The exact process varies somewhat on the type and condition of the surface, but here are the essential steps involved.
- The room is prepared with ventilation, and masking applied to surfaces to ensure no damage or permanent overspray on surfaces not being refinished. Ventilation is by a ducted exhaust, providing a rapid removal of fumes from the space for safety reasons. It is advised that all valuables be removed from the room ahead of time to help ensure no accidental loss or damage occurs.
- The surface is thoroughly cleaned to remove any soap and dirt residue and any mineral build up or other contaminants.
- The porcelain surface is sanded and etched with a strong acid. Acid etch is skipped by some refinishers as it is hazardous and not something that should be performed by inexperienced or untrained applicators. But this step is required to create the best possible bond. Fiberglass surfaces are simply prepared using abrasives since acid is not effective on plastic type surfaces.
- Any chips or cracks in the surface are repaired using fillers, or fiberglass resin in the case of a fiberglass fixture. These repairs are sanded to a smooth even finish.
- Next we apply a two part bonding agent. This step is also often skipped by other applicators, or used instead of the etching step. Some times a “primer” is used by other companies as the only bond promoter available to them. Our specially formulated bonding agent penetrates the surface and bonds chemically with the surface and our coating, providing a strong and permanent bond between the old surface and the new coating. This bonding agent is so effective that etching, as in step 2 above, is technically an optional step, however we etch all porcelain surfaces and use our boding agent to maximize the durability and permanence of our coating.
- The top coat we apply is a two part material that includes a catalyst. The standard colors are white but you can order any a custom color you want ahead of time. Once applied, the coating cures to a very had finish within 48 hours, and reaches full hardness in about a week. We suggest being gentle the first week while the coating is still reaching a full cure. There are additives we can use that significantly speed up the curing process, but these are used on an as-needed or requested basis. If you need to use the surface the same day, tell this to the sales person or technician and he will modify the coating for a rapid cure.
The result is a smooth porcelain-like finish that is hard and durable.
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