How to repair porcelain on a steel bathtub

Written by joey pellham
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The method for repairing damaged porcelain on steel tubs depends on the extent of the damage. Apply a porcelain touch-up kit for minor surface scratches. If you have gouges or deep holes in your tube, you'll have to prepare the surface and use a filler or epoxy to replace the missing porcelain. Use a dust sheet to protect your tub and protective goggles or glasses for your eyes.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Porcelain touch-up kit
  • Eye protection
  • Respirator
  • Dust sheet
  • Sandpaper (various grits from #220 to #1000)
  • Shop vac or portable vac
  • Water putty
  • Plastic spreader
  • 2-part epoxy

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    Touch-Up Kit for Minor Scratches

  1. 1

    Mix equal parts of hardener and catalyst in the mixing cup. Stir using the provided stick.

  2. 2

    Apply one coat and allow it to dry for about 30 minutes.

  3. 3

    Apply a second coat and let it dry for the same amount of time. Two or three coats should provide a nice, shiny coat of porcelain.

    Porcelain Repair for Gouges

  1. 1

    Sand down the affected area by starting with 220-grit sandpaper to remove any loose porcelain flakes. Repeat the sanding process, each time using a finer grade sandpaper, until you reach 800-grit or 1000-grit. Sanding the damaged area in layers removes all of the imperfections.

  2. 2

    Vacuum the loose debris and rub the immediate area with acetone, using a rag.

  3. 3

    Fill the gouge with water putty--a waterproof filler--if the gouge is more than 3/8-inch deep. Apply the water putty with a plastic spreader and let it dry for several hours.

  4. 4

    Apply the porcelain repair kit hardener and catalyst (see Touch-Up Kit section above).

    Repairing Deep Holes

  1. 1

    Mix equal parts of epoxy activator and hardener, using the provided bowl and mixing stick.

  2. 2

    Fill the holes with the epoxy mixture. The epoxy forms a strong base, replacing sections of missing porcelain. Let the epoxy dry for 48 to 72 hours.

  3. 3

    Repeat the sanding process as described in the Porcelain Repair section.

  4. 4

    Finish the job by using the porcelain repair kit from above. You may need more than one kit, depending on the size of the damage.

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