1902 Victorian

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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Mint Green Enamel

My yard saling turned out to be a success. At the first yard sale we went to, I found a Hoosier cabinet (actually this one is a Sellers brand) for $100. It's missing the rolltop thingy, has been repainted - badly - and is very dirty. So I've got my work cut out for me, but I'm excited about it.

The words "mint green enamel" are stamped on the back of both pieces, and you can see chips of the original green showing through the more recent white and turquoise paint. Funny thing is, it's a close match to the green on my kitchen cabinets. So when I paint it back to that, it will be back to its old self and look great in my kitchen. It will replace the Kmart hutch that is now holding my Fiestaware.

Here's the bottom half (we took out the drawers for moving):



And the paint chip:



Edited to add this question:
Is there a way to remove one layer of paint and leave intact the layer below?

5 Comments:

Jocelyn said...

It's adorable and it does look like it will match your existing kitchen really well. I want to go yard saling where you go yard saling!

8:03 AM  
mindy said...

Very cute! I know this would take forever, but could you possibly chip/scrape off the top layer without disturbing the bottom? I imagine most solvents would go damage both layers.

10:56 AM  
Alice said...

The answer to your question about removing one layer and leaving another, is, it depends. I have done this, under a fairly specific set of circumstances and it worked fairly well (until I got to the place where the PO of the cabinet had stripped random areas, at which point I ended up repainting the whole thing). I did this on the Montgomery Wards version of your Sellers cabinet, as well as on a door.

If the top layer of paint is latex (you can check this by seeing if some will rub off with ethanol; latex paint will, oil paint won't), and the layer beneath is oil, you can use a VERY low heat heat gun to just remove the latex layer.

I used a monocote gun (used for putting monocote on model airplanes; ask guys in your life about one of these) that only heated to about 400 degrees F. An adjustable temp heat gun with a low enough setting would probably work too. The monocote gun also did not have any fancy nozzles on the end to help concentrate the heat. Heat just a little bit, then carefully use a metal scraper to scrape off the top layer of paint. In my case, I had the latex paint come off in large sheets, so this was pretty easy. Some care was required to not mess up the paint below with the scraper, though.

I have only had success with this method taking off latex that was painted over oil, probably without proper priming, but since I know lots of people who never do any prep work before painting, the above situation may not be too uncommon. Your mileage may vary, of course, but it's something to try.

8:59 AM  
Gary said...

If the top is enamelled metal, then the green color may not be paint and will not come off. As for the rest of it, rather than strip it, it would be easier to sand it and repaint it the color that you want it to be. You could use gesso as a filler if there are any large flakes of paint missing.

9:25 AM  
Kristin said...

I think the cabinet's POs did paint latex over oil because it is a pretty pathetic paint job. It looks .... gunky ... and is chipping off everywhere. I'll at least give it a try. We are intending to buy a heat gun soon.

5:33 PM  

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