Introduction: Revamped Cast Iron Fountain

About: My name is Niki, I am a mum of three amazing grown up kids as well as a Grandma. I am a keen hobbyist and a full time carer for someone with a disability. In my spare time I indulge in my eclectic crafting …

When browsing around old junk yards, we came upon a beaten up old cast iron garden 'sink' thing.

It looked so very sorry for itself, it had rusted in places, its paint was peeling off, the tap was missing, the pipework at the back was bent and buckled, but looking behind its tatters and cobwebs, we saw something that would be perfect and fit in with the ethos of my garden.

I used:

  • Junk yard find - cast iron sink
  • Wire brush and wire brush drill attachments
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill, battery operated
  • Grey metal primer, spray
  • Black metal paint, spray
  • White car paint, in a pot
  • A can of high gloss clear car lacquer
  • A length of garden hose
  • A small electric pond pump
  • Copper elbow bend
  • A craft sponge paint pad / brush

Short video at the end

Note on amendment to title:

Having given the feedback some thought, I have changed the title from 'sink' to 'fountain'. But I didn't want to change the overall Instructable too much so I've made it obvious that there have been changes in the title image.

I consider constructive feedback most valuable and take it all on board. Thank you (",)

Step 1: Rub Down

The cobwebs were brushed off, including a resident beastie, then rubbed down to remove all the rust and flaky paint.

To rub it down, we started with a wire brush and coarse sandpaper, but it was getting us nowhere and fast! So we went to the hardware store and purchased wire brush attachments for the hand drill.

Some tissue was placed in the tap hole to prevent anything blocking it up.

Being made from cast iron, it took three of us to move it, so we lay it on a frame (not to damage the pipework at the rear) and lay on its 'back'.

Step 2: Prime

After it had been wire brushed, wiped over with a damp cloth and dried, it was sprayed with grey primer.

We used two coats to be sure.

Allowed to dry, outdoors, overnight.

If you're wondering why the stick is ... we used it to hold the copper elbow joint to spray and dry.

Step 3: Spray - Top Coat

Two coats of black spray paint later, it was looking so much more loved!

As I don't have a garage, it had to be sprayed outdoors. Which meant everyone had to be extra vigilant and keep any stray flies away whilst it was drying.

We left the paper and stick in place.

It's absolutely solid and weighs a lot, as you'd expect. The back was not sprayed and left in the green.

Step 4: Dry Brush, Dry and Lacquer

Once the last coat of black had dried, I dry brushed it, using a sponge and some white paint.

All the while, it had to lay on its back because it was simply far to heavy. Once it had a few coats of gloss lacquer, it was ready for fitting.

A heavy wooden frame was made to bolt it onto.

We also purchased a small, electric pond pump as the sun jet water pump I have simply would not do.

Step 5: Plumbing In

I cleaned out my water barrel, to use as its reservoir and refilled it. I ended up with pipes and gunk all over the place ... Don't you just love that green slime that grows when you neglect something?

The sink hole was already blocked up, so we left it as it was. When the sink part is full, it runs off into the barrel making a wonderful sound!

It's so heavy, a length of wood was used to hold it on top of the barrel, as well as it being bolted to its frame and then to the fence. I also put my little ugly guy in there! It looks like he's having a bath.

A new outdoor electric socket was fitted to plug it into.

I'm thinking of using the spare plug for some night time lights, but I'm not sure yet.

Step 6: Enjoy

Each night, I either sit on the patio with my chair turned to the new water feature or sit under my rustic purgola and listen to it trickling away.

I have now planted the feature bed with flowers that attract bees and butterflies.

In the barrel there is an upturned terracotta plant pot, on top of that i have placed a piece of broken patio slab and on top of that, I've placed some river pebbles for decoration.

I've seen a bee taking a drink, the cats sneak by and take a drink and a few days ago, I watched a bird stand on the grid I have placed in the top, and take a bath.

I hope you have enjoyed the transformation of even more reclaimed 'junk' into something wonderful and rather practical I think.

I don't know what it was before, but i love what it is now!

Before and After Contest 2017

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2017