Laundry Room: The 500 pound sink

This post could also be titled, “Working with what ya got”, or “Lipstick on a pig”, but I chose to go with something more literal. Like many houses built in 1920s, ours has a massive 2 basin laundry sink. It’s made of concrete, with a pipe base support that is poured into the concrete foundation. So it’s not going anywhere unless we wanted to pull out the sledgehammer, commit to a lot of manual labor, and shell out a thousand bucks on a pretty new sink, or fifty on an ugly plastic one.


The sink was a bit of an eyesore, but it is a really useful utility sink and serves as the drain for the washing machine. It has two huge basins (the entire sink is 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep), and has been great for washing out paint brushes and all the other DIY related washing activities I throw at it. Thus, he got a little makeover to match the new and improved laundry room.

First, I painted the outside of the sink. It had been painted about 14 times, so I thought why not add another coat? The laundry room is very white and gray. I wanted to add a little bit of color with the sink. I chose a deep blue gray, Mariner by Martha Stewart. I then tackled the legs/supports. Their most recent paint job was burgundy and was not doing them any favors. They got a coat of matte black acrylic craft paint and they look a million times better.

sink painted

And now for the true eyesore…the inside of the sink and the faucet. I used a stiff brush and all 120 pounds of elbow grease I had to scrub the heck out the basins. I revealed the light gray concrete as well as a metal lip that covers the top edge of the sink. I also revealed some hairline cracks. I used concrete caulk and a putty knife to fill them in and prevent them from getting worse. I then sealed the entire inside with some Sealer’s Choice Gold I had lying around.

The faucet proved to be the most difficult part of the sink project. The faucet was mounted to the wall, or in this case, rotten wood boards that leaned against the wall. I say “leaned” because the nails that had originally been used to attach the boards to the concrete walls had rusted out.

We detached the faucet from the boards and the pipes, and pulled the boards out. I replaced the boards with a fir 2×8 that I sanded within an inch of its life, stained with Minwax Early American, and sealed with 3 coats of Minwax Polycrylic on all sides. (I was attempting to match the color of the oak countertops, Early American seemed to fit the bill in the store, but is a little too dark in real life).

While the new board was being glued in place, I tackled the faucet. Some poor soul decided that painting everything white would make the faucet and pipes look much better, and while I believe that almost everything can be remedied with a coat of white paint, a faucet is not one of them. I simmered the faucet in water for 30 minutes and scraped off paint and a lot of grime. This process was repeated 4 times. (Apparently lots of people thought painting a metal faucet was a good idea). Once I had scraped most the paint off, I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed with steel wool to reveal the nice silver metal.

faucet before and after

We then attached the faucet back to the pipes and screwed it into the backer board. And with that, the sink project was complete.

laundry sink after

laundry sink after

We also replaced the waterlines to the washer with steel braided lines. They are apparently better than the black rubber lines (less likely to burst), and they have the added benefit of looking much nicer.

The laundry room is now 90% done. We still need to add a ceiling and finishing touches (shelves, trim, accessories). We are aiming to be done by Christmas. Whereas, most people have an advent calendar, we have a “days till laundry room completion” calendar. 21 to go…


3 thoughts on “Laundry Room: The 500 pound sink

  1. This looks lovely! We just bought an older home with one of these laundry sinks and it has some small cracks near the drain. I’m wondering if your concrete caulk and Sealer’s Choice worked well?

    • The concrete caulk has worked well for the small cracks. Sealer’s choice doesn’t completely keep it dry (I think it allows water vapor through). But it has helped too. Good luck with your sink!

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