reaction to start. Once you mix them together you have to quickly start applying it to the surface.

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  17. Hi Katy. We just bought an old drain board sink. Was wondering how your method has held up over the past few years? Any 20/20 advice? Great job!

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  18. Hi there,
    Just looking into this for my sink and tub, and the Marine Tex I'm finding isn't a two part epoxy, it "handles like putty, hardens like steel, sands like wood". Was yours a kit or did you buy a separate hardener that you added in? Just wanting to be sure before I purchase. Am also curious how your sink and tub have handled the test of time 😃
    Thanks!

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  19. Hi Katy.

    This is wonderful advice! Thank you so much Just recently purchased a porcelian sink with drainboards and any advice on repairing chips is greatly appreciated! Just wondering on how the sink is holding up? Is its lasting as long as you hoped?

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  20. hi Katy I was wondering what grade sand paper did you use and did you use a pad or electric sander to get it smooth.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Robert, nice to hear from you! :) do not use an electric sander on this, I did it by hand and used fine grit.

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  21. Marcia RutherfordFriday, March 24, 2017

    Hi Katy, what would you suggest as to keeping the acid from going down the drain in an old kitchen sink that is being used? Thanks for a reply.

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