Making old tubs and sinks good as new

Last week I took a quick trip an hour south to pick up a couple sinks. These were century-old fixtures that had been used in a hotel being renovated (well, gutted is more accurate). They were completely covered in pigeon droppings, so I covered the sinks with trash bags, hauled them home, and scrubbed away. Here’s how they look now:

They looked better but not great—though I do love that soap dish. However, this morning we dropped off the sinks and two tubs at a shop where they’ll be glazed with a new layer of porcelain. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

Having fixtures resurfaced is one great way to save money when fixing up an old (or just outdated) house. According to the guys glazing our fixtures, original color doesn’t matter; they can be refinished in white (like we are) or any other shade.

Because I hope this will be helpful to some of you, glazing our cast-iron tub will cost $350, our clawfoot will be $450, and each sink will cost $125. If the crew has to build up weakened drains, they’ll tack on another $50 a pop.

It’s not an incredibly cheap project, but it’s less expensive than buying new fixtures. And since I love our tubs (one of which has been in the house since it was built), reusing them is a no brainer.

I’ll share the finished photos in a few weeks! •

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