Cast iron sink in an updated bathroom with wainscoting

Cast iron sinks are popular because they’re durable, resist hard water spots and can last a lifetime. But for all their strengths, they can show wear and tear over time. 

That’s the situation that Bruce in Iowa faces. He and his wife are in the process of buying a new home and they have some old cast-iron sinks.

They’d like to include these heirlooms in the new house, but they’re not sure if refinishing them is a do-it-yourself friendly job. 

We love the idea of saving an old sink. But placing an old sink in a new house isn’t much of an upgrade, despite the sentimental value. So, Bruce is right to consider refinishing them. 

First, check with a professional and ask what they would charge for the job. (It could cost between $300 and $400.) Then consider the cost of DIY kits and look at each kit’s reviews before choosing one. 

Some DIY refinishing kits are better than others but all of them require a lot of work, especially when you’re prepping the surface for the refinishing coat. 

Rust-Oleum makes a Tub and Tile Refinishing kit with a two-part epoxy paint that you roll on. It’s a simple enough DIY job that it’s worth trying before calling a professional down the line.

Use an angle grinder on the bottom side of the sink, and a flap sander on the top side to remove any rust. 

Use J-B Weld WaterWeld epoxy to make the surface smooth, then apply the Tub and Tile Refinishing kit. 

Don’t do this in an enclosed space. The refinishing kit has noxious fumes, so the best thing is to take the sink, put it on sawhorses and do the work outside. 

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  • [skipto time=24:30][24:30][/skipto] Simple Solution: How to make a shoe-cleaning station that will get the dirt / mud off your shoes before you walk into the house
  • [skipto time=27:05][27:05][/skipto] Question of the Week: Can a thermal expansion tank fix a water pressure problem?

Simple Solutions 

Pallet Christmas Tree — Here’s how to transform an old wooden pallet into a decorative Christmas tree for the holidays. Start by marking two diagonal lines from the top of the pallet down at an angle to the second to the last slat on each side. Use a circular saw to cut along the lines. Next, pry off the slats from the back of the pallet. Cut four pieces of wood to make a simple base to hold the tree upright. Now, paint it green and decorate with lights, garland and Christmas ornaments. 

Shoe-Cleaning Station — Dirty shoes and boots are the No. 1 cause of floor scratches (learn how to fix scratches on hardwood floors), and most doormats don’t prevent the problem. Here’s how to quickly clean shoes with materials you probably have on hand.

First, head to your workshop, garage or storage room and you’ll probably find a long-handled scrub brush. If not, they’re available at your local home center and don’t cost much. 

I’m going to show you an effective way to make a boot brush using that long-handled scrub brush. It’ll do a much better job than most doormats. You won’t need the long-handled scrub brush’s handle, so unscrew it and get rid of it. 

Start by building a base out of 1-by-8s. Cut the base about 28 inches long, then cut two vertical dividers and two triangular braces to support the vertical dividers.

Then take the brushes and screw one to each of the vertical dividers. The base of each brush should be up about an inch and a half or so from the vertical divider. These brushes are how you’ll quickly clean the sides of your shoes. 

Next, screw a brush on the structure’s base to clean the bottom of your boots. You’ll end up with a wooden base with three scrub brushes.

Finally, secure your boot cleaner to a deck or patio so it doesn’t slip and slide around. In this case, we’re mounting it right outside the back entry with a couple of screws. That will hold it in place.

Now, you can easily brush off the excess dirt and grime on your boots, and you have no excuse for dirty shoes.  

Watch: How to Clean Shoes Before You Enter Your Home

Question of the Week

Q: I have a pressure-reducing valve and I have lowered it down, but the water pressure is at 90 psi. Once I turn on a faucet, it drops to 20 psi. Would adding a thermal expansion tank fix this problem? 

A: A thermal expansion tank will fix thermal expansion problems, but a drop of 70 psi is a significant drop that might require calling in a specialist.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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