Friday, September 3, 2010

Restore A Cast Iron Parlor Stove

Many homeowners desire and explore alternatives to high heating costs of fossil fuels. Many also enjoy collecting and using antiques. Restoring cast iron parlor stoves combines both these interests, recreating a useful household appliance from an antique with a personal investment of time and energy.


1. Check for deep cracks in stove. Ignore hairline cracks in cast iron. Pay special attention to damage in stoves with both cast iron and sheet metal and kitchen ranges made of lighter materials. Avoid actual use of a restored cast iron stove with any crack in the firebox.

2. Ensure that oven control--whether slide or flip-flop damper--functions properly to send exhaust heat to the oven.

3. Remove any trim not an integral part of the stove. Use Liquid Wrench to loosen rusted bolts, or a hammer and chisel to forcefully remove stubborn rivets and bolts. Polish nickel-, copper- or brass-plated trim with Brasso and steel wool and cloth or have it replated by a professional. Clean porcelain trim with tub cleaner and wet sponge; repair damaged spots if budget allows.

4. Remove windows and frames. Discard broken glass if present. Replace original glass with isinglass---made from mica, a soft mineral. Cut isinglass to size with scissors.

5. Remove rust from the parlor stove, windows and frames. If all trim has been removed, sandblast the stove with carborundum instead of sand. If some trim remains on the stove, take the stove to antique-auto stripper and have a professional dip the stove in a heated chemical bath. If the stove has porcelain trim, wear goggles for protection and remove the rust with a drill and coarse wire brush.

6. Remove cement in the stove seams with a putty knife, chisel and hammer. Use a putty knife to reseal the seams with Stove Cement. Keep the seams moist and smooth with damp paper towels while working. Wipe off excess cement as soon as possible.

7. Paint the oven of the cookstove.

8. Polish exterior stove parts. Using a toothbrush, apply polish thoroughly over the entire stove surface except the trim. Allow to dry for 24 hours. Apply a second coat; let dry another 24 hours. Buff the stove with the drill and fine wire brush, removing all residue. Rub the polish with a soft cloth until smooth and shiny.

9. Replace removed trim. If necessary, restore shine with a soft cloth.

10. Replace the windows and frames with brass bolts.

11. Position the parlor stove in a selected location. Vent to outside if necessary.

Tags: cast iron, stove with, windows frames, parlor stove, porcelain trim, putty knife, seams with