Joe replaces a vintage porcelain drainboard kitchen sink with a new Elkay stainless steel drainboard sink

stainless steel drainboard sink 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.

UPDATE: Regarding old porcelain sinks including a discussion of why re-surfacing or re-enameling may be desirable if you have one, see my story: Understanding potential lead hazards in old porcelain enamel bathtubs and sinks and ceramic tile of any age. We also have found two sources that do old-school re-porcelaining today — use the Search box on the blog to get to the stories..

porcelain ceramic drainboard sink
Joe’s original drainboard sink — the “Before”. The sinktop was chipped and rusted. He had it refinished using an epoxy-based process. But, the new surface started to disintegrate in about two years, he reports.

Joe writes:

Hi Pam,

Finally got the Lustertone sink installed.

Elkay stainless steel drainboard sink installed on a vintage Beauty Queen steel sink base

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.

retro kitchen faucet

No problems at all with the installation. Fit easily. I replaced the faucet with a kind of retro unit made by Chicago Faucets.

re-enameling or refinishing the original porcelain drainboard sink was not successfulNote: I did have the original top taken out and refinished [with an epoxy-type finish] and that lasted about 2 years. Could not find someone to re-enamel.



  1. kate says:

    I love the stainless/butcher block combination. We have butcher block and one of the reasons I got the Elkay w/drainboard was to help keep the area where sink meets countertop protected. Thanks for the great photos and inspiration!

  2. Well we did powder coat @ 1600 degrees in almond came out fine has lasted 2 years and going strong I have link the face book page so you can see it if it works, cost just 165.00 dollars to powder coat the sink.

  3. Jane Dobell says:

    Hi Pam
    You mention stainless being sanitary. If porcelain sink is chipped does it collect bacteria? Is rusted steel not sanitary?

    1. pam kueber says:

      Can you point me to where I use the word “sanitary” in this story? I cannot see the reference. I think that, in stories about the history of steel cabinets, I may have said they were “marketed” with the idea they were sanitary — meaning, specifically, vermin could not eat through steel like they could eat through wood cabinets.

      I don’t think I have ever written about counter tops and bacteria prevention.

Comments are closed.