Hate to ask...but can you refinish cultured marble?

linnea56May 6, 2009

I know you who are building dream baths are not on this particular humble plane (LOL!), butÂcan it be done?

WeÂre getting a townhouse unit ready to put on the market. Budget is already blown on new carpeting throughout, painting, and other repairs. The cultured marble in one bath is worn in the sink and one spot next to it, and crazed a bit in the sink. I thought of replacing it but aside from the budgetary constraints, the carpenter who looked at it said removing the faucet to put in a new top would be a bad idea, due to non-standard plumbing issues he found. He has experience in this development and said a "quick" replacement in someone elseÂs unit turned into big money really fast. My husband (who installed all our faucets) took a look under there too and said he would run screaming from that job.

The cabinet is sound, as is the existing faucet.


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Yes, a dull top can be refinished.

Cultured marble is a mixture of polyester and limestone dust. A gel coat is applied over that, and it's the gel coat that gives the shine.

Refinishing that is similar to buffing out the finish on a car. You can use an automobile finishing compound and a wool pad on a buffer.

Do be careful that you don't burn through the existing gel coat. Apply the compound, let it haze, then buff it off. Never let the wool pad sit stationary on the top.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 11:54PM
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If the sinks are really bad I have heard of people cutting out the sink portion and putting in a drop in porcelain sink.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 9:15AM
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You can buy a new top for around $100-$150 at one of the box stores, depending on size. Go that route. It's far easier and cheaper.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:13AM
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I bought a three step plastic polishing kit from some place. It did a wonderful job on the cultured marble sink and the plastic bathtub. I'll look for it some more. It's starting to come back to me.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 1:08PM
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I think it was this stuff, but the bottles are a different shape. I'll try to remember to check tonight.

It sounds like my sink was in a lot better shape than yours, so I don't know how much it will help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plastic polish

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 1:13PM
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Thanks for the replies! I should have been more specific: itÂs not a matter of buffing out surface scratches or small defects. The surface is worn off completely in the bowl and there are a network of tiny cracks around the drain.

The top is 5 feet long so it would cost more than that. And its not the cost of the top that stopping usÂor the cost of purchasing a faucet; itÂs the concern over the headache of the old and non-standard plumbing that I mentioned.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:28PM
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Terriks posted a good idea. Have someone cut out the bad bowl and drop a porcelain sink in and hook it up.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 10:54PM
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What's non-standard about the plumbing? Not standard threads or sizes for the connections?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 11:08PM
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Consider taking a photo of your undersink plumbing and posting it in the plumbing forum. The experts there may have some creative work-around ideas.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 7:17AM
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Last time I was in HD, they had a plain white 60" single bowl vanity top for around $160. They had a beige granite one with bowl for $199, which would be great for resale value.

It's super simple to replace. If your vanity doesn't have shutoff valves, just turn off the house water and install them. It's very easily DIYed. If it does have shut off valves, just shut them off, disconnect the flex supply lines, use a utility knife to score between the vanity and top, and lift the whole thing off there. Remove the faucet and install it on the new top, lay a bead of silicone and drop the new top down. Let cure for a hour or two and reconnect the supply lines.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 10:21AM
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live wire: don't forget the drain line. That may be what's problematic in the plumbing.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 7:38PM
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