Restoring Antique Wood Burning Stoves

What You'll Need
Glass Cleaner
Steel Wool
Basin tub and tile cleaner
Large wire brush or drill with a coarse rotary brush attachment
Protective eye goggles
Several lint free rags
2 Firm bristle paint brush
Stove Polish/Blackening
Stainless Steel Heat Resistant (optional for oven only)

A beautiful way to add a touch of elegance to any home is by purchasing an antique wood burning stove. The process can be a bit messy so be ready for some dirt. Before you start your restoration process you will need to determine its potential level of functionality.

Step 1 - Determining Functionality

If you are repairing your stove to full functionality, you first want to make sure that you have a fully functioning damper. Depending on the type of damage, you may be able to replace your damper.  Finding a new one can be tricky, but check out antique stove restoration companies. If the cast iron has cracks in the exterior that are greater than a hair line, or any type or crack in its fire chamber, you should restore this stove only for decorative purposes.

If your stove has rust, but the metal under the rust is still good and sturdy, then your stove can be restored to full function. If your stove has small chips in the porcelain, or damage to the nickel pieces, you will need to assess the damage to determine if it can be restored.

Step 2 – Cleaning Parts

Remove all of the parts that you are able to take off the stove, such as the nickel and brass trimmings and glass window. If needed, you can use a hammer and chisel for removing rivets and WD-40 for rusted bolts. Polish the nickel and brass trimmings with Brasso. Use your steel wool for the hard to reach details and lean your glass with glass cleaner.  If you need to replace your glass, make sure it is a heat resistant glass if this will be a fully functioning stove.

Step 3 – Removing Rust

In order to remove rust, you will need to use your wire brush or drill brush to remove the rust on the cast iron portion of your stove. Make sure that you wear your safety goggles to protect your eyes since this is quite a messy job. Once the rust is removed, wipe the stove down with a damp rag.

Step 4 – Polishing and Paint

Using your sponge, clean your porcelain exterior with tub and tile cleaner. If your stove gets wet or damp in this stage, wait until it is dry prior to moving on. With your gloves on, apply polish to the cast iron parts of your stove with your polish to help keep your stove shiny and prevent it from rusting or oxidation. Allow the polish to dry for approximately 24 hrs prior to reinstalling any of the parts that were removed.