How to Restore a Vintage Cast-Iron Coal Stove

Many people like the warmth that cast-iron coal stoves offer.

Restore your vintage cast-iron coal stove.Restore your vintage cast-iron coal stove.
These stoves can completely warm a large space in a short period of time---and not break the bank doing it. Old, vintage cast-iron stoves also add drama and creativity to your décor while heating your home. However, you want the stove to look its best, and many vintage stoves need some restoration before you can use it for heating and not just for decoration.

Disassemble as much of your cast-iron coal stove as possible. Use a screwdriver or wrench to remove any bolts. Use an air chisel, which offers much more power than you can get using a wrench or screwdriver, if the bolts are rusty and hard to remove.

Sandblast all the parts of the stove to remove any rust. Use a stiff wire brush to get into the detailed and hard-to-reach areas.

Wipe off all of the sandblasted parts with a damp rag to remove all traces of sand, or you will run the risk of having a less than perfect finish.

Remove any cracked and deteriorating seam cement, if your stove has it. Use a hammer and chisel to remove stubborn parts, but make sure to remove it all before trying to add new cement or it will not adhere.

Use a putty knife to add new cement to any necessary seams.

Paint all the individual parts of the vintage cast-iron stove with a high temperature paint if you plan to use the stove for heating your home. Use regular, cheaper enamel paint if you intend to use the cast-iron coal stove for decoration only. Allow the paint to dry according to manufacturer's recommendations.

Give everything a second coat of paint if necessary, especially if you plan on burning fires in the stove, and allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

Put the pieces of the vintage cast-iron coal stove back together using brand new bolts.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver or wrench
  • Sandblaster
  • Rag
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Putty knife
  • Bolts


  • If any portions of your vintage cast-iron coal stove have nickel-plated parts, take these parts of the stove to a reputable plater for stripping and re-plating.
  • Not all coal-burning stoves have the cement seams. If yours does not, skip those steps and continue with the rest of the restoring process.


  • This is a project best done outside. Wear a pair of safety goggles when sandblasting and spray painting.