- How to repair damage to the case
- Is simple painting possible
- How Liquid Acrylic Works
- Surface preparation for restoration
- Cleaning and degreasing
- Polymer application
With proper care, the acrylic bowl will last for decades, but sooner or later, the coating still loses its gloss and whiteness. You can do the repair of an acrylic bath with your own hands, it is enough to know about different methods of restoring gloss, their real effectiveness and the technique of performing work. Everything in order.
How to repair damage to the case
Acrylic bathtubs have an extremely low resistance to mechanical damage. If the need for repair is caused by damage to the bowl from an accidentally dropped object, the integrity of the base should be restored before restoring the coating. Note that the steps described below are only necessary if the fiberglass layer is damaged, chipped or delaminated. If the base has retained its integrity, you can use the usual repair kit.
So, the first step is to remove any breakaway fragments and carefully inspect the edges of the hole. You need to make sure that there are no stratified scales at the edges. Otherwise, it may be necessary to remove the exfoliated layers, it is better to tear off the fragments from the outside.
To repair the base, glass mat with a density of 200 g / m2 is required2. If you are not sure about the presence of impregnation between the glass fibers, it is better to burn the scraps of glass mat in the flame of a gas burner. The binder is a two-component epoxy glue, a budget EDP will be enough.
The essence of the repair is to apply 5–7 layers of fiberglass to the cleaned and degreased surface around the breakdown site. First, with a brush, glue is applied to the edges of the hole with an indentation of 3-4 cm, then a piece of glass mat is laid and carefully smoothed, the size of which is 2-3 cm larger than the hole in each direction.
Each subsequent patch is glued after partial polymerization of the resin in the previous layer. To speed up the process, it is recommended to increase the concentration of the hardener by 2–2.5 times, so the interval between patches will be about 15–20 minutes. The dimensions of each subsequent patch should be 3-4 cm larger than the previous one. The bath will be ready for further work after the resin has completely polymerized, that is, the next day. Before the restoration of the coating, the place of breakdown is leveled with the composition of a standard acrylic repair kit and ground flush with the total surface.
Is simple painting possible
There are only two options to restore the shine and whiteness of the acrylic coating. The simplest is aerosol-type epoxy paint marked with Ceramics. This method has a right to life, especially given the high cost of bulk acrylic and the complexity of its application..
The main disadvantage of painting is the inability of a thin layer to hide surface defects. The bath will have to be skinned for a long time and tiring, gradually increasing the grain index and removing large scratches and chips. Naturally, this should be allowed by the thickness of the acrylic layer – cheap bathtubs have a polymer coating of about 0.5-0.7 mm and it will most likely not be possible to restore them by painting.
Otherwise, everything is simple: the entire surface is cleaned to remove gloss, then wiped with acetone for degreasing. Then paint is sprayed from a distance of 40–45 cm in one or two thin layers with an interval of 20–30 minutes. When spraying, the formation of drips must not be allowed, if they do appear, they must be blotted with a clean foam sponge and painted over again. You need to work exclusively in a respirator and exclude the occurrence of an open flame in the room.
One aerosol can is enough for 1.8-2 m2 surface. However, when calculating the consumption, the paint must be taken with a margin of about 50%. Firstly, one way or another you will be forced to eliminate errors and defects in painting, and secondly, you will have a “repair kit” without a difference in color.
How Liquid Acrylic Works
In short, an acrylic polymer is the same epoxy resin tinted with white. A feature of the material is its high adhesion, including to glossy surfaces. Despite this, the preparation for the restoration must be very careful..
First of all, the temperature and humidity regime is important. The drier the air in the room, the better, and the presence of splashes or drops must be completely excluded. The optimum temperature for applying acrylic is 25 ° C. It is at this temperature regime that the epoxy composition acquires the most optimal viscosity for application without a brush..
