How To Restore A Kitchen Sink – Complete DIY Guide.

Restore Your Kitchen Sink

A kitchen sink is a very underrated part of the house. It withstands the daily crashing and washing of cutlery, utensils, and anything you can find in the kitchen. Unfortunately, this hustle and bustle can take its toll on sinks and leave them looking dull and dirty.

You might want to restore a kitchen sink when you are moving into a new house, renovating your old house, or cleaning your kitchen. A dirty kitchen sink can ruin your kitchen’s beauty and more importantly, be a breeding ground for germs. You don’t need to be a DIY expert to undertake a kitchen restoration project. The only things you need are the will to get work done, the right equipment, and a run-down kitchen sink.

This article will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to restore a kitchen sink made of either porcelain or stainless-steel. Read on to see how you can get your kitchen sink looking new again.

Restoring an Old Porcelain Kitchen Sink

A porcelain sink can be a beautiful part of your old period home. However, years of use or lack of care can lead to some unsightly scratches or dirt scars. Thankfully, your sink doesn’t have to stay that way! Let’s see how you can fix it:

Before You Start

The first step on how to restore a kitchen sink made of porcelain is to turn off the water supply to your sink. This way, you can avoid accidents. Make sure you have ventilation before you begin as you will be working with epoxy, which gives off an awful stench for a few days.

You will need the following tools:

  • Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) or an alternative
  • A soft cleaning cloth
  • Epoxy primer and refinishing kit
  • Plastic sheets
  • Screwdriver
  • Bucket
  • Putty knife
  • Fine-grit and medium-grit sandpaper
  • Hand sander
  • Gloves
  • Respirator
  • Quality paintbrush

Step 1: Clean the Sink

Put your gloves on and use TSP on a cleaning cloth to wipe the sink. Scrub the whole sink in a circular motion. Once you’ve scrubbed the sink, wash it with water and dry it with a towel. This way, you will be able to remove any grime or dirt from the surface of your sink.

Step 2: Sand the Surface

First, use your hand sander with medium-grit sandpaper to sand the sink’s whole surface in small circular motions. Wash the sink once done and wipe with a cloth to clean any residue. Once you are done, you’ve roughened the surface of the sink to allow the epoxy to bond with the sink easily.

An optional step is to use fine-grit sandpaper after sanding with medium-grit sandpaper to get better results.

Step 3: Prepare the Refinish Epoxy

Put your respirator on to protect yourself from any damaging fumes in the epoxy. Mix the resin and hardener according to the package instructions. The most common ratio is a simple 1:1, and most instructions will recommend that you let it sit for 15 minutes. You’re now ready to refinish your kitchen sink!

Step 4: Apply the Epoxy Paint

The next step on how to restore a kitchen sink includes applying the refinish epoxy.

Apply a layer of epoxy thinner onto the sink and let it sit. Pour the epoxy paint into a paint tray and pick up your brush.

Use short brush strokes to apply the epoxy finish to your sink gently. You need to be careful to avoid overlapping and leaving thick areas of paint as that will leave you with an uneven surface. Take special care when brushing the vertical areas as overlapping can cause runs, which will ruin the look of your kitchen sink refinish.

The best results come from applying at least two separate coats or more. Keep your coats thin and give a gap of around 2 to 5 hours between coats to let the paint settle. We’d recommend placing your epoxy in your freezer while waiting to apply for the second coat. However, don’t wait too long between coats!

Step 5: Be Patient

Avoid using the sink for a few days or up to a week. You need to make sure that the epoxy dries up for the perfect, long-lasting results. If you must use the sink, then wait a minimum of 24 hours and avoid heavy use.

Congratulations! You’ve restored your porcelain kitchen sink successfully and saved yourself a lot of money from calling a plumber.

Restoring an Old Stainless-Steel Kitchen Sink

Stainless steel kitchen sinks are very durable, and the right design can make them a beautiful part of your kitchen. They’re shiny, smooth, and affordable. However, no matter how durable they are, prolonged use can lead to scratches, discoloration, or dulling.

The good news is that bringing them back to life is quite easy, and something you can do yourself!

Before You Start

The very first step is to examine the current situation of your sink. If you see some scratches, dullness, and discoloration, you could probably fix it yourself. However, any structural issues, such as holes or dents, may require a call to a professional.

Let’s see what you’ll need for this job:

  • Cleaning cloths and paper towels
  • Olive oil or any other cooking oil
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Hand sander and medium-grit sandpaper
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Lemon juice and cream of tartar (optional)

Step 1: Clean the Sink

Turn the tap on and wash the sink to get it ready for a deep clean. Drop 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of salt into the basin.

Lightly wet your cloth so that it is moist and get to work! Start from the bottom and work your way to the top. Add baking soda and salt as needed.

Firmly press down and rub along the grain of the sink. Be careful, as rubbing against the grain can cause unsightly scratches. Every sink will have a different grain pattern, so you will have to adjust accordingly. However, the most common grain pattern is a front and back grain on the sink floor and a circular one on the vertical sides.

At this point, you should start to see a gray residue and smell a metallic odor. This indicates that your cleaning is working.

Use distilled vinegar to scrub away any more stains that are left. You should see a fizzing chemical reaction. This will lead to a deep clean and will also clean the drain as it goes down. Rinse the sink to finish.

Now, you have to make a decision. Take a look at your sink and decide if more work is needed. If the sink looks smooth and clean, you can skip forward to Step 3. If you need more work, follow the next step to refinish your sink!

Step 2: Sand the Sink to Remove Severe Scratches.

The next step on how to restore a kitchen sink is to sand it thoroughly.

Attach your sandpaper to a hand sander and dip it into warm water. Allow the water to be absorbed and sand the sink in long strokes. Make sure you follow the grain of your sink to avoid scratches. Keep washing away the area to check if the scratches are cured.

You can opt to use coarser grits if the scratch does not show signs of fading. Redo Step 1 and move on to Step 3 or 4 as needed!

Step 3 (Optional): Remove Any Remaining Rust.

Notice any remaining rust spots? Create a paste by mixing some lemon juice and cream of tartar. Apply the paste onto the rust spot and let it sit for some time.

Rinse the area and repeat the process until the rust clears.

Step 4: Work on the Shine!

You’ve cleaned the surface of your stainless-steel sink and made it scratch-free. Now, you just have to treat the dullness.

Take a small amount of olive oil or any other cooking oil and gently apply it all over the sink using your washing cloth; make sure to follow the grain. Keep rubbing until you see the shine that you want!

Additional Tips

The best treatment is prevention. Every time you use the sink, wipe it down and dry it with a fiber cloth. Avoid banging your dishes into the sink and perform a deep cleaning every two weeks. This will help you avoid sanding and your sink from wearing down.

Do not use bleach or any other harsh cleaning products. They can damage the finishing of stainless-steel and leave you with costly repairs. Do not use steel wools or harsh sponges that can cause scratches to your surface.


Cleaning porcelain or stainless steel sink is not that hard. Armed with knowledge on how to restore a kitchen sink, you can start your DIY project and revamp the look of your kitchen!

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