Lacquer / Vinyl repair on bathroom cabinet

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Established Member
25 Jun 2022
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Morning all,

Just wondering if anyone had any experience in repairing chipped lacquer or vinyl on a basin cabinet?

I've no idea how this has happened, but there's a lot of chipping behind the basin of the sink in one of the bathrooms. I noticed it bubbling slightly maybe 5 months ago but have had a lot of other jobs on the lists to get through before our first baby is born (due date T Minus 4 days!). I've just gone to have a look at it after my partner mentioned she'd been trying to clean it (it's in a bathroom we don't really use), and it's a real mess - the picture i've attached shows this white chalky stuff that doesn't clean off (see second picture after i've given it a scrub with mould & mildew).

I'm assuming there was a small nick in it, and when the basin has been used and water has dripped off someone's hands as they've turned the taps off, it's got under the coating and over time, it's compromised the product.. either way, I wasn't sure how to approach trying to fix. Is there any merit in maybe trying to heat the area and removing the whole protective coat before re-finishing? Or is it a case of damage limitation in the short term before replacing the basin cabinet down the line?

Any help appreciated!


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If you are not going to replace for a while then it will take about £20 to repair but a lot of time. The secret to it looking good is in the preperation. You need to basically feather out the edges of where the laquer ends and the raw surface begins. This has to be a gradual slope to avoid the difference in the thickness of the repair from being noticable. Personally I would remove all the finish from the top surface and down about an inch of the vertical starting at 80g and working up to at least 320g without missing any grades inbetween. Rubbing by hand rather than with a machine and going in the same direction for each grit. Also cleaning off with IPA (Isopropyl Alchohol) and a lint free cloth between grits. Then leave a couple of days to totally dry off, tape up the sink and then use aerosol 2pak car laquer giving around 5-6 very light misting coats, leaving 24 hours inbetween each to fully dry. Then denib using a used/worn piece of 320 and clean of again with IPA then give it a couple of heavier coats of laquer with 24 hours inbetween each. Then after a week (giving time to fully cure rather than just dry a bit) polish up with car polish.
@Droogs has pretty much outlined the method to get it sorted properly.
Another option would be get the lot off, strip it back and start again, it will be critical to get any soap residue right off.

A bit leftfield but if you will be replacing it shortly why not cut a bit of coloured perspex or other plastic laminate type stuff to the right shape, scrub back the surface and bond it on top with a good polymer sealant. Could be a good looking temporary job.

I know that once that baby comes you will be ignoring such nonsense and concentrating on important stuff anyway, good luck.

Thanks so much for both your details responses. I really appreciate you both taking the time, and you're right, it'll sit further still down the list I'm sure in a week or two's time. I'll make a decision on how to proceed shortly and let you know how it goes.

Many thanks!
Only observations from lots of painting cars. Prep, you should always rub down at 90° to the previous finish, that way you can see when your say 600 grit paper has removed all the marks left by the 360 grit, if you go the same way you can't. And you need to use something like 1000 grit for the final finish before lacquer. And don't use alcohol for the final clean before the lacquer, use pre paint wipe. I think they sell it at Halfords now. Failing that I dare say if you take a nice clean jam jar to your local car body shop they will give you some. While you are there are if they will let you have some tack cloths. Once you have cleaned down with pre paint wipe then run a tack cloth over just prior to applying the lacquer. When you apply the lacquer you certainly don't want to let each coat thoroughly dry before you apply the next. All that will do is increase the likelihood of inclusions, and reduce bonding between coats. Spray each new coat as soon as the previous one has gone off, maybe 15 minutes. Good idea to spray a test piece of metal or similar at the same time, then you can dab your finger on the test piece to see how it's doing, once it is tacky do the next coat. Do about five light coats, enough to get a nice smooth finish but without runs. Keep the can parallel to the surface and make sure you start and finish each run before and after the actual work. So mask round it and, if spraying left to right, hit the button a couple of inches to the left of the piece, go across it and then let go once it has cleared it, if that makes sense. If you point it at the workpiece and press the button, that is how you get runs. If you do get a run its not the end of the world, just keep going but apply less lacquer to avoid making it worse. If you get something in the finish, a bit of dirt or whatever, then you will need to let it dry overnight before carefully rubbing it out with fine paper, then pre paint wipe, tack cloth and start again. Then let it dry thoroughly, in your case I would leave it at least 24 hours but the longer the better. Now look over the surface, you will probably have a slight degree of orange peel, but probably not a great issue in this case. Anywhere you think needs smoothing off, any runs for example, use very fine grit paper, at least 1500. If the surface is flat then wrap a piece of wet and dry round a square sided pencil rubber and use plenty of water with just a little detergent and go gently. Once you are happy then polish it up with car polish. If you do it properly it should last really well, if you skimp on the prep it wont.