The bathroom sink can receive a lot of wear from constant use and abuse. If your sink basin is chipped or cracked, you can fix it up without having to replace the whole sink. Follow these tips to learn how to repair porcelain and ceramic sinks.
Step 1: Clean the Sink
Remove dirt, grime and residue from the sink, using water, household all-purpose cleaner and a sponge. Scrub the sink surface and then dry it with a towel and allow it to air dry completely.
Step 2: Sand the Damaged Area
Use fine sandpaper (400-grit to 600-grit) to lightly sand the chipped area. Be sure to roughen up the edges of the chip so the patching material or touch-up paint will adhere effectively. Take care not to scratch the unblemished areas of the sink’s surface with your sandpaper
Step 3: Apply Repair Compound
Use a porcelain filler/repair compound for deep gouges and chips (more than 1/8” or so). Use a small brush to apply the filler in layers until the chip or gouge has been filled in to just above the sink’s surface. Let each application dry before proceeding. Lightly sand the repaired area between each application to make the filled-in repair level with the rest of the surface. Follow manufacturer instructions on application and drying time. After applying the filler and letting it set, proceed to Step 4.
You can also use a two-part surface repair epoxy to fill in the chipped area. There are a number of solutions available using kits that can be color-matched to your sink’s color. These kits usually contain two epoxy components and a small brush with which to apply the compound.
Step 4: Apply Porcelain Touch-up Paint
Apply porcelain touch-up paint over the filled-in damaged area. Follow all manufacturer instructions for application tips and drying times. The touch-up paint comes in a variety of colors to best match your sink’s finish. It’s waterproof and forms a tight seal over the filler you applied.
You can use porcelain touch-up paint for hairline cracks, scratches or shallow chips in your sink basin without using a filler/repair compound.
Step 5: Replace Sink (Optional)
Consider a sink replacement. In some cases, you may have to replace the sink. If water is leaking from cracks in your sink, it’s time to swap it out for a new one. Shut off the water to the sink by turning the supply valves clockwise, and then disconnect the plumbing lines from the sink.
Use a towel to catch remaining water left in the supply hoses.
Remove the faucet next. Simply unfasten the nuts that hold the faucet assembly in place. Unfasten the cap on the sink drain to remove the drain stop control and then unfasten the sink from the drainpipe.
It will be easier to remove the sink if you use a utility knife to remove caulk at the base of the sink before or during removal. Pedestal sinks will usually be bolted to the floor and wall and caulked where the sink meets the floor, while sinks atop a vanity cabinet will be attached with silicone adhesive where the sink meets the top of the cabinet. Vanity sinks may require some force to remove because of this adhesive. Be careful not to damage the vanity while removing the sink.
Install a pedestal sink using the appropriate hardware and then apply a thin bead of caulk with a caulking gun along the base and where the sink meets the wall. For a vanity sink, use silicone adhesive along the top of the cabinet and on the wall so the sink attaches properly. Place the sink in position. Once it is set, apply caulk along the back of the sink along the edge where it meets the wall. Reinstall the faucet and then reconnect the water supply lines. Turn on the water to be sure the sink is properly working and that no water is leaking.
Looks good! Your sink basin has been repaired—no more unsightly gashes, chips or cracks.
Project Shopping List
Here’s what you’ll need to complete this project successfully.