That sinking feeling
Pop quiz! Who said this?
“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard!”*
When I first envisioned our new old kitchen, I imagined a white apron-front sink (sometimes called a farmhouse sink). [Photo: unknown]
These babies aren’t cheap, but because the sink is a focal point of the room and a place where I spend a lot of time, I didn’t want to skimp … but I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg, either. A fireclay sink like the one in the photo starts at about $600—and you can pay much more.
One day the light came on. I don’t need to spend that kind of money! I have the perfect solution right here in my own backyard—FOR FREE! Want to see? Come out to the greenhouse. Are you ready? TA-DA!!
Isn’t she gorgeous?? Yes, this is the same sink that topped the metal cabinet that was in my kitchen when I bought the house in 1984 … the very latest in sink style from the 1940s or earlier. I LOVED this sink. I used it for years, and loved the big single bowl and the handy drain boards on each side. Because I was sad when my ex replaced it with a modern sink, he installed it on a 2×6 frame in the greenhouse … where it waited patiently to feel the love again. Dear old sink, your time has come! You are about to become a star!
For months we talked about how to get it out of the greenhouse. Being cast-iron, it weighs a ton. And I know for a fact there are spiders in the greenhouse. I don’t do spiders. If you were a spider, wouldn’t you live under this sink? I fretted more about contacting a spider than whether I could lift my end of the sink.
Eric doesn’t like spiders much, either, but he’s a guy, so he knew it was his duty to try to eliminate them. Besides, he needed my help to lift the sink, and this was the only way he’d get it.
It took all the strength I could muster, but we got her out and safely on the grass. Yep, the spiders ran … but they were the daddy longlegs variety and I don’t mind those quite as much.
She’s not ready for her close-up, but if I had been camping in the greenhouse since 1996, I’d look rough, too.
Here she is, hosed off and perched on sawhorses on the deck. Much improved, eh? You can see the potential now, right? I about wrecked my back, lifting. I don’t know how we’re going to get her in the house.
We had Miracle Method refinish our bathtub a couple of years ago, so we called them in again to refurbish the sink. The refinishing process is stinky and requires an outside window for ventilation. But … most of the windows in this house, including the kitchen ones, have been painted shut for decades. I ask you, how does that happen? Who in the world would paint their house and decide, “Hey, let’s just paint ’em shut! We won’t hear the trains as much!”
Eric removed the stops and clamped the ropes so they wouldn’t disappear into the weight pockets (important!). Then he introduced his new friend, the heat gun, to the old paint. Wow, that thing is HOT, and it cooked the paint right off! Before long we had an operable window in the breakfast room!
Eric cleared out the room, taped plastic across the arched opening, and set up the saw horses. The OR was ready. What was I doing to help? Well … I made us peanut butter toast … and left for work. Eric brought the sink inside easily with a hand truck. Hmph.
Sorry, no pictures of the Miracle Men in action … but here’s a peek inside the OR between coats. Oooh …
After letting the sink cure overnight, the guys came back to buff her out.
Now what do you think? She doesn’t look a day over 30! In fact, she looks so good, I’m thinking about having a little work done, myself!
*Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.