Sprucing Up Your Old Bathroom Sink

If your bathroom sink is looking old and tired, you may want to spruce it up, but don't want to go to the trouble and expense of removing and replacing it. If you are even the least little bit "handy" you can refinish your present bathroom sink, making it look fresh and brand-new. Most bathroom sinks will be porcelain, cast iron or cultured marble, and all of these surfaces can chip or rust, making them look shabby. Although the process of refinishing a bathroom sink does take a bit of time, patience and energy, the results are well worth giving it a try.

Choosing Your Paint

When you venture into your home improvement store, you might want to ask an associate for some help finding the correct paint-you can't use "regular" paint on sink surfaces if you want it to last and look beautiful. There are specific products designed for painting sinks and tubs; Tough as Tile Refinishing Paint is a good one to look at for filling in chips or scratches, but you will basically be choosing an epoxy-type paint for porcelain or acrylic urethane resin for cultured marble. If you want a color other than white, you can have this product color-tinted. You will also need a sponge, a bristle brush, chlorine bleach, plastic sheeting, a medium-grit sandpaper, putty knife, drop cloths, primer paint, paint rollers and a small paint spraying machine. (you can get these at the home improvement store, or usually at Wal-Mart, K-Mart or Target as well)

Prep Your Sink

Once you arrive home with your supplies, clean your sink well with soap and water, using a stiff bristle brush to get in all the cracks and crevices. Wipe the sink dry with a clean cloth or paper towels. If there are rust stains on your sink, you will need to use bleach to remove them to the extent possible. Use your medium-grit sandpaper to sand a cultured marble sink; this eliminates the surface sheen, and allows it to accept your paint. If there are any spots of silicone or caulking on your sink, use a silicone digester product and a putty knife to remove all traces. Wash and dry the sink one more time to ensure there is no residual bleach or sanding dust. Use masking tape or painter's tape to mask around your sink's faucets, drains and the wall, putting drop cloths on the to avoid getting paint where you don't want it. Use Porcelain ChipFix to repair any small nicks, scratches or chips.

Time to Paint

You will first apply one or two thin coats of primer paint to the entire surface, ideally using a spray primer, although a roller can also be used. The primer must be allowed to dry thoroughly between coats, preferably at least three hours, four is even better. Now it's time to paint! You will need to apply as many as twelve thin coats of acrylic urethane resin paint, or epoxy-based paint for a cultured marble sink. You can also get a stone finish look by choosing "spray stone" paint. The idea is to build the paint layers up gradually; don't hold the spray wand too close to the sink or you will have to deal with drips. Once you have completed all the layers of paint on your sink, you will need to let it dry thoroughly, at least 24 hours. If you want a glossy finish, you can spray a coat of polyurethane paint. If you are really feeling creative you can further decorate your sink by using stencils and painting designs on your newly-painted sink. You will be amazed at what a difference your "new" sink makes in your overall bathroom design.