Monday, June 18, 2012

Project: Restoring Vintage Enamelware

While I was out thrifitng recently I came upon a vintage Cathrineholm (if you are into mid-century Scandinavian design you know what I am talking about) lotus design fondue pot. I rushed over to the extremely collectible pot in a frenzy...OK I probably just pregnancy waddled, but whatever. I hustled. Anyway, I picked it up and realized that it was very badly burned. The entire bottom was black and the burns licked up halfway around the bowl. If it weren't burned, I thought, the piece was in amazing condition. I tried to scratch it off with a fingernail, but it appeared to be a lost cause. I tried to just walk away, but I couldn't.

I remembered that I am a more capable person than I give myself credit for and maybe, just maybe, I could restore this fondue pot to its former glory. So I bought it and took it home. My first stop was to sit in front of the computer to search for a good cleaning method. Everything I found for restoring enamelware was pretty abrasive and or ridiculous. So I just decided to try to invent my own technique and it worked! So here is the scientific process I have devised to restore burnt enamelware to its vintage glory. Unfortunately I didn't think to start taking pictures until about halfway through, so you'll never know just how badly burned this pot was...but you can still get the idea.

img_7431

So, first you need to find a pot larger than your enamelware. Fill it with water, high enough to cover the burnt enamelware. Add some baking soda. I think I added about 1/4 c. at a time. I really wasn't scientific about it. Bring the water to a boil. Add the enamelware and keep the water at a low boil for a while. I left it for about 20 minutes.

img_7432

Then you can take a soft rag and start wiping at the burnt materials. My first pass over got some of the lighter burns, but there was still a LOT of burn. So I kept at it, checking it every 20 minutes or so. I would wipe off a bit more with the damp rag each time. As the water evaporated from the pot I added more water and baking soda (careful or the soda might boil over).

img_7430

I just kept at the process, took about an hour and a half of boiling time and it was finally clean! Like really clean! I was so excited that the process worked.

IMG_7477

IMG_7478

While I really want to keep the piece I cannot start collecting Cathrineholm, lest I turn into a hoarder of mid-century paraphernalia.  So it is now available on our etsy site. Check it out and while you are there see what else is new!

5 comments:

Roxanne said...

That is very homemaker-y of you. I also thought it was burned on the inside... Boy you did a very good job in getting that all off! Baking soda works wonders, doesn't it?

elizabeth said...

way to go! it looks lovely!
(it seems that there is a way to fix most everything . . . if one is willing to give it a try!)

glutenfreehappytummy.com said...

great post! SO helpful!

luminousvegans said...

Amazing! Now that I know this, I won't pass off on things I find at the thrift stores. Thank you!

Diane said...

Hi,
I liked your blog and I personally invite you to join http://www.coollectors.com - The World's Free Collectors Zone.
We will also be happy to cooperate with your blog such as adding its link to our site.
All the best,
Diane
info@coollectors.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...