underneath all that rust.

underneath all that rust.

underneath all that rust.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman


It’s amazing what you can find under a thick layer of rust. It’s even more amazing what you can find buried in the back of an old barn (hello, treasures!). On a pasty-hot August day my dad and I rescued a rusty orange [object of some sort] from the depths of a former apple barn, now the garage to Flashback Restoration. Too unique to get rid of, the object was stored at Flashback Restoration for a few years until the perfect project demanded it’s use.

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While planning the logistics of my space-challenged bathroom/laundry room, we decided to incorporate the water-fountain into the mix by anchoring it into a corner of my bathroom and utilizing it as a hand-washing sink. Formed out of cast iron, or “pig iron”, we guess that it dates back to the 1920’s era. Pig iron was commonly used for the production of clawfoot tubs and sinks around the turn of the century. “F. Richter & Son” can be seen stamped into the face plate of the water-fountain. 

[Disclaimer: There is still an on-going debate as to what this object once was – I argue an old water-fountain, Dylan argues an old urinal. Since I refuse to accept the fact that I will be washing my hands in what once was a urinal, I am sticking to the water-fountain story. Comment below with your thoughts on what this was in its former life.]

As life so elegantly reminds you every now and then, shit happens. Here is the aftermath of me dropping the sink on Flashback Restoration’s concrete floor. A few minutes of crying and numerous F bombs later, I finally worked up the courage to admit to my dad that I had possibly just ruined our chances of salvaging the sink.

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My dad [bless his heart] was able to save the sink by welding on the pieces that had broken off.

After the repair, I gave my dad the go-ahead to sandblast and paint the sink a clean white – a stark contrast the rust that once coated the surface. 



Now stronger than ever, the sink is looking pretty spiffy against the pale blue walls of my bathroom. The faucet was salvaged from Hearth Bread Co.’s kitchen. We cleaned it up and sprayed on a hammered nickel finish to give it a new look.


Here is an update on how the drywall is coming along!

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Today we put up the last piece of drywall on the second story’s vaulted ceilings. Since it is only my dad and I placing the dry wall, we had to get pretty creative on how to hold the large pieces in place while screwing them in [note the “T” post to the right of my dad].

Stay tuned for pics of custom barn doors built by Jeff at Jeff’s Architectural Salvage – and don’t forget to comment with your thoughts on what the hand sink was in its former life!

Follow Flashback Restoration on Facebook or click here to stay up-to-date on restoration projects, ranging from a clawfoot tub to a 1966 Cardinal Lovebird camper. 

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