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Re-enamelling a bathroom basin

I have a cast iron bathroom basin that had been re-enamelled when I bought it ten years ago. Within two years, the enamel had started to peel off. This may have been due to the white vinegar [in bulk on eBay or Amazon affil links] I was using to clean in the bathroom as this had been recommended because of the grey water system. Anyway, the basin is now really unsightly with a large chunk of blue showing through the cream top enamel. The trouble is because the house is in the country (Victoria Australia, none of the professional re-enamelling services are prepared to come out and the basin cannot be detached as it is stuck to the wall. So what can I do? Any ideas?

Helen Verlander
renovator - Kyneton, Victoria, Australia
April 10, 2008

Hi, Helen. The original blue color on the basin is not paint, it is vitreous enamel -- a glass powder that was melted onto the bare steel or iron at high temperature. Anything you try to do with paint will never equal this molten glass coating, so don't be too surprised about paint only lasting 2 years.

I would suggest you scrub it well with trisodium phosphate [on eBay or Amazon affil links] and a scrub brush [on eBay or Amazon affil links] to remove any oil, then sand it while wearing gloves (once you have cleaned it you don't want skin oils to mess it up). I would suggest a coarse sandpaper because you are not trying to smooth it you are trying to rough it up. Then a 2-part epoxy paint and, hopefully, you'll be good for few years. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
May 5, 2008

I think that professional bath tub refurbishers use one of several polyurethanes.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida
May 29, 2008

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