Tea Anyone?

Always keeping my three year old niece in mind, my wife ran across a child-sized cast iron patio table and chairs at a swapmeet we recently attended. After evaluating the set to make sure there were not fractures or missing fastener bosses, the haggling immediately began. Before I knew it, we were carrying the set for what seemed like hours the approximately 1/8 mile to the truck.

The first task after disassembly and inspection was to remove the old chipped, white powder coating and prepare the metal for painting. With media blasting being the go-to paint removal method, the work of removing the thick rubbery material began. After several HOURS of very slowly removing the powder coating, only a small section of the table top was clean.


dsc_0052After doing some research, acetone was suggested several times as a removal agent. Acetone can be purchased by the gallon at Lowe’s and isn’t terribly expensive (approximately $20 per gallon).










Next a suitable container was needed to allow the parts to soak in, but not so much volume that would require many gallons of acetone to have to be purchased.  After much searching and wandering around the hardware store, these large cookie sheets seemed the most economical place to start and the components fit snuggly inside allowing for little wasted volume.







After placing the components squarely in the center of the cookie sheet, the acetone was added, completely submerging the parts.






dsc_0056It soon became apparent that acetone evaporates quickly, especially on hot summer days, so after making sure everything was submerged in acetone, aluminum foil was used to cover the cookie sheet and crimped snuggly around the entire perimeter.





dsc_0057After just 30 minutes of soaking, the old powder coating was lifting off nicely from the cast iron.







With virtually no effort, the powder coating can be peeled away.

This soaking and peeling process was performed three times to maximize material removal and reduce the amount of hand labor later.  Some areas were very stubborn and required media blasting to remove.




After media blasting to completely clean the components, they were primed with PPG DP-40 epoxy primer and painted with a high quality finish.  Hobbly Lobby is a great place to peruse when looking for the unusual and that is where the umbrella came from.  This umbrella is a typical personal rain umbrella with the handle removed and two-piece pole added.  After careful assembly, it was ready for my niece and her dad to hold those wonderful Saturday afternoon tea parties.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.