Refinishing a Sink: 2 Options to Restore Vintage Cast Iron | Ep. 114

White cast iron sink in a mid-century modern bathroom
A vintage cast-iron sink can be refinished professionally or with a do-it-yourself kit. (©Iriana Shiyan, Adobe Stock Photos)
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  • [9:09] Home Depot Best New Product: Leviton 15 Amp Decora Type A and C USB Charger Tamper-Resistant Outlet
  • [10:47] Creating a dry patio area under a wood deck
  • [15:56] What can cause granite to crack
  • [21:24] Affordable way to make a functional and attractive outdoor kitchen
  • [22:49] Solved: Can you re-coat the white coating on an old cast-iron sink?
  • [25:45] What to do about stained concrete
  • [28:35] Question of the Week: Which flooring option is best for a high moisture level?

Gene in Iowa has a vintage cast-iron sink that’s showing its age. He wants to keep it, but first, he’s wondering whether he can refinish the sink to make it look new again.

We always prefer to restore items, rather than throw them away. While refinishing a bathtub is a big project to tackle, sinks are more manageable.

When you have a solid cast-iron sink that’s not too damaged, it may be feasible to spend the time and money to refinish it.

You have a couple of options:

  • Remove the sink and take it to a professional refinisher. It’s the easiest, but most expensive option.
  • Purchase a tub and tile refinishing kit. Rust-Oleum is one of the many companies that make them.

With any kind of project like this, prep work is the most important step. Read the instructions carefully, which always include ventilating the space.

Sink refinishing products give off very toxic fumes, whether it’s the primer, cleaner or the refinisher itself. So, open the windows and set up fans in the room.

If the tub and tile refinishing kit doesn’t work, take the sink to your local professional refinisher.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!

Simple Solutions

Handy Hand Grips—Reduce blisters and sore hands by placing bicycle handlebar grips on your lawn and garden tools. You can purchase soft, foam-rubber types or hard plastic ones with molded finger grips. Cut off the closed end of the grips and slide them down the tool handle. If necessary, squirt a little liquid dish soap onto the handle to help the grips slide on more easily. 

Flower Pot Tips—Try these two ways to retain moisture when planting in a clay pot:

  • Paint the interior of the pot with exterior-grade paint or varnish
  • Place a sponge in the bottom of the pot, which will retain moisture after watering.

Question of the Week

Q: We live in Sarasota, Florida. When the flooring was first installed in 2014, the moisture level was 1-2%. Now, it is showing 6%. The company that installed the flooring will remove the current wood, free of charge.

They would install their vinyl plank flooring, and we would pay for materials and labor. What should we do? Perhaps carpet would be a better solution. It is in our living and dining room, which is an L-shape area.

A: Even at a moisture level of 6%, there shouldn’t be moisture problems with the wood floor, unless it’s over a concrete slab.

Installing carpet would not be a good solution when dealing with a moisture problem. You should first take the wood floor up and apply a masonry sealer to prevent the moisture from migrating up.

We suggest installing waterproof vinyl planking if moisture is a problem. It’s easy to install and serves as a durable flooring option.

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