How to Paint a Sink

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Change the color of your sink rather than replace the sink.
Change the color of your sink rather than replace the sink. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Homeowners choose a sink color based on the decor in the room. Choosing the right color sink can make it a focal point or help it blend in with the background. Chipping and crazing of the sink's surface ruins the look of the whole room. Many times the color of the sink is no longer stylish, trendy or does not match new room colors. If the sink is in otherwise good repair, changing the color with paint is a less expensive option than replacing the sink.

Things You'll Need

  • Deglosser
  • Spray bottle
  • Rag
  • Paintbrush
  • Detergent
  • Epoxy-based repair putty
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Tack rag
  • Epoxy-based primer
  • 320-grit sandpaper
  • Epoxy-based paint
  • Grease-fighting detergent
  • Plastic paint
  • Ammonia
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Rust-inhibiting primer
  • Foam brush or roller
  • Epoxy-based metal paint

Porcelain Sinks

Apply a deglosser to the surface of the sink with a spray bottle, rag or paintbrush. A deglosser will remove the shiny finish from the sink and allow the paint to bond with the surface.

Wipe away the deglosser after the time prescribed by the manufacturer, which can range from 15 to 60 minutes depending on the brand. Wash the sink with a mild detergent, rinse thoroughly and dry.

Repair cracks and chips with an epoxy-based repair putty. Press the putty into the damaged areas and allow it to harden. Sand the putty with 220-grit sandpaper to make it flush with the surface. Pick up sanding dust with a tack rag.

Spray on a coat of an epoxy-based primer and allow it to dry for three to four hours. Lightly sand the primed surface with wet 320-grit sandpaper, dry the surface and wipe with a tack rag. Spray a second coat of primer and allow it to dry for three to four hours.

Spray two to three coats of an epoxy-based paint. Allow each coat to dry for three to four hours between sprays. Let the paint cure for 24 to 48 hours before use.

Plastic and Composite Material Sinks

Wash the sink with a grease-fighting detergent. Rinse the surface well and dry thoroughly.

Sand the sink with 220-grit sandpaper to roughen the surface lightly. Paint bonds better with a rough surface than a smooth one. Wipe the surface with a tack rag to remove the dust from sanding.

Apply a specialized plastic paint, which fuses to plastic surfaces. Use a sprayer or paint that comes in a spray can. Allow the first coat to dry for one to two hours. Lightly sand out paint imperfections with wet 320-grit sandpaper and dry the sink. Pick up dust with a tack rag. Spray the sink with one to two additional coats and allow it to dry for at least 12 hours before using.

Stainless Steel Sinks

Clean the sink with an equal mixture of ammonia and water. Rinse the sink thoroughly with plain water.

Sand the stainless steel with wet 400-grit sandpaper lightly. Rinse the sink to remove dust and dry thoroughly.

Apply a coat of rust-inhibiting primer with a foam roller, foam brush or sprayer to the surface of the sink and allow it to dry for three to four hours.

Apply two to three coats of an epoxy-based metal paint. Let each layer of paint dry for three to four hours between coats.

Tips & Warnings

  • Paint sink surfaces when temperatures are above 60-degrees Fahrenheit for proper paint adhesion.
  • Heating metal-based sinks with a heat lamp for a few minutes prior to painting will speed drying and force drying from the inside out. Allow the metal to become very warm to the touch, not hot.
  • When spray painting sinks, place them in a large cardboard box to limit paint over-spray landing in unwanted areas.
  • Wear safety glasses, gloves and a respirator when painting.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.

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References

  • "Home Decorating With Paint, Tile, Wallcovering: Special Effects and Creative Techniques"; Creative Homeowner Press; 1992
  • "Bathrooms"; Time Life Editors: 1994
  • "Everything and the Kitchen Sink: Remodel Your Kitchen without Losing Your Mind"; Daina Manning, et al.; 2005
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