I love a good antique cast iron sink. I am obsessed with antique cast iron sinks. The ones that lived as furniture in those steel cabinets. The ones that had to have the support cabinet made inside the house. The 300 pound monstrosities with double drain boards and double basins? Yaaaaas honey, those.
This is the story of our antique cast iron sink project.
We live among farms and Amish folks here in Pennsylvania, and there are tons of salvage shops nearby, and they’re all amazing. I should also mention our house is only 2 1/2 years old, so there’s a ton of character building activities going on here. These salvage shops are heaven, but with our schedules & small kids, I go not as often as I should (junking and picking is good for the soul), but I drive past one local place, and I’m always drooling over this one antique cast iron sink I can see in the shop.
Almost 10 years ago, I was in Philadelphia at an old friend’s house, and saw his kitchen for the first time, and just about died on the spot. This brick townhouse was built in the 30’s, and the metal cabinets were holding this behemoth double drain board single bowl cast iron white porcelain enamel sink. I mentioned my obsession with the sink, and he said they hated it and wanted to gut the kitchen and start over. After I regained consciousness, I told them that if they were to ever bid this sink adieu, to let me know, because I need one (hundred) in my life.
A year ago, I sent Andrew down to get this behemoth antique cast iron sink home.
Getting it out of the van was hilarious, because… it’s huge and awkward and 300 pounds. It sat in our garage for the year on a wheeled dolly next to the generator while we were deciding exactly what to do with it. Maybe we were scared of it. Or didn’t want to lift it. Our ultimate end-goal, is to retrofit the sink into our kitchen when we eventually upgrade our counter tops and paint the cabinets. The only issue is that we aren’t planning on doing that for another few years. We need carpet first, because… kids.
Andrew had the idea to make a base for it, and to use it as a dry sink in our dining room, as a gorgeous piece of salvaged goodness, rather than let it just sit in the garage. So, he made this monster base with a shelf underneath for the sink over a few days.
We brought it in the dining room and distressed it, gently sanded it down, and stained it Espresso. It looked gorgeous without the sink on top, and we were so not interested in trying to bring the sink in the house because we had no idea how to get it across the yard, up the kitchen steps, through the kitchen, into the dining room, and up onto the base. Our logical thought was to let it hang out for the week.
We finally brought it in over the weekend, which was hilarious. Lilly and Andrew were watching us waddle across the yard, awkwardly lugging this thing. We got it in, and up onto the base somehow, which fit like a glove. It’s perfect, and we are so in love with it!
The sink itself needs to be reglazed, but for now, I just cleaned it gently with a tiny bit of Barkeeper’s Friend and a sponge. To look at in the dining room, I rather liked the pitting and wear on it, but for daily use in the kitchen we’ll probably want to have it spruced up.
At the moment it’s cuddling the cut boughs of greens from our Christmas tree and leftover pinecones for Christmas, some random trinkets, our cast iron skillets (which, are the best things in the world, I’m just saying), and a little red farm basket.
I cannot stop staring at it when I’m working in the kitchen or walking by the dining room! I’m in love with it, and in our still basic looking dining room (which truly needs a lot more attention), it helps add a lot of character and interest to that big, giant wall of plain beige paint. Which, I can’t wait to tend to as well.
I’d love to hear if you’ve got an obsession with these sinks, and what you think of this one!