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After a thorough cleaning, the surface is further prepared either chemically or mechanically.
Chemical preparation involves the use of a powerful hydrofluoric acid etch to remove the baked on
glaze of surfaces such as porcelain and ceramic. Removal of the glaze makes the surface porous,
allowing the new finish to properly adhere to the original substrate. Mechanical preparation involves
the use of wet sanding to prepare the surface for adhesion of the new finish. This method is used for
surfaces such as fiberglass, acrylic, Formica, and cabinets.
The above picture depicts a porcelain bathtub being chemically prepared with acid etch.
The first step in refinishing is to prepare the work piece by removing any existing caulking, scraping
the entire surface to remove any foreign particles (e.g. soap scum, paint droplets, dirt), then setting
up a powerful exhaust system to vent fumes outside. After the exhaust system is set in place,
powerful solvents are used to further clean the surface.
Once the surface is thoroughly prepared, any damaged areas to the substrate need to be repaired.
In this example, the reddish colored areas show where an epoxy filler was applied to fill in the
damage on a porcelain bathtub, left to harden, then beveled smooth to the surrounding, undamaged
substrate. After this step, the areas surrounding the work piece are meticulously masked to both
protect those areas and to prepare for the application of the new finish.
After all of the preparation work has been completed, 3-4 coats of an epoxy based primer are applied
using a high volume, low pressure (HVLP) turbine spray system. The primer coats are allowed to
set up then lightly sanded prior to the application of the top coat.
The final step is the application of the topcoat. Using the same HVLP spray system, 3-4 coats of an
aliphatic acrylic urethane enamel topcoat are applied and allowed to set up. After the topcoat has
set up, the masking materials are removed and caulking replaced where necessary.