This guide is available in English here. Esta guía está disponible en español aquí. Ce guide est disponible en anglais ici. Dieser Leitfaden ist hier in deutscher Sprache erhältlich. Questa guida è disponibile in italiano qui.

Everyone can appreciate the beauty of a brand new bathtub or basin. Regardless of personal tastes, the image of a gleaming white tub, freshly cleaned and sparkling is a welcome one. But, it needn't be restricted to showhomes. With a few simple tips, we can help you repair and restore your enamel tub - all without the need for a costly replacement.

Before you begin, please remember that porcelain and enamel repair can be toxic. Keep your work separate from pets, children and the most vulnerable members of your home. Wherever possible make arrangements to wash and clean in another room for a few days. Always wear protective eyewear, chemically resistant gloves and a respirator to avoid breathing in fumes, and avoid contact with the skin. You should also aim to keep the room properly ventilated as much as possible.

Making Preparations

To ensure that your bathtub is ready to restore, give it a thorough clean. To avoid mixing unwanted chemicals, you should remove any and all traces of oils, soap scum and silicone products. Failure to do so can make it harder for the process to work, but will also stop any cracks from deepening or splitting further. Make sure to dry the tub thoroughly also, using a hairdryer if necessary. This will help the repair compounds to stick more effectively - keeping overall repair costs low and longer-lasting.

You can also use acetone or rubbing alcohol to clean the area, but be certain not to aggravate the chip further and where possible avoiding using toxic materials. See our guide to cleaning whites without bleach.

Choosing the Right Solution

Buy a 2-component epoxy kit for chip repair. By buying a kit that comes with both the catalyst and hardener you can achieve more dynamic results depending on your needs. Most hardware and DIY stores will send epoxy kits, but be certain to find one that matches the shade of your bath to create a more even tone. If your shade is not available, we recommend selecting two kits that can be matched or blended together as needed.

Shades of White

Apply a sample coating on a piece of cardboard to ensure you are happy with your chosen or created colour. Usually, epoxy kits will come with mixing equipment, such as a mixing tray and stirring kit. Should they not you can safely use a disposable tray and a toothpick/matchstick, paintbrush or even a lollipop stick from a craft supply store. These items are usually inexpensive and easy to use without additional tools. When mixing ensure that you lay down some old newspapers or cardboard to catch any unnecessary spills as epoxy is hard lasting and can be difficult to remove once set.

Closing the Cracks

Once you are happy with your colour sample, create the colour again, working carefully but diligently to avoid it drying out. Using your chosen tool or utensil you should aim to apply this mixture to your cracked enamel. Work in small sections to ensure an even finish. Your layers should be thinly applied over the chip and should be brushed in a singular direction. Smooth out any spots, if and where it pools. After this first layer has dried, add a further layer and repeat as necessary until you are satisfied that the crack is sealed.

 

Smooth it all Out

Once everything has dried, finish off the job with some sandpaper. We recommend 400-600 grit to run over the surface of the repair site and ensure that all important smooth finish. Be careful though not to use excessive force, as this may expose the chip. Yould should follow your epoxy for the drying times, as some may dry in a few hours and others overnight. Should you still feel the chip after this, reapply epoxy as needed and repeat until satisfied.

Always ensure your bathroom is properly ventilated and that all toxic fumes have been removed prior to using the bath again. This method works well with small cracks and chips. Any larger and more extensive damage should be explored and advised on by recognised restoration professionals where possible before proceeding.

Do you have any top tips for a clean, shiny bathroom or are you a pro at keeping a showhome style kitchen? Or have any cleaning questions?  Let us know, in the comments section below.  At the House of Enki, we're here to help to design the luxury kitchen and bathrooms of your dreams.