In my recent story about authentic 1950s 1960s and 1970s kitchen remodeling products still made today, I spotlighted Elkay Lustertone stainless steel drainboard sinks — made back in the day and still available today. Over the past year, I’ve been in touch with a reader who was preparing to install a new Elkay sink top onto his vintage steel kitchen sink base. The project was recently completed — and voila, doesn’t it look fantastic? Reader Joe explains that he would really have preferred to find a porcelain enamel drainboard sink, to replace the original — but these are not made new today, and his previous experience with trying to re-enamel his original drainboard sink Was Not Satisfactory. Read on for his report on his experience and several before-and-after photos.
Finally got the Lustertone sink installed.
I would still have preferred to have replaced the original white enamel-on-steel top with another new one just like it….but no one seems to make them anymore. The stainless steel is just not as “warm feeling” as the white top. But a self draining unit was a priority and that does work fine.
No problems at all with the installation. Fit easily. I replaced the faucet with a kind of retro unit made by Chicago Faucets.
Pam responds: I have NEVER heard of anyone having a good experience with re-enameled tops — although, I think for small repairs or if you really want to try and extend the life and refinish a porcelain sink on the cheap, you can try the products recommended and for sale at deabath.com. I am told that the reason that “refinishing” a vintage porcelain sink doesn’t work very well is that: The original porcelain-enamel finish is chemically: glass. “Refinishing” or “Re-enameling” is: Paint on Glass. No worky.
If you really really want to find a porcelain drainboard sink in great shape, I do think they are out there. Best bet: Take the measurements of the chippy wrecked one with you at all times. Watch like a hawk for something in Perfect shape. Stalk your Restore. All that said: Joe, I think your stainless steel drainboard sink from Elkay is beautiful — and oh-so-practical, as stainless steel will never chip! Thank you for sharing!