How to Refinish a Cast Iron Sink


Cast iron sinks can be a wonderful addition to the home, adding character to a bathroom or kitchen. When created they may be moulded and pressed out using Tapping Machines such as those available from businesses like These machines are used in a number of different industries to press out items from a variety of different materials.

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Vintage furniture continues to appeal to homeowners in the UK, so now could be the perfect time to begin your restoration project.

Unlike other types of sink, cast iron can come with maintenance issues. However, an old cast iron sink can be brought back to looking its best. Here we explain how to refinish a cast iron sink.

Chemical Cleaning

Refinishing a cast iron sink can be an arduous task. However, some chemicals can make the process easier.

Trisodium phosphate is the best chemical to use, as it removes dirt and grime on the cast iron’s surface. This makes the process of removing rust and paint easier.

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However, ensure you use eye protection and a respirator when using any chemicals.

Abrasive Refinishing

Cast iron sinks are fashioned in a very durable and dense way, and rust cannot simply eat through the metal.

This density means cast iron can withstand countless refinishing and cleaning techniques.

A diamond-coated sanding pad and steel wool can go a long way in removing rust, and you can attach these to a power sander or drill to finish the job.

Remove Old Paint

Many choose to paint cast iron due to its black colour and rough texture, which can make the sink appear unattractive.

The first step is to remove the original layer of paint using a mixture of paint thinner or alcohol, a paint scraper and steel wool for abrasive cleaning.

This can take several scrapings and applications, but persevere as this method will eventually remove the paint.


Once the old paint and rust has been removed, you will now need to repaint it to bring the sink back to looking its best.

Use waterproof paint which is oil-based, painting a thin layer on to the sink with a dry brush. Once this has dried completely overnight, gently sand with a sanding block or 100-grit sandpaper. Then wipe the sink with a tack cloth and apply another thin layer of paint, repeating one last time with a thick layer of paint the next day. Once it’s completely dry, apply one coat of sealer and wait two days before running water.

Written by suNCh8

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