To get started on the restoration of
the sheet metal I first needed to do a little research. Unlike
Maych I couldn't simple buy a few
rattle-cans and start painting. I had to figure out how to restore
the damaged sections of the elaborate porcelain enamel. I did find a
few places on the Internet that do porcelain enameling but none
do the elaborate style found on this stove. In fact, I imagine it's a
After much searching I found a
product called Ceramit which looked like it might work. Ceramit is
two-part product that
produces a ceramic like surface which resembles kiln fired
enamels in both appearance and physical properties
and it only requires the heat from an infrared lamp to cure. I
decided it was worth a try, so I order several different colors of
Ceramit from Alpha Supply,
Inc. I bought colors that I thought could be mixed to achieve
the colors used on the stove.
Making the repairs to the porcelain
pieces was rather simple, but time consuming. First, I had
to mix the Ceramit to colors to get close to the color of the part I was
repairing. When I was satisfied with the color, I would mix it
with 1 part catalyst. Unlike most
two-part products I've worked with Ceramit has a long working time because
the mixture doesn't begin hardening until heat is applied.
However, I couldn't do large sections or several pieces at once because
my heat source only covered a very small area. For a heat source I
purchased a 250 watt Sylvania R40 infrared
Mor Electric Heating. I made my own stand for the bulb from
inexpensive parts I bought at a local hardware store. The stand
worked great and I still use it in the garage when I need to work under
the hood on Maych. To
harden the Ceramit I placed the lamp within about 6 inches of the area
and heated it for about 30 minutes.
I soon discovered that the
solid-colored porcelain pieces were the hardest to match. The
multi-colored pieces were easier
because there are so many shades in the design. So being a shade or two off
just blended in. The top corners of the oven door were badly chipped and
as you can see in the photo the repairs blend in rather nicely.
The solid colors of the stove (blue
and green) were very difficult to match -- at least with the colors I
had to work
with. After a while I just gave up on an exact match and
ration- alized that a few age marks weren't all that bad on a 60-plus year old
stove. You can see on the burner cover that I was not successful
in matching the green color. I just think of it as a beauty mark
(or age spot if you prefer). At least it's protected from further
rusting and my main objective was to create a functional "working"
stove, not a "museum" piece
I had the same "color-match" problem
with the blue pieces. But
again I concen- trated on protection and function- ality rather than
per- fection. The oven bottom shelf was full of
chips and rust which I elimi- nated, even if the repairs aren't exactly
invisible. Hey, with the oven door closed the repairs are
practically invisibly (actually they are totally invisible with the door
Overall I was pleased with the
porcelain repairs. Here's a few of the finished pieces --
Now that I was finished with the
exterior (the pieces that show) porcelain I could began repair of
the interior porcelain. The exterior porcelain parts of the stove were
in remarkable good shape and didn't require extensive repair. Mostly
just small chips. It was the interior porcelain that was in the
worst shape. I suppose heat and moisture were the primary factors
for their poor condition.
Because the interior porcelain pieces
cannot be seen when the stove is fully assembled I decided to take a
in the repair of these pieces. As I said before, my main objective
was to repair rust. I decided to apply a high-temp paint to those
areas of the interior porcelain that needed repair. Because these
pieces were solid colors I suppose I could have sent them to have
new porcelain applied but the cost would have been exorbitant.
That's one of the reasons restored a vintage stove cost a fortune.
I used a product called Stove
Bright High Temp Paint. It
provides good rust protection and is heat resistant to 12000
F. It comes in both aerosol and brush-on.
The internet site where I bought the paint is no longer available but
there are several places on the internet that carry it -- just Google
I used the brush-on paint for the interior porcelain pieces
I didn't try to paint the entire area of these pieces, just those
areas that were chipped and rusted. I know, it looks
crude, but these parts are not visible in the finished stove. For
the non- porcelain sheet metal, like the drawer interior I
used the aerosol paint.
Let me tell you, writing about
finishing the sheet metal is much easier than the actual doing.
Repairing porcelain and putting on paint were the easy parts. The
hard part was getting these pieces ready for porcelain and paint.
Every piece of the stove was covered in backed-on grease and grim from
60 years of use. To tackle the grease I used at least 6 cans of
Easy Off oven cleaner. Of course I couldn't apply this stuff in my
basement -- if the fumes didn't kill me my wife would. I took each
piece to the back yard and placed it on a sheet of old plywood laid
between two sawhorses. Even so, I killed the grass underneath the
work area. Most pieces took more than one application of Easy Off
to get rid of all the grease. I probably spent the better part of
two weeks getting all the pieces clean.
Anyway, now that I'm done with the
sheet metal I can move on to tackling the "working" parts of the stove.