January 14, 2010
Ron’s Vintage Republic Steel Kitchen – Unlimited Potential
Ohhh! You know we love to see restoration and period renovation on this site! Everyone give a big hello to Ron, who recently sent me some amazing pictures of his “new” mid-century house.
Ron needs a little help with his kitchen cabinets, and I so I decided to share his story with all of you!
I purchased my 1955 house in September, so it is very much a work in progress in many places. The house had sat vacant for a year as the previous owner had been placed in a nursing home. The house is about 1,300 sq feet and has many of the original features still in place. I haven’t done much in the kitchen yet. I gave it a good scrubbing, I installed the light over the sink (it was salvaged from an old diner that was going to be torn down).
I HAD TO remove the old wallpaper; it was a lovely rose design (I’ve included a picture of that to stress the need of removal)
I also installed 3 shelves over and around the refrigerator.
I hope to work on the kitchen sometime this year. I’m not sure exactly how I’ll refinish the cabinets, I have read that I need to remove them and have them “soda blasted” and then an article said I should get them “powder coated”. I really just want them to have the shiny finish that they have on the interior of the cabinets. I hadn’t really thought of any color other than just plain white (Maybe I should be open to other colors).
The tile on the countertop is white with gold flecks. I included a photo of that. I plan to keep these, they just need to be regrouted. I also want to add a tile backsplash. I don’t think I’ll be able to locate any more of this tile but there is always E-bay and the local Habitat for Humanity resale so I haven’t given up yet.
I also hope to pull up the industrial grade carpeting and replace it with the Vinyl Composite tiles like you and your husband did. I don’t think carpeting belongs in kitchens, I’m too much of a klutz for carpeting in there. It is so much easier to clean up with tile.
I hope you will enjoy the photos and any feedback is always welcome!
Wow, Ron. Thanks so much for sharing! Yours is definitely a kitchen with potential. It is too bad that the cabinets were painted over, because that wood-look finish is a pretty cool thing. I just have a question about the paint on the cabinets, how well stuck to the cabinets is it? I can’t imagine paint actually sticking to my metal cabinets at all, even if they were sanded a bit before painting. It might be an easy fix to try and gently scrape off the paint and then polish up what is underneath.
If that is a no-go, I would recommend visiting Retro Renovation. Pam has tons of information and will be full of ideas if you send her an email. But as I understand it and as you mentioned, refinishing the cabinets requires taking them out and sending them to an auto body shop to have the old paint taken off and the new paint put on. It is truly a beautiful thing when it is done, and you will have some very unique cabinets when you are finished. I am not sure how the cabinet removal will work if you are planning to keep the countertops intact, though. Hmmm.
In terms of color, the sky is really the limit for you! With your neutral countertops and the fact that you are getting a new floor, you could probably paint your cabinets any color you wanted. I can’t speak for everyone, but I adore having colored cabinets instead of white. But I love the white cabinets in my laundry room just as much as their blue kitchen cousins. 🙂
By the way, I love your collection of vintage kitchen items displayed on your shelves! I have that same set of divided plastic picnic plates. I guess great minds DO think alike. Thanks again for sending the photos and the story, Ron. We are glad you found us.
Feel free to chime in readers, and give Ron your two cents!