Dupont Delux deco style metal sink cabinet: An all-new brand

vintage-metal-cabinets-deco-trimI went to an estate sale yesterday and in the basement gasped when I confronted this steel sink base — unlike any I’ve seen before. The deco-style design in the cabinet door is actually cut right into the outer layer of steel. I’ve identified 70 brands of steel kitchen cabinets from about 1935 onward. I wonder if this is a 71st? How exciting!

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This is the only marking that I could find on the cabinet — Dupont Delux finish…inside the base cabinet door. So – that is the deco flower design looking from the inside out.

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Here’s the inside — notice the bare steel rods. I am not sure what the story is with these. Like, were you supposed to put a board there? I have to admit, I think I was protein starved by this point, so my head was a little spinning. You can set the inside of the deco door, too…The steel is die-cut on the outer layer, and the inside layer to cut and molded around the die cuts in order to have the light shine through. This must have been tedious work….

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The sink top itself was also really cool – notice how the bowl is rounded and the sink top is molded in a round fashion, as well. I also quite like that high backsplash.

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Here is the pull.

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Pretty cool, huh. I think this must be old… early 40s perhaps. And oh yeah you bet there’s more to show from this house. I was really quite excited 🙂

Base and wall cabinets identified!

Update: On April 4, 2014, reader Lady Draco spotted a craigslist ad from Pleasant Valley, Maryland, that include wall and base cabinets in addition to the sink cabinet. What a great find!

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Thanks to owner Wendi for permission to archive these photos here. She says the kitchen is in disarray in the photos because the house is getting ready for sale. She said that she and her mother, who owns the house, decided to sell the cabinets before listing the house — out of fear that a new owner would not recognize the cabinets’ value and simply trash them. Wendi told me that there was already a buyer lined up — and that she was going to put them in an old house she was restoring. Woot! These are rare cabinets, indeed, I think. Thanks to Lady Draco and to Wendi and her mom, and to the new buyer, for recognizing the value of preserving these beauties.

See our 100+ stories about vintage steel kitchen cabinets here. 

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Comments

  1. TappanTrailerTami says

    Pam – just LOVE this cabinet!!!! I’m going to say mid to late 30’s on this one. I looked up Dupont Dulux – some interesting history. This is the enamel paint used on the cabinet – more below.

    Some history I found searching for DuPont Dulux labels:

    DuPont has been using Dulux enamel in automotive coatings since 1926. Dulux actually owes its existence to a flaw in its more famous cousin, Duco. This nitrocellulose lacquer first brought color to automobiles when General Motors used it in 1923. It was thick and quick drying, which pleased carmakers, but frustrating for consumers who couldn’t apply it like the oil-based paints they were used to. So DuPont researchers tried mixing synthetic alkyd resins with oil and found that the resulting enamel’s drying time was slower than Duco but faster than that of traditional oil paint. Dulux alkyd resin, named in 1926, also had a pleasing high-gloss look. By the early 1930s it won over consumers under the label Dulux “Brush” Duco.

    Dulux high-gloss enamels were also used widely in the 1930s on refrigerators and washing machines, outdoor signs, gasoline service stations and pumps, and railroad cars. Once tried as an undercoating for Duco auto paint, Dulux also found a niche as a low-cost alternative to Duco auto finishes. In 1954 some automobile manufacturers chose an improved Dulux alkyd enamel over Duco, and over DuPont’s new water-based Lucite® acrylic lacquer. However, Lucite® soon pulled ahead in household sales, and after DuPont developed a new acrylic polymer in 1957, Lucite® also outshone Dulux in the appliance and industrial markets. DuPont sold its consumer paint business in 1983.

    Tami

    • pam kueber says

      ok @tami, you’ve inspired me to go look for the listing info on the house. i agree, the cabinet looks early. i am pretty sure it would have been original to the house…unless, i guess they brought it with them from the farm….stay tuned.

  2. Happy Daze says

    That is an awesome cabinet!

