Asked on Oct 25, 2015

Making a galvanized tub into a sink.

ShysueKaycia WoolseyRhonda Ann Cox


Has anyone ever done this? What did you do to prevent rust? I'm losing my mind trying to find a bathroom sink deep enough, wide enough, and sturdy enough.
I detest "hammered" which is what all the non-stainless sinks seem to be, and, well, nothing else is speaking to me. I'm considering this but want to do it as wisely as possible. Got the tubs, faucets, and vanity, now just something to put the water in!
Don't worry. While posting this I'm already researching Pinterest, etc. But here's a photo from Pinterest for my idea.
Thanks for your thoughts.
16 answers
  • Mish Volonino
    Mish Volonino
    on Oct 25, 2015

    I love this. I love any galvanized, aged thingie

  • Janet Pizaro
    Janet Pizaro
    on Oct 25, 2015

    Love the rustic look but I cannot find any info on the how tos just a lot of photos.

  • Jennifer
    on Oct 26, 2015

    I love this idea and if I ever get my bathroom redone I am going to do this for the sinks. I have had the old water pump for awhile waiting.

  • Christine
    on Oct 26, 2015

    That's the thing. :) I have my faucet, too. Bought it about 5 years ago and still love it! It's a bronze color, so I'd like to color the galvanized steel a little bit, too. (Rub 'n buff?) I love the pictures online, but the hows and whys and instructions are lacking. Perhaps because I'm over thinking it?

  • Linda Weaver
    Linda Weaver
    on Oct 26, 2015

    We made a bathroom sink out an enameled pan. I would think your bucket would be a similar install. The main problem is that the drain "grate" is higher than the bottom of the pan. Regular sinks have a depression for the "grate". We manage as it is in a seldom used 1/2 bath. Basically we punched a hole in the bottom using a manual electrical sheet metal punch. It consists of a die and hollow punch with a threaded rod through the middle. You drill a hole through the pan, stick the threaded rod through it, place the die on the bottom of the pan and the punch on the top surface. Hold one end of the rod and turn a nut down on the other end driving the punch into the die. After that just add a drain tail stock and finish the drain plumbing.

    • Linda Weaver
      Linda Weaver
      on Oct 29, 2015

      @Linda Weaver We couldn't bend down the bottom of our pan because it is enameled and cracks/chips VERY easily. It also made "punching" the hole tedious, but we made it. Depressing the bottom of a galvanized container should be relatively easily done.

  • Christine
    on Oct 27, 2015

    Linda, that make sense. I was trying to figure out how to drill something that would fit my drain thingy. I read online somewhere, that someone did dent down the area where the drain was going to go. That's a detail that had never entered my mind. I'm glad you, too, mentioned it. I'm twirling this around in my noggin. Might not happen right away, but I'll figure it out! Thanks for the help.

  • Terese Davis
    Terese Davis
    on Oct 29, 2015

    This would make a wonderful outdoor sink, too. There are always big things to wash in the garden.

  • Tag4reel
    on Oct 31, 2015

    I'm not sure if you found the answer to it rusting or not but I did find that it takes several years for anything galvanized to rust. This is apparently do to a process in coating it. It did mention though once its scratched deep enough the rusting will occur. The only time I could see this happening would be when you drilled & bent the area for your drain. Maybe taping the area while it's being bent may help? But when you silicone the drain in that should help seal the immediate area.

  • Christine
    on Oct 31, 2015

    I think you're right, @Tracy Gilbert That was my thought, too. I am finding that most of my ideas seem to be right on target, which is reassuring. I appreciate you all taking the time to write.

  • CK
    on Nov 1, 2015

    From ---Galvanized metal does rust eventually, but it can take decades. Metal is galvanized by adding a thin layer of zinc to its surface. The zinc forms a barrier between atmospheric oxygen and the underlying iron or steel. This generally prevents rust. I know from experience growing up on a ranch, galvanized buckets & tubs are used because they don't rust quickly. Dent? Yes with enough a cow pushing up against it or stepping on a bucket. But I doubt your indoor use will create that issue ;-)

  • Hunter Hampton
    Hunter Hampton
    on Nov 3, 2015

    I used a teak salad bowl to make a sink in my Airstream. I used a Forstner bit to make the lip for the hole for the drain. They make boats out of teak and it works well.

  • Christine
    on Nov 3, 2015

    Hunter, what an absolutely great idea for all those 70s and 80s salad bowls! I'm always open to suggestion, so now in my Reuse Travels, I'll be looking at these bowls with a different eye. Yours is a perfect shape! Thanks for writing.

    • Nancy
      on Nov 5, 2015

      @Hunter Hampton Both you and Christine have helped me make up my mind what to do with my mom's salad bowl. I knew I wanted to keep it, but had no idea what to do with it. A sink is a great idea! I would use it for my bathroom sink. Thanks you guys.

  • Rhonda Ann Cox
    Rhonda Ann Cox
    on Oct 18, 2016

    how would you add a drain to this? it doesn't have a flat bottom?

  • Kaycia Woolsey
    Kaycia Woolsey
    on Jun 30, 2017

    I need some advice! I would like to use this pail for my whiskey barrel sink. It is the perfect size for what I need and my mother used this pail on her farm, so it has sentimental value as well. It does, however, already have a small amount of rust on it. Is there some kind of clear coat used on metal that I can paint over it to help prevent it from rusting further? Or do you think it will be ok like that?

    This is my first time making a tub into a sink, so ANY advice will be appreciated!
  • Shysue
    on Jul 17, 2017

    I can tell you the pail will not show rust for awhile. When we built our house, we made a sink out of a galvanized pail and it hasn't rusted yet after 30 years!
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