In this quick guide, I provide simple step-by-step instructions on how to fix a cracked or chipped porcelain sink.
This method is guaranteed to work, and I have the before-and-after pictures to prove it.
Before I get into the detailed instructions, here are the basic steps:
- Purchase a porcelain repair kit designed specifically to fix cracks in sinks, bathtubs, and tiles. My recommendation is the HomeTinker Porcelain Repair Kit.
- Prepare the area by gently sanding and cleaning with soap and water.
- Most repair kits come with two separate substances that activate when mixed. Mix those substances for two minutes in a disposable cup or on a paper plate.
- If the resulting mixture doesn’t match the color of your sink, add dye according to the repair kit’s instructions.
- Apply the mixture directly on the crack or chip with a popsicle stick, small brush, or toothpick.
- Smooth the area with the plastic scraper that comes with the repair kit.
- Allow the mixture to solidify and the area to dry for 24 hours.
- Sand the repaired area until the excess material is gone. Repeat these steps if necessary.
Although the steps are simple, knowing some important details about the process will save you time, frustration, and ensure you’ll be satisfied with the result.
So, if you’re ready to get started, keep reading.
Let’s get into it!
Use the links below to quickly navigate the guide:
- Before and After Pictures: What You Can Expect
- Step One: Choose the Right Repair Kit
- Step Two: Prepare the Area
- Step Three: Mix the Resin
- Step Four: Add Tint to the Resin
- Step Five: Apply the Resin
- Step Six: Smooth the Resin
- Step Seven: Allow the Resin to Dry
- Step Eight: Sand the Repaired Area
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Prevent Your Sink From Cracking and Chipping
Before and After Pictures: What You Can Expect
Before I get into the step-by-step instructions, I want to set your expectations with my before-and-after pictures.
After you complete this process, your sink will look significantly better. In fact, it will be difficult to notice that there was ever an issue.
However, if you look from an inch away or with a magnifying glass, there will be evidence that the area was repaired. Also, if you rub your hand across the repaired area, you’ll notice it’s not as smooth as the rest of the sink.
If that’s a concern, you always have the option to replace the sink. But, in this guide, I’m going to show you how to conceal the repair as much as possible, so you get the results you want without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a new sink.
With that said, here is the “before” picture:
And, here is the “after” picture:
Step One: Choose the Right Repair Kit
The first step in the process is to purchase the right repair kit.
If you are not aware, there are several inexpensive kits available that are designed specifically for fixing cracked porcelain.
The kit I recommend is the HomeTinker Porcelain Repair Kit, which is available on Amazon and is one of the best-selling, highest-rated options.
The HomeTinker kit includes:
- Plastic gloves
- Two types of sandpaper (coarse and fine-grit)
- Spreading tools (popsicle stick and toothpicks)
- Color-match gel dye
- Mixing resins (A and B)
This kit works on fiberglass, acrylic, ceramic, porcelain, gel-coat enameled steel, and enameled cast iron, so it covers a wide range of scenarios.
It also includes color gel for ten different hues, allowing you to create a seamless repair that blends in with the original finish.
- Although I use the HomeTinker kit, there are several other options to choose from on Amazon, Walmart.com, and HomeDepot.com.
- When choosing a kit, find one that’s environmentally-friendly and non-toxic.
- Ensure that the kit comes with the necessary gear for the job (gloves, sandpaper, spreader, scraper, dye, etc.)
- Ensure that the kit includes the right dyes to match the color of your sink.
- Read reviews on Amazon. Although it’s a simple product, some kits are much higher-rated than others.
- Do not attempt to use substances that are not designed to repair porcelain, such as wall putty, spackling, or glue.
Step Two: Prepare the Area
Before starting, ensure proper ventilation. Crack a window or turn on the bathroom fan.
Layout all components of the kit for easy access and read through the instructions to make sure there are no special steps for the particular kit you purchase.
To get ready for the repair, gently sand the cracks and chips with a fine-grit sandpaper. Sanding will roughen the surface and allow the repair mixture to adhere fully.
Clean the target area with warm water, a non-abrasive sponge, and liquid soap such as Castile.
If you have soap scum to remove, use baking soda to add some grit for scrubbing.
After cleaning, dry the area thoroughly. Moisture, dust, or dirt will impact the results.
- In addition to the kit, keep a paper plate or disposable plastic cup on hand for mixing and coloring the resin.