The difference in fluidity with a change in temperature, even by several degrees, can be very significant. At 28–30 ° C, the layer will be too thin, and at temperatures below 23 ° C, normal polymerization will not occur and the coating will not acquire the required qualities. Naturally, the bath and the air in the room must be at the same temperature..
Bulk acrylic loses its stickiness after 4–6 hours and completely polymerizes after two days. Until this moment, the room needs to maintain an optimal temperature regime, and in the first hours after application – in any convenient way to exclude dust settling.
Surface preparation for restoration
In any case, it is necessary to knock down the gloss from the surface of the bowl. This is done by hand sanding using waterproof sandpaper. Processing begins with a grain size of 200 grit, then increases by 100-150 grit every 2-3 steps. Sanding ends with a 600 grit treatment, after such treatment, the coating acquires a matte whiteness and is practically devoid of defects. With each increase in grain size, the bath must be rinsed with water, getting rid of larger abrasive particles.
At the next stage, the largest surface defects, chips and scratches are eliminated. For this, you can use both a tough-plastic car putty and a repair kit for acrylic bathtubs. The latter is more preferable in the case when it is planned to restore the gloss and color by polishing rather than pouring a new coating. In this case, the difference in whiteness will definitely be visible, although not very much..
After sealing defects on the surface, these places are re-cleaned to level the surface. Before proceeding with the work, the bathtub must be rinsed with plenty of warm water, completely rinsing off the white dust, and then dismantle the plumbing and remove the remnants of dirt in the places previously covered with drainage nets.
Cleaning and degreasing
To restore an acrylic bath, special kits are sold, which include 30-50 grams of one-component polymer, abrasive materials and polishing paste. Particularly noteworthy are the cleaner and primer in the bulk acrylic kits. The latter must be applied immediately before pouring the polymer, but it makes sense to use a cleaner only if you have not resorted to sanding.
To degrease the surface, you can use acetone or solvent 646. Oil-based products should not be taken, they are not very friendly to acrylate polymers. Do not forget that the surface must be absolutely clean and dry before applying the coating.
Before pouring a new coating, it must first be prepared. The resin is mixed with the hardener in the proportion set by the manufacturer. It is recommended to add about 80–90% of the recommended dosage of the hardener to maintain flowability for a longer period. So it will be possible to distribute the composition as evenly as possible without using a brush..
It is only necessary to mix the polymer by hand; using a drill or mixer will lead to the entrainment of numerous air bubbles into the liquid mass. You need to dilute liquid acrylic immediately and in full, using a clean, dry container. After that, the composition is poured into another container of the same volume, this is done to avoid areas with uneven mixing in the corners and at the walls..
The empty container is placed under the drain hole of the bath, from the other acrylic is poured in a thin strip along the sides. It is recommended to first disperse the composition with a brush with natural bristles and moisten the sides with cuffs well in order to prevent the expensive epoxy from spilling out. Subsequently, it will be enough to pour the composition to the innermost edge, achieving the most uniform spreading along the walls.
When the whole composition is spilled, you need to wait 15–20 minutes and collect the remains of the polymer that has flowed through the drain hole, substituting an empty container. A new portion of the polymer is poured along the sides in those places where the layer is not thick enough and there are gaps. The procedure must be repeated until the resin stops flowing. At the same time, you need to watch out for places where uneven thick streaks can potentially form..
No matter how hard you try, you will not get a perfectly smooth finish with factory quality. To improve the result, you can lightly spray the still fresh polymer with a gas burner flame immediately after all the acrylic has been poured onto the surface. Rapid heating helps to get rid of the residual entrained gases and smooth the surface as efficiently as possible.
After drying, the bathtub will still need polishing, but not so time consuming. The polishing paste should be applied in small portions and rubbed over the surface with a fiber cloth. Polishing is performed with wide circular motions, periodically you need to add a fresh portion of the paste to the napkin.
As you can see, repairing an acrylic bathtub is not an easy undertaking, but it is definitely easier and cheaper than installing a new bowl or liner..