One category of salvaged items that weighs us down with questions are cast iron radiators. Yes, we do carry them. No, we do not restore them. Some, we are able to test and others we are not. That being said, we salvage and re-house hundreds. People who use them say the heat they generate is significantly better than newer methods.
Our customer, Michelle, shared these photos with us of her adventures in radiator restoration. Michelle is not a professional but a DIYer with energy and imagination and a well-stocked Project Pantry. Her radiators were purchased at ReHouse recently, and as you can see they were partially painted in the past. These 2 were marked down because they were non-working having been tested by a customer. Michelle and her family took on the challenge, and here is the process through her photos.
Before: Paint and Rust
Ammonia Bath, Pressure Wash, Wire Brush
Prime and Paint
If you are interested in taking on a similar job, please do thorough research before starting. Speak with someone who has working knowledge of the process, and remember that this restoration is not a one day project. Here is a sample budget for this type of project.
Michelle’s Radiator Restoration Budget
2 non-working radiators at ReHouse, $30
replacement bushings and fittings at Debbie Supply, $50
2 cans spray paint, $16
Gallon of ammonia, $3
Castalloy and flux to fix leaks, $80
Total Cost: $180
Heat in the living room: priceless!
Thanks Michelle. Great job!