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I have an old porcelain sink. When the sink is dirty it takes a lot of scrubbing to get it clean. Can I put something on it so that it will be less absorbent?

I am considering this procedure: https://www.hunker.com/12259038/how-to-reglaze-a-bathroom-sink:

Step 1 Clean surface of the sink with a standard cleaning agent. This removes the initial dirt and prepares the sink for further cleaning.

Step 2 Eliminate silicone caulking with silicone digester. Get rid of as much caulking as possible because any residue will affect the end result

Step 3 Scrape the sink with an acid paste. This eliminates any leftover debris. Be careful and wear safety gloves when working with acid.

Step 4 Apply degreaser on the sink to give it one final cleaning before you start the glazing.

Step 5 Use plastic or newspaper to mask areas that you do not want to glaze, such as bathroom tiles beneath the sink or on the walls adjacent to it.

Step 6 Apply epoxy primer to the bathroom sink. If you are using a brush, make even strokes on the sink. For spray primer, hold the sprayer a few feet away. Glaze evenly and don't skip any part of the sink. Let the primer dry.

Step 7 Spray acrylic-urethane resin to get the glaze you're looking for. Wait 15 to 20 minutes to let the resin settle.

Step 8 Apply polyurethane coating to the sink for a shiny surface. Once everything is dry, reapply silicone caulking to your sink


Edit

I read the above instructions more carefully and realized they are for a BATHROOM sink, not a porcelain kitchen sink.

I started fresh and found three sources outlining a pretty similar process -- apply a strong acid or sand in small circles to ensure proper bonding; apply porcelain primer; apply special paint; finish with high-gloss polyurethane. Ventilate well and wait three days before closing up and using the sink.

Conclusion: I think Ed's guidance on finding the right size sink is going to be a better solution, especially as it's winter now.

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    Sounds like it would be much easier to just replace the sink to me. I'd weigh the cost, time and aggravation of this procedure against a replacement.. – peinal Nov 21 '19 at 12:41
  • I have seen this done many times by home owners DIY and we were there to replace the sink / tub after started chipping. I have seen some professional redcoat jobs that looked nice but much more expensive, although cheaper on a cast tub than a replacement by almost 1/2. I would agree with @peinal+ – Ed Beal Nov 21 '19 at 16:12
  • @EdBeal and peinal - I'm concerned that the sink might not be one of the new standard sizes, and then we'd be looking at replacing the countertop too. So far, nothing in this house has been standard size. – aparente001 Nov 21 '19 at 16:20
  • I might spend a bit more time finding the sink, than being concerned that it might not be a standard size. As I have mentioned I have replaced a few DIY recoat jobs and have seen tub & sink professionally recoated including changing from a colored porcelain to a white. At less cost than a replacement and the person still had a quality cast tub not a cheaper steel or “plastic” tub. – Ed Beal Nov 21 '19 at 16:38
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    You'd want the stuff for (porcelain) bathtubs. I've done just about everything at some point; re-enameling bathtubs is the last thing I'd ever want to do for a living - and sometimes I spend whole days inside a sewer. Buy a new one, or take it out and do it somewhere with better ventilation and less masking to do, like outside.... – Mazura Dec 22 '19 at 18:07
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If you've got the time, don't want to get rid of the piece, and have some degreaser and muriatic acid lying around, you might save a few bucks.

For any application of coating, preparation and the right materials are essential. After getting rid of caulk and taping off, filling in chips and cracks with epoxy, some light sanding, an acid wash and degreaser, you'll have a surface that's as ready as you can get. Try something along the lines of 2000 grit with a light touch to keep the surface nice and smooth. You're not looking to strip the current coating, but put a little tooth into it. Blow with your compressor (I always tape an airfilter to a cheap box fan to gather up the dust) and you're ready to go.

When the surface is clean and ready to go, don your PPE, ventilate, and give a few light applications in succession. Usually, you have to let the current coat get tacky before the next. Don't try to spray heavy, because you get runs that have to be cleaned. The technique for spraying is finding the appropriate distance, and doing smooth passes in a line in succession. Of course, follow whatever instructions the product gives you.

On such a small unit, I wouldn't buy any fancy kits. For less than $15 you can spring for an aerosol solution. Don't bother messing with rolling and brushing this stuff on. Be careful because there are spray products meant for appliances like washers and driers and it's cheaper in cost, but not the same.

In my way of thinking, if it's a nice piece, you work quickly but carefully, then worst comes to worst, you're out of an afternoon of time and maybe $20 worth of materials if you're not satisfied. Then you can go pick out a new one, and you have the experience to tackle the same project again down the road.

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As requested: Well a recoat is possible , I only saw failed ones that were DIY , no one would call to remove a recoat that worked. As far as finding a sink the big box store may not have it but a plumbing (and possibly electric) specially store has never let me down, I take the measurements and they find it and I have it in a week in most cases. I haven’t done general work much other than home and family but for many years did general work to keep busy when there was not enough electrical work going on. , I would kind of agree with JD’s answer on the process but know the pros have special epoxy based UV cured epoxy that stuff is expensive, but the stripping could be done with acid and degreaser. Where the problem comes for diy recoat is the actual product to use. I may be unaware of a product that won’t easily chip like the diy redcoats I have replaced in the past but they may be out there but stripping and degreasing the porcelain will be critical.

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