Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How to paint a cast iron sink

When I last mentioned the powder room, we were talkin' tile. Tiny, little 1" hex tile to be exact. Well, after the tile was grouted, we sealed it then waited 24 hours for it to dry and got started on putting in the fixtures. 

We have re-used the same toilet we had in the bathroom before but I'll spare you a picture until all of the finishing touches are put on le nook above le toilet. It's really looking great but it is incredibly difficult to take a good picture of a room that is only slightly larger than the inside of a shoebox so I'm going to wait until I have all (most) of my decorations and accessories up in there before doing a big "move that bus" type of reveal. 

In the meantime though, I thought I would show you guys how I painted the cast iron sink that we are putting in the tiniest bathroom that ever was. 

You may remember, we got this sink back in early December during a trip to the Barn at the Farm

We found it for a cool 25 bucks after some trepidation about a more expensive sink at an antiques store here in town. Lesson: Be patient, my children. The right thing at the right price is out there. And when you find it...oh will be glad you waited. 

Anywho, we scooped it up and brought it home and in the laundry room it sat until the other day when I decided it was time to get to work on the outside of it. 

As you can see, it wasn't in bad shape at all. Not nearly as bad as our upstairs tub was when I painted the outside of it. 

Still. Since our little powder bathroom is such a...high contrast area, I thought it best to go ahead and paint the underside just in case you were able to see any of it when it was hanging on the wall. 

So, steps 1-2 I took no pictures because you're smart and you can figure it out. 
Step 1) Wipe the whole sink down with a damp rag
Step 2) Vacuum any loose rust or dust or dirt or whatever off of the exterior

Step 3) Tape that sucker UP! Again, we're using a very dark color and I didn't want any leaking onto the pretty white porcelain. 

Step 4) Prime

Just like with the upstairs tub, I primed it using Rust-Oleum's rusty metal primer. The only difference? Last time I brushed it on and this time, we just happened to have some leftover from another project so I sprayed it on. It worked really well, getting down in the front dip of the sink. 

Let that dry...

Step 5) Paint!

*Don't worry, this is after it was dry and I had taken off some of the tape to take a picture. 
I used a brush to paint on the black, oil-based paint. 
Yes. We painted our powder room with oil-based paint. 
No, we're not crazy. It's actually exactly what I envisioned. Shiny, inky, black as night.
In a word: hawt. 

Now, we've gotten this question over on Houzz so I will address it here as well if anyone's curious.
At this point we've painted two cast-iron fixtures (a tub and a sink).
The tub was painted with latex paint and we used oil-based on the sink. 
Someone over there said that we shouldn't have used latex paint on the tub but honestly, it's been almost two years and there is not a mark on that thing. Granted, we don't have any ragers in our bathroom but it's seen it's fair share of use and it still looks just as good as the day it was painted. 

So there you have it. If you're painting a cast iron sink or tub or whatever, I firmly believe you can use whatever kind of paint you want (save maybe craft paint or something) and it will stand up to wear and tear fine as long as you prime it well. 
Now then, where were we? 

Oh yes! My hawt little bathroom with it's hawt lil' sink! 

Again with the "hard to take pictures" in this room thing. I promise we'll take some real pictures once I've got everything sort of the way I want it ; ) 

So yeah, we went with a black bathroom and I couldn't be happier. It was touch-n-go for a minute there when we were painting the window but now that the whole room is done I just LOVE it.

We used Rust-Oleum's black, high gloss enamel paint with a tinted latex primer. Another thing that the guy at the paint store said was a no no but it turned out completely fine. Now, latex on top of oil based? That's a no no. I accidentally got a little white latex paint on the black while I was painting the door frame and it bubbled up and looked weird.
So, to review: enamel on latex? Fine.
Latex on enamel? Not good, m'kay? 

Next up?
As you can see from that picture we still don't have outlet covers and we're replacing the switch that's in there now with a push-button switch. The sink faucet is also leaking in a weird spot and needs a new gasket. But, there's really not much left to do other than decorate. I'm going to try and do it quickly so we can get some pictures up but you know me and you know I like to decorate niiiiiice and sloooooow

Conan's got a lil' project, too that he might just blog about : D 

Until then, 
Keep Smiling!


  1. Thanks for sharing this guys! Nowadays, people have the freedom to choose whatever color they want for their sinks. How's the leak though? I hope its nothing serious. Aside from beautifying one's bathroom, it would also be advisable to have maintenance check-ups done by experts to avoid drainage problems.

    Monica Ryan

  2. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!


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