Antique Vanity

Originally I just had in mind to use a copper sink in the back bathroom. I love copper and this is the last bathroom remodel. But copper sinks are expensive so quite some time ago I found a huge copper sink with an antique sewing machine base for only $40 on craigslist.

“Unique antique vanity and sink. Made from an old sewing machine. Sink is copper. Counter is made from small river rock stones. All faucet fixtures included. It is currently disassembled and in our garage waiting for a new home.”

Treadle Sewing Sink Stand
Treadle Sewing Sink Stand

I was not so much interested in the stand as the sink but after I got it home I decided I liked it and planned to use it in the bathroom someday. I stored it in the garage for at least three years before the project started. By that time the cabinet was quite dirty and needed some tender loving care.

Vanity from Garage
Vanity from Garage

I mixed a paste of vinegar, baking soda, and salt to clean the copper. I just threw the ingredients together without measuring. Using a sponge, I spread the paste inside and outside the bowl and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I scrubbed it off and rinsed it. Some spots needed a second coat. I also used an old toothbrush to clean out the drain. That was disgusting.

The wood and metal legs were cleaned with a soft scrubbie and a sponge using warm water and dish detergent. Most of the dirt was just surface deep, I had to scrape a bit of white paint from some spots. Then I used wood restorer in golden oak to freshen the wood.

Finish Restorer
Finish Restorer

The refinisher was very easy to apply, just wiped it on with a white scrubbie and then wiped it off after 20 minutes.

Cleaned Vanity
Cleaned Vanity

I didn’t want to use the wall mounted faucet that came with the vanity because it was nickel and I’m using oil rubbed bronze. I purchased a used kitchen faucet to get a tall enough stem but I found when I finally put it on the sink that it was not quite tall enough. I decided to use it with an extra escutcheon that came with the faucet.

The difficulty installing the faucet came from the fact that the sink is so large it spans most of the area under the vanity cabinet suitable for the hole through the top. After much fiddling I was able to get the faucet’s control hole cut all the way through the plywood top and the frame piece underneath. I used a diamond hole saw for the tile, a spade bit for the plywood, a regular hole saw for the frame piece but then the spade bit and a deeper hole saw. The frame is old oak so quite hard wood.
Then I had to install the faucet control plate and bolt in a small area above the frame but below the top. There was about 1/2″ space to tighten the nut that holds the faucet control steady. I took it apart three times because I could not get the assembly tight. Finally I had to use a shim under the cabinet top to get it tight. I think the copper pipes of the faucet kept the plate from pulling all the way up to the plywood surface. The top is not thick enough so shims under the faucet plate worked.

Faucet and control
Faucet and control

The faucet just barely clears the sink rim. But it does swivel as it should and does not swivel outside the sink. I had to use a trim piece for the faucet spray to lift the faucet just enough to clear the sink bowl. I would like to have something a bit taller and wider instead of this piece but I had to get this together for the contractor.

Faucet extension
Faucet extension

I need to clean the vanity again because it got dusty from the drilling. Then I have some furniture wax I’d like to use on the wood before it is installed. I may not have time though. I leave for a week in California tomorrow!

This entry was posted in -Chronological Recent Posts, Bathrooms, Design Style, Maintenance and Repair, Reduce Reuse Recycle. Bookmark the permalink.