Can you repair or replace damaged surfaces? Yes I can!
10 Tuesday Jul 2012
No tags :(
No, I don’t have a magic wand, but yes I can repair surfaces (marble, stone, granite, laminate) so you don’t have to replace the damaged items at huge expense.
Damage happens, and damaged surfaces can be repaired
Is it just me, but wherever I seem to be working, I see clients mortified by the damage that others have inflicted on their hand painted kitchen, period property, new build or modern property.
Sometimes it may just be a surface scratch in a granite worktop, or the smallest of dents in a treasured piece of furniture, but nevertheless the damage is there – and it’s visible – and more often than not, nobody knows how this damage was caused, or who caused it! But someone has to foot the bill for replacement, and more often than not this ends up being the client! Obviously, the client doesn’t want the expense of replacement, so is there anything that can be done?
Repair granite worktop
The damage to this granite worktop was caused by, believe it or not, lemon zest washing up liquid! The acid from the citrus-based detergent had run down the side of the bottle and literally bleached this black granite work surface (£4000-worth to be precise), so I acquired a product known as poultice powder, which was used to draw out the staining embedded into the work surface.
I managed to source a polishing compound similar to what is used in the glass-processing industry for polishing bevelled edges. I also bought some 3M Trizact polishing discs in various grades and used them with my orbital sander, regularly spraying the work surface with distilled water from a trigger bottle, to stop the granite getting too hot!
As you can see from the after shot, I don’t think it came out to bad. Admittedly it did cost quite a lot in materials and my labour time, but the repair did not even come to 10% of the cost of a replacement granite worktop
This marble hearth had not long been fitted when the gas engineer came along to commission the gas fire. He actually knelt on the hearth, which, unsurprisingly, resulted in this crack. The lady of the house was beside herself and just couldn’t believe what he’d done, he could either!
The lady contacted her insurance, only to learn that she had a high excess on her policy. I suggested a repair, which she immediately agreed to.
Having carried out marbling work in the course of my work, decorating period properties, I thought my skills might come in handy to blend in the various patterning. The crack was a full clean break right through from front to back. However, as there didn’t appear to be any movement in the marble slab, I figured a repair would be suitable.
I filled the joint with a clear 2-part resin, masking each side of the break to avoid getting any resin on the surface. Once it began to set, I pulled the masking paper off, and just as the resin had cured I shaved down the break with a single edge blade to level it off flush. I then opened up my ‘box of tricks’ and recreated the colours and pattern, to match. Finally I sprayed over the repair with a special aerosol lacquer and once fully dried, burnished it to a high sheen, to blend in with the rest.
This sort of “workmanship” is indicative of those tradesmen who just don’t care: Newly installed Formica-type work surfaces – and this is how the fitter left them. Unbelievable! The white line you can see across the mitred joint is where the fitter joined the two pieces together with a silicone sealant to make the joint water tight, and then he smeared it all over the formica – shocking workmanship. There were also several fine surface scratches on various areas, where other tradesmen had put their tools down without care for the consequences.
This is what a newly fitted laminate worktop should look like. The silicone was quite easily removed with an acetone solvent and I wiped over the scratches using a solvent-based woodstain pigment on a french polishers pad charged with thinners. I then sealed with a lacquer.
Most surfaces I can repair
I have also developed various techniques for repairing damaged stone surfaces, as well as repairs to uPVC and fibreglass and I have since received recognition on several occasions by the NHBC for the Pride & Quality in the Job Awards – National House Building Council.
All part of the service from Prime Decoration
First and foremost I am a Traditional Painter with traditional skills and working ethics. As you can see, these surface repair skills can come in very useful when working on clients’ hand painted kitchens, furniture or period property.
The ability to repair a variety of surfaces also shows, in my opinion, that a diverse range of skills can be developed when you are determined to offer the best possible service to a client. Whether it’s the smallest scratch or a gaping hole in a worktop in a hand painted kitchen or period home, if I can offer the customer a solution and deliver an invisible mend, I’ve been successful in my mission. NOW THAT’S MAGIC!!!
Unfortunately, due to logistics and manpower resources, I’m unable to offer a one-off repair service. However, if you would like me to look at repairing a damaged item while I am hand-painting your kitchen or doing some traditional decorating work, I will be happy to take a look and work out a process to restore it back to new.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.
Any questions? If you have any questions, either email me, or leave them on my spot on the Traditional Painter forum and I will do my best to help you.