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I've got a faucet in my bathroom that has a bit of the finish peeling off after what appears to be some kind of oxidation has built up underneath it. I'd like some suggestions as to how to repair this - the faucet is in otherwise good condition.

Should I try a paint? Some kind of touch-up pen? Also, I suspect I should remove the bit that's peeling and try to remove the powdery, white oxidation prior to any repairs, yes?

Closeup of handle where damage occurred wide shot of entire faucet

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The peeling finish appears to be a metallic plating over a another metal or over plastic.

You might be able to glue the lifted areas down using a cyanoacrylate type glue. You need to be very careful with these because they will glue your skin to a surface in a second or two. Such a repair would be iffy, and the handle may continue to peel in other areas. If there are small gaps, you could use a marking pen to mask them, but the coating is fairly transparent on metals (on plastics they tend to look more solid).

You could remove the handle, scrape all loose areas, sand with a very fine paper (or emery cloth), wipe with a solvent (such as mineral spirits) and then spray paint with an all surface enamel. There are a few plastics that resist even that type of paint (such as polyethelenes), but would not be likely used on a plumbing fixture.

Or you could try to get a replacement handle from the manufacturer.

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I like the last solution. Weigh the value of your time against the cost of a new handle (or complete faucet). –  Brian White Oct 11 '12 at 14:54
    
Indeed, I don't want to spend hours on this, but unfortunately a replacement faucet won't be easy - if you look closely you'll note that because of the design, the hole in the sink is cut a bit left of the center point. Any viable replacement faucet would need to have a similar design for it to look right. I can't find a brand name on it, btw, so asking for a replacement handle is difficult. –  Ryan Dlugosz Oct 12 '12 at 15:23
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The knurled handle appears to screw into the black block. You may be able to remove that by unthreading it and then putting in some type of replacement. I could even envision the possibility of making a nice hardwood lever made of Walnut that would look sweet.

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it certainly appears to be screwed in but no amount of bare hand force causes it to budge... I may attempt using a pair of pliers very carefully and see if it will come loose. Not sure how it could be attached if it wasn't screwed on, so I'm guessing it's just a little tough. The walnut idea is very cool... –  Ryan Dlugosz Oct 12 '12 at 15:21
    
@thatRD - You know you could get a walnut handle made that was a bit fatter than that existing handle and then have it bored out in the center so that it would simply slide down over the existing handle and be glued in place. If you do not have a wood turning setup maybe you have a friend who does have a lathe and could make it for you. If you use the wood idea make sure to oil finish the wood well and re-oil from time to time. –  Michael Karas Nov 3 '12 at 6:53
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