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Keep That Kitchen Sink!
Have you ever heard that expression, “They threw everything out but the kitchen sink!”? Do you know why they didn’t throw out the kitchen sink in that saying? It is because the phrase originated when the average kitchen sink was made from cast iron. If you are unfamiliar with cast iron then you may not be aware that this is a very heavy and dense material. Simply put, a kitchen sink made from cast iron was too heavy to throw out the window!
A cast iron sink was commonly coated in enamel. Now this enamel was baked onto the cast iron so that it would not come off. If you have ever seen a damaged cast iron sink coated with enamel, then you have noticed those “brown spots” in the sink. Those brown spots are what happens when that enamel coating is broken off and the cast iron underneath is exposed to water. Naturally it, like all metals, rusts.
One of the great things about an old cast iron kitchen sink coated in enamel was that you could get them in almost any color. Although white was the most common, a wide variety of other colors were available. A lot of people matched their cabinets and counter tops with their cast iron sink.
Unfortunately, the cast iron sink is virtually a dinosaur of days past. People have opted instead for a lightweight kitchen sink made from a composite material or perhaps a solid surfacing material like some of the countertops are made out of as well. Occasionally you will see a stainless steel sink but many of the contemporary homes are built with non-metallic materials.
But a cast iron sink is an absolute classic and is a great addition to any restoration project. Vintage lake cottages look wonderful with a cast iron kitchen sink because most were equipped with one when they were new. But what do you do when you come across an old cast iron sink—especially if it has seen better days?
A fully restored and functional cast iron kitchen sink can actually add value to your home—they are that rare and coveted! If you find one that has the “brown spots” mentioned earlier or other damage to the enamel finish, there are still experts out there who specialize in resurfacing enamel and porcelain. For a fraction of what it would cost you to buy a comparable sink, a resurfacing expert can make your cast iron kitchen sink look like new.
Even if you find a cast iron sink that is impractical for your particular home, don’t throw it away! There are a number of companies that specialize in restoring cast iron sinks so don’t hesitate to jump on the web to find one in your area. Hey, they just aren’t making the classics any more so the more that can be preserved, the better!