- Use painter’s tape to seal off the target area after the surface has been cleaned and dried.
- Keep damp paper towels nearby to keep the area clean and quickly wipe any spills or splatters before they dry.
- HomeTinker claims its product is odorless, but that’s not true. When I opened the packaging and unscrewed the lids, I got a strong whiff of unpleasant odor. The odor subsided once the resin dried, but it was not even close to what I would consider odorless.
Step Three: Mix the Resin
Put on the plastic gloves.
On a disposable paper plate or in a plastic cup, add equal parts of the A and B substances.
The amount depends on the size of the crack, but the ratio of A to B should be 1:1.
Read the instructions for the specific kit you purchase because this ratio could vary slightly.
For small repairs, you won’t need more than a tablespoon each of A and B.
Use the popsicle stick to mix A and B until they’re fully blended.
The resulting color will be Arctic White, which is a common sink color. If you are performing a repair on an Arctic White surface, you can skip the next step.
- Mix parts A and B slowly for two minutes to get a good blend, moving the popsicle stick in various directions.
- Once mixed, the resin is usable for thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, it will harden and become unusable.
- If your sink has a hairline (very thin) crack, you’ll only need a small amount of resin, so don’t overdo it. Save some for future repairs.
- Place the resin containers on a paper towel while you mix to avoid getting any of the stickiness on your counter.
Step Four: Add Tint to the Resin
The color won’t change when the resin dries, so if the color of your sink doesn’t match the plain mixture, you need to add the right amount of dye.
The HomeTinker kit that I recommend contains two color match gel dyes. One is black, and the other has a golden-brown hue.
To achieve gray or black tones, use the black color gel. For brown tones, use the brown color gel.
To achieve white, which is a shade darker than arctic white, add the tiniest amount of black color gel.
- The HomeTinker kit comes with a guide showing the percentages of each dye needed to achieve a specific color. For example, to achieve Milk White, add brown dye so that the dye makes up .1% of the total mixture. To achieve the color Bone, add enough brown dye so that the dye makes up 2% of the total mixture.
- For best results, dip only the extreme tip of a toothpick into the dye. Add it to the white resin mixture and blend it in thoroughly before adding more.
- If the color isn’t dark enough, add another tiny drop of dye. If it’s too dark, add more parts A and B (equally). It’s much easier to add more dye than to add more mixture, so go slowly and be precise.
Step Five: Apply the Resin
Carefully spread the resin onto the crack or chips using the supplied popsicle stick or a similar object. Push the resin gently so that it fills the crack.
This step is one of the most important ones in the process. If you don’t apply enough resin, the cracks or chips will show. But, if you use too much, it will be difficult to smooth the area and conceal the repair.
- For hairline cracks, it will be easier to apply the resin with a small paintbrush or the tip of a toothpick.
- Go slow and apply a little at a time to avoid covering non-affected areas. It’s okay for the resin to overlap the damaged area slightly, but you don’t want to carelessly smear it all over the place because it will be a mess to clean up later.
Step Six: Smooth the Resin
After you apply the resin to the crack or chip, smooth the resin with the scraper included in the kit.
If the kit your purchase doesn’t include a scrapper, you can use any flat, flexible object, such as a playing card, small piece of cardboard, or a rubber spatula.
Choose an object that you don’t mind disposing of afterward because the resin will be challenging to remove.
After you smooth the resin, wipe the excess resin from the areas around the crack with a damp paper towel. Doing so will make finishing the area (step eight) much more manageable.
- Use a downward motion when applying the scraper to the resin and go in one direction.
- Don’t scrape off too much resin. If you can see the crack’s grain or an indentation where the chip is, you’ve scraped too much. Go back, add more resin, and apply less pressure when scrapping. It will take a few minutes of practice to get it right.
Step Seven: Allow the Resin to Dry
Let the repaired area sit for at least 24 hours to allow the resin to settle into the crack and dry thoroughly.
If you follow steps one through six carefully, there will be no need to apply an additional coat of resin.
But, if you decide to apply an additional coat for good measure, disturbing the repaired area before 24 hours could mess up the hardening process and cause noticeable indentations.
- The room should be dry, and your heat/AC should be set at a normal temperature (68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Turning on a fan to promote drying is unnecessary and won’t speed up the process.
- If the sink you’re repairing is in a bathroom, avoid showering while the resin dries; the moisture from the steam could delay and interfere with the process.
