A vintage enamelware strainer, pitcher or bowl placed neatly on a counter is lovely, and useful, décor. The gleaming collectible dishware is favored for its pristine coating and colors. If it's marred with deep scratches or unsightly marks, it may need some attention.
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Enamel pot repair is simple and affordable to complete with the right methods and tools. Be patient and concise to repair that pocked porcelain lining.
Food-safe epoxy can repair a chipped enamelware pot.
Enamelware for the Ages
It may seem vintage, but enamelware has been a popular choice for generations of chefs and dishware collectors. This durable kitchenware is centuries old and comes in rich shades of solid red to speckled blues, blacks, pinks and more.
Enamelware is popular for its old-fashioned charm and choices of porcelain lining. The metal, aluminum or cast-iron cookware with a porcelain lining is easy to clean and safe to go from the cold confines of the refrigerator to the hot interior of the oven to the harsh environment of the dishwasher without harm. However, while most modern enamelware is dishwasher safe, most owners will hand-wash these favored cooking dishes.
There's a wide range of enamelware on the market, from costly and coveted vintage pieces to vibrant contemporary pieces. A pristine patterned European vintage enamel bucket with lid can be sold at auction for top dollar, while modern enamelware pieces are budget-friendly, charming and convenient to use.
Enamel Pot Repair
The occasional nick or small chip that tends to gather around the edges of enamelware dishes isn't always bad. Many collectors of enamelware find that the imperfections on the porcelain lining add to the charm and style of the piece, according to the Washington Post. An enamelware water pitcher with a few tiny chips along its spout speaks to all the hands that grasped its handle over the years. However, a large gouge or chip can be an ugly mar on the otherwise pristine porcelain lining.
To repair an unattractive mark or scrape on the porcelain, Nolifrit recommends using a food-safe epoxy. Slowly fill in the area where the porcelain is missing and gently press a piece of wax paper over the chip. Apply pressure to flatten the epoxy and work it into the metal underneath. Allow the epoxy to dry according to the manufacturer's directions or overnight.
Sand the area with a square of 400-grit sandpaper until it's flush with the surrounding porcelain lining. Find a food-safe enamel paint color that best matches the porcelain and apply it to the area, blending the paint into the rest of the lining. Allow this to dry overnight before washing and using.
Removing Stains From Enamelware
A stained pot can be a nuisance. To remove the leftover tinged ring from that favored curry recipe, Cooks Illustrated recommends a solution of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. Allow this to stand in the pot overnight.
If the pot is deeply stained, it may need a few rounds of this cleaning regimen to pull the dyes from spices and liquids from the lining of the enamelware pot.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.