    Now for the story with the wires under the sink – people used to think that it was necessary to maintain adequate airflow around drain lines for sanitary reasons. It is for this reason that the plumbing was exposed on most early fixtures. As streamlining became more popular, plumbing was concealed, but it was still vented to maintain airflow, hence the stamped design in the cabinet door. The lack of a solid bottom helps maintain additional airflow to the area under the sink, but the wires enable it to also be used for storage.

  3. tim says

    i need to find one more handle or pull for a metal sink, its torpedo elongated shape, very simple design, where can i go look?

  4. Gail Shochet says

    Literally *sqeed* out loud (at work) when I saw this, and I don’t *sqee*. I’m ‘modernizing’ the kitchen of my 1865 stone farmhouse by bringing it up to the 1930’s and the sink/sink base was the largest piece of the puzzle, aside from my much-loved Chambers Model B. 52postnbeam, *thankyou*thankyou*thankyou*; ordered and hopefully all will be well and it will be on its way soon.

  5. pam kueber says

    Gail – congratulations! And yes — many thanks to 52postnbeam, I think you owe her a bouquet of roses! And Gail, send me pics when your 1930s kitchen is done!

  6. Gail Shochet says

    I sure will..although I suspect I’m going for a slightly older look than most of your readers (I’m a longtime lurker here). I’m doing a ‘furniture’ kitchen where most of the pieces are salvaged/freestanding, so it’s taking forever to come together. Not slavishly period, more along the lines of “stuff I love”, but the overall flavor seems to be a rather spare interpretation of Deco/30’s/early 40’s, in red/black/white.

    I’ll take more pictures if/when the cabinet gets here..maybe I can find something to identify the brand. In the meantime I’ll be looking for just the right faucet.

  7. Karen Nardella says

    Hi Gail and everyody else. Gail it is unique and I hope you were able to used it. I was wondering if you were able to get the sink re-glazed or re-enamaled and if so how did you find someone. I have a sink and cannot find the best solution. I would a ppreciate any insight you may add. Thanks again. Karen

  8. Destiny says

    Stumbled across your site – such wonderful information! My grandparents live in their parents house built in 1933 under a homestead act from President FDR during the depression to help people survive and build houses. They have a sink just like the one you have pictured that I want to help them restore. Any advice would be appreciated. It’s rusting in some areas, mostly around the drawers. I’m going to help them, it’ll be black/white when we are done. I also think it was a Dupont – the name sounds so familiar.

    • pam kueber says

      Destiny, what a wonderful story. This is not a DIY or fixit site. That said, I have posted a number of stories from readers who share their experiences with different approaches to repaint their vintage steel kitchen cabinets. Check the navigation to get to these stories — They are under Products / Kitchens / Steel kitchens. Also, please note the warnings in various spots on the blog about ensuring what you are working with: The paint in old houses including on these cabinets may contain lead, for example. Good luck. I’d love to see some photos of the house if you want to send them to me. email me at retrorenovation [at] gmail [dot] com. Good luck!

  9. says

    Thanks so much for posting this. I have been looking for info on this sink for MANY years .
    The sink looks to be in original condition – with the original knobs – it is the original paint – a faded yellow or off white color.

    I am in need of 2 extra knobs if anyone has them please contact me

    • Shandra says

      Gail that is gorgeous!!! Love the tile pattern that frames the sink! I have a Youngstown sink that needs the same TLC – I hope to have it come out that good!

  10. Miss Wynonna says

    My Great Grandparents had a sink base similar to this BUT theirs had double doors under the sink with a die cut swan in each door facing each other………It was in the house when they moved into it in 1933 but was never used by them as they set up a kitchen in the basement of the house.

  11. Sylvia Todd says

    I lived in a WWII era apartment complex for about 5 years that had wonderful metal cabinets like this. Someone purchased the entire complex, kicked everyone out, and REMODELED to a perfectly bland and boring HUD approved monstrosity. I cried when I toured MY apartment (the first one finished) after the remodel.

  12. Anastasia says

    So some very wise person ventilated the “wet” cabinet! Very cool & smart. Those are amazing, ty for sharing.

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