- Tie a plastic grocery bag around the faucet as a reminder to not turn on the water.
Step Eight: Sand and Smooth the Repaired Area
After the 24-hour drying period is complete, gently blend and buff the repair into the original surface using sandpaper.
Sanding will get rid of any bumps and uneven spots, adding sheen and uniformity to the area.
Start with the coarse sandpaper to remove the more substantial portions of excess resin, then use the fine-grit sandpaper to finish.
- Sand gently in a clockwise motion.
- Don’t press down too hard as you could scratch the porcelain, causing further damage.
- Check periodically for final results so that you don’t over-sand the area.
- If the area still looks rough after several minutes, continue sanding with the fine-grit sandpaper until you achieve your desired smoothness. The process can take up to 15 minutes.
- If the crack or chip is still visible after you’ve smoothed the surface, you may need to repeat the process and add more resin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, the instructions I just shared are clear. But, if you still have questions, this section should help.
Below are the most frequently asked questions about fixing cracks in porcelain sinks.
After you mix the resin, you have 30 minutes to tint and apply it. If you take any longer, you will need to create a new batch.
After you’ve mixed your desired tint, place a few dabs on the adhesive side of a strip of clear packing tape. Hold the non-sticky side of the tape against the sink to see if it blends in. If it’s too light, add one toothpick tip worth of dye at a time to the mixture until you achieve the perfect color match. If it’s too dark, add more resin.
It depends on which kit you use and the quality of your work. The HomeTinker kit guarantees the repair for five years, but if you use it correctly, the repair should last much longer.
No. Remove the rust first with naval jelly or sand it lightly. You can also use a rust removal product safe for porcelain.
It dries to a glossy finish, but don’t expect the finish to match the original surface exactly. I’ve found it to be slightly rougher and less slick than most porcelain surfaces.
It will last for 18 months. For best results, keep all containers sealed until you’re ready to use them.
The HomeTinker kit comes with two jars of resin that are 2 inches in diameter and 0.4 inches in height. That’s enough product to repair a thin crack of at least a couple of feet long, but if the crack is wide and deep, it might not be enough.
Put it this way; if the crack in your sink is so large that you need more than one kit, you likely need to replace the sink.
In most cases, you can repair cracks and chips in your sink, no problem. But, if your sink is leaking due to structural cracks, it is time for a replacement. Also, if the crack is so deep that you can see through it, you need to consider buying a new sink.
The cost of replacing a porcelain sink depends on several factors, including the size and style of sink, and local labor costs.
According to HomeAdvisor.com, the total cost of labor can range from $211 to $558. Add that to the average cost of a porcelain bathroom sink ($30 to $300 on HomeDepot.com) or kitchen sink ($150 to $500 on HomeDepot.com).
In general, porcelain sinks are durable, but certain situations can lead to cracks and chips. Cracks often occur when you expose the porcelain to extreme temperature changes. For example, pouring boiling water into a sink that’s cold to the touch can cause thermal shock, which results in cracking.
Other common causes include dropping a heavy item on the sink, nearby vibrations, continually leaning on a sink in the same spot, and ordinary wear over time.
How to Prevent Your Sink From Cracking and Chipping
Although the process of fixing a cracked porcelain sink is relatively straightforward, it’s not a project you want to do more than once.
So, how can you prevent cracks and chips from happening in the future?
Here are a handful of tips:
- Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations. If you’ve been running hot water in your sink, abruptly switching to cold will shock the surface area and could cause a stress crack.
- Similarly, if your drain is clogged, use Drain-O or a comparable product. Don’t pour boiling water down the drain as the spill-over could cause unnecessary stress on the porcelain and lead to cracks.
- Avoid leaning on your sink as the repeated pressure could lead to cracks over time.
- Keep the soap dispenser, hairdryer, and any other heavy objects a safe distance away from your sink.
- Stuffing the space under your sink could cause unnecessary pressure on plumbing and cause a crack over time.
- If you are remodeling or moving heavy items, put a protective barrier such as thick cloth around your sink to protect it from bumps and scratches.
Sometimes a crack or chip is unavoidable. But, by being careful around your sink and using common sense, you can minimize the chance of it happening.
If you’ve used my recommended kit or a similar epoxy resin kit to fix a cracked porcelain sink, what was your experience? Were you satisfied with the result?
Comment below and let me know!
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