Back when I was planning out my kitchen, my heart was set on a vintage cast iron sink. I searched Craigslist for months looking for just the right one. And I thought I found it. It was $50, and had a bit of rust damage, but my FIL recommended a guy he worked with (he’s a professional plumber) who refinishes cast iron. So I paid $225 to get it refinished. It looked stunning, for about two months. Then it started doing this:
The “new finish” was chipping and flaking and mold started growing beneath it. It was turning brown and smelling. The drain often clogged and dishes piled up. My husband loathed it. After months of pestering me, I finally agreed to get a new sink and take this one out. I will be honest, I cried a little. I really liked this sink! My compromise was that we would be keeping the wall-mount faucet. I needed that much, at least.
We started by taking out the old sink. Some of the paint came with it, as you can see. We decided on the IKEA domsjo double bowl sink. The catch was even though the overall dimensions are shorter than the vintage sink, the actual bowl size was significantly larger. It would be more than a simple quick change. I had to take out my veggie bin, move the refrigerator, remove the countertop, and move both cabinets 9 inches to the left. We built a custom base from scrap wood to be hidden behind the curtain. After dry-fitting the sink, I re-attached the cabinets to the wall and we measured for the new countertop cuts. The old sink was a drop in, and the new one was not. So we cut the counters and set them in place.
The connections would be an issue though. As you can tell, the plumbers were quite enthusiastic. To keep my wall mounted faucet (and to limit just how much renovation we would tackle) I made a faux backsplash to cover the holes and paint damage until we decided on either a full-wall backsplash, or a custom order ceramic piece to fit behind the sink.
There was a surprising amount of work involved to fix everything up so it looked nice again. I needed to add face trim to the new base (which was made with barn wood, so not a match at all!), we had to re-route the plumbing and install new drains, we added a disposal (yay!) and needed to extend the lines for the reverse osmosis filter and dishwasher. Then there was the caulking, cleaning up the caulking, sanding down the imprints of the old sink on the counters and re-sealing them, and the backsplash. So more steps than I thought, but it only took a week of working on and off. I’m very happy with the switch, it was definitely worth it!
As far as the veggie cabinet, I decided to hack it up and rebuild it rather than do something new. I had about 6″ of space left. It was built with pocket holes, so I simply removed the screws and used the same sides. I used the table saw to slice the back board in half and the chop saw to halve the shelves. It made for the perfect wine cubby! I have 10 slots for bottles, and a taller top that’s the perfect size for glasses.
I’m very pleased with how the sink looks with a wall-mounted faucet. I won’t lie though, it’s not a perfect solution for this huge sink. But I had to keep the aesthetic I fell in love with, and it works for me. The faucet reaches about 1/4 of the way into each bowl, so I can still fill up big pots and clean the sinks. To fill the original faucet hole, I grabbed a soap pump kit at Lowes specifically for this person. I love this little thing! It’s so handy. I use it for hand soap since I also enjoy my Fiesta dish soap pump my sister gave me to match my dishes. Overall I’m quite pleased with the aesthetic of the sink. I was afraid that the size would be overbearing on the wall, but it really doesn’t. And the faucet/backsplash really does fool the eye. I think it will look even better once I have a permanent solution up. (Right now it’s 1/4″ ply sealed with spar varnish to make it water-safe and painted with oil-based white gloss to match the sink) Here’s a look at the new:
And the old:
Two great options, but at least the new one isn’t covered in black mold 😉 I’m toying with the idea of having the old one sandblasted and powder-coated, which is what I should have done the first time if I had known better. Maybe someday I’ll have a little guest cottage to use it in. A girl can dream, right?