Acrylic resin countertops, marketed under names such as Corian® (the original product from DuPont), Avonite, and Wilsonart, have captured the hearts of homeowners due to their durability, ease of care, and the fact that the seaming techniques create a smooth, virtually seamless surface. Made from a mixture of plastic resins, these products, known generically as solid surface material, look very much like stone but are much different than more expensive synthetic stone (quartz) materials such as Zodiaq® or Cambria®. The design flexibility and durability of solid surface countertops have helped to create some of the most beautiful kitchens and bathroom vanities you will ever see.
Although solid surface counters are generally very strong and durable, they can still scratch, stain or even crack. While stains and scratches can often be sanded and buffed out, the prospect of repairing cracked solid surface material strikes fear into the hearts of many do-it-yourselfers. For years, there has been much “technical” advice and hype about the difficulty of doing solid surface repairs correctly. And horror stories abound about professional contractors charging large sums for such repairs because they require so much specialized know-how.
Before You Begin
Now for the truth: You can do make a perfectly acceptable DIY repair yourself using one of two methods. Although a DIY solid surface crack repair will be slightly evident to a very close inspection, it will likely be nearly invisible to a casual glance.
There are two common and effective DIY methods of repairing a cracked solid surface countertop: using cyanoacrylate (super glue), or using epoxy filler material. Both materials are readily available at any home center or hardware store. These two repair methods have little risk, and it's easy to try again if you don't like the results the first time.
Although you will be working with small quantities, all epoxy fillers give off fumes as they dry and harden, so make sure to work in a room with good ventilation. Follow whatever precautions are recommended on the product label. And you don't want to inhale dust from either epoxy filler or solid surface material, so wear a particle mask during the final sanding phase of the repair.
When to Call a Professional
There are other methods for patching cracked solid surface counters, including buying the professional seaming kit used by fabricators, or routing out the damaged area and gluing in a patch. But these methods require materials, tools, and skills that most do-it-yourselfers don’t own, have access to, or know how to use. If a completely invisible repair is a must—or if the damage is extensive—you should call a professional countertop fabricator who specializes in solid-surface countertops.
Equipment / Tools
Super Glue Method
- Particle mask
- Artist paint brushes
- Random-orbit sander
- Particle mask
Super Glue Method
- Ice pack
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Chlorinated detergent (if needed)
- Cyanoacrylate glue (super glue)
- 220-grit and 400-grit sandpaper
- Ultra-fine Scotch-Brite Pad
- Denatured alcohol
- Two-part epoxy kit
- Scraps of countertop material (optional)
- Paints to match countertop colors
- Wooden popsicle (craft) sticks
- Ultra-fine Scotch-Brite pad
- 120-, 220-, and 400-grit sandpaper
How to Repair a Solid Surface Countertop With Cyanoacrylate Glue
This method works best for hairline cracks—narrower than the thickness of a few sheets of paper.
Chill the Surface
Lay an ice pack over the cracked countertop surface, extending at least 6 inches. past the crack on either side. Chill the surface for at least 45 minutes. The crack should widen slightly as the material contracts from the cold.
Clean the Crack
Clean out the crack with a toothbrush and hydrogen peroxide. If dark stains persist in the crack, apply a chlorinated detergent and scrub with the brush. Rinse with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol.
Draw a pencil line next to the crack, no more than 1/16 inch away.
Heat and Shrink the Crack
Using a portable blow dryer on the hot setting (do not use a heat gun), heat the surface on each side of the crack for about 20 minutes or until the crack closes up and disappears. The pencil mark should still be visible.
Fill the Crack With Glue
Lay a thin bead of cyanoacrylate glue over the crack. You can use popular brand-name products like Krazy Glue or Super Glue, but it’s better to get an industrial-grade, usually marked “CA”).
Don’t work on the countertop or disturb the surface for at least 24 hours. During this period, the glue will wick into the crack and harden for a maximum-strength bond.
Sand the Repair
Hand-sand the repair area with 220-grit abrasive sandpaper, then follow with 400-grit paper. Finally, buff the area with an ultra-fine grade (dark grey) Scotch-Brite pad. Wear a particle mask while sanding to avoid inhaling the dust.
How to Repair a Cracked Solid Surface Countertop With Epoxy Filler
Repairing cracks in a solid surface material with two-part epoxy filler can be faster, easier, and more permanent than using cyanoacrylate, especially when repairing wider cracks.
Clean the Crack
Clean out and de-grease the crack using denatured alcohol and a toothbrush. Wipe the area clean with a rag.
Mix Epoxy Filler
Squeeze out beads of epoxy resin and hardener on a disposable surface, enough filler to fill the crack plus a little more. Mix paint and/or some fine shavings of the original material into the bead of resin to match the tone of the countertop. Then, blend the hardener with the resin to form the epoxy filler putty.
A sharp utility knife can scrape some small shaving of solid surface material from a piece of scrap material. Add these shavings to the epoxy resin to give the filler the same color and pattern of the countertop surface.
Apply the Epoxy Filler
Apply the epoxy filler to the crack, forcing it in with a craft stick. Rake off most of the excess with the long edge of the stick—leave the filler protruding slightly above the surface.
Examine the patch. If it blends well enough with the surrounding surface, leave it alone for the moment. If the color isn’t quite right or doesn't match the pattern, stipple on some paints in coordinating colors. Don't worry too much about perfection; when viewed from a normal distance, the patch will be barely visible.
Let the Patch Harden
Let the epoxy harden according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In most cases, this requires at least 24 hours, or even more in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sand and Polish the Patch Area
When the epoxy has hardened completely, begin the sanding sequence, starting with 120-grit paper and working up to 400-grit.
Ultra-fine Scotch-Brite pads can also help in the last stages. Polish the entire top to remove scratches and help the patched crack blend in with the surrounding countertop. Add some more paint flecks if you need to camouflage the patch.