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Old 04-01-2014, 11:41 AM   #1
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1971 27' Overlander
st. louis , Missouri
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Restoring the old gas stove top

Hi there,

Just pulled the old stove top out of the airstream and I want to restore it. It was working according to the PO when I bought it. Basically I want to sand it down or buff it out so it looks good again. Also, I want to have it checked to ensure that it really works safely and efficiently.

1. how would you go about cleaning the rusty stuff up? light sanding/buffing?
2. What kind of paint would one use on the inside, and on the metal cover that folds out of the way? It's going to be subjected to heat, grease, cleaners, etc.
3. thoughts on who/where I would have the stove checked out for safety and efficiency sake?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:30 PM   #2
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I'm going to have my stove top ceramic coated. Looks great, easy to clean.

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Old 04-01-2014, 01:07 PM   #3
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I have one just like that, though in a bit better shape with the rust. You can't buff or sand the rust out, its all steel with a chrome plating so what you are seeing is the base metal, the chrome in those spots is gone. All of the conventional paints are good to about 200 degrees so you may get away with a conventional paint on the folding top, but not on the base that holds the grates, that will get over 200. They do sell a high heat paint that can be used for grills, good to about 1000 but its at best a semi gloss black.


You can powdercoat the folding top as well, but that is also only good to a certain temp. Powdercoating uses heat to melt and fuse the powder, so with enough heat it will fail as well. Ceramic would probably be the best bet, that should hold up to the temps, but a quote I got just to do the folding top was 110 bucks. I haven't pulled the trigger on that yet, but have painted up the base box and some other parts with the high heat paint. I'm still weighing the option of replacing it outright rather than trying to make it all look pretty again. Time will tell.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:54 PM   #4
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Mine looked similar to that but not quite as bad. I took it appart and sanded and buffed (a lot), and it looks better. But it's pitted. I was thinking about having it nickle plated. Has anyone tried that? I don't know if a good plating service could get the pits to fill. There isn't anyone in my neck of the woods who does that stuff, so I don't know who to ask.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:36 PM   #5
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Powder coat it. It is the best thing you can do. I did mine 6 years ago and it looks like new. Only problem I have veggies were cut on the top and scratches were put into it. My fault. Still has not rusted. Look up powder coat. It was inexpensive and it looks awesome.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:33 PM   #6
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I've been reading about cooktop and stove restorations on other vintage trailer sites and if I can swing it I'll go for porcelain or some ceramic treatment. Seems to vary from $60 to $400 or so buck though. Independence Porcelain Enamel
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalweg View Post
Mine looked similar to that but not quite as bad. I took it appart and sanded and buffed (a lot), and it looks better. But it's pitted. I was thinking about having it nickle plated. Has anyone tried that? I don't know if a good plating service could get the pits to fill. There isn't anyone in my neck of the woods who does that stuff, so I don't know who to ask.
I don't know anything about powder-coating, but I do know that nickle-plating is something that every Harley owner does and frequently.

So ask two or three Harley owners who does the best nickle plating, and check it out.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:35 PM   #8
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Mine is powder coated, I use foil inserts in the drip pans and so far it has worked fine. I just finished cooking supper on it!
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:42 AM   #9
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Honestly powder coat is the way to go. We are powder coat obsessed in our family. Everything that is metal gets powder coated. They have all the colors. I am getting ready to have some iron outside furniture powder coated.

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Old 04-06-2014, 11:17 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I am going to get it checked out to make sure it's safe and all the valves, ignitors, etc work correctly. I'll post a photo when done...maybe even half way through the process.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-06-2014, 11:55 AM   #11
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I took a powder coating class at a nearby TechShop, so I did ours myself. If I wanted a really clean job, I'd have someone else do it. I sandblasted the top and the cover then powder coated in a high heat resistant powder coat paint. It looks tons better than it did.

A couple of pointers:

Our old trailer is a bit the worse for wear, so the stove top takes some work to lift up for lighting the pilot light. After powder coating, it is even more difficult. It's just that much tighter of a fit, so I use a potholder when lifting up the metal edge of the stove top. If nickel coating gives you a thinner coat, I'd consider that. If it's thicker, stay with powder coat.

A good paint job needs a good sanding job. The sandblasting will take off any hard stuff, but it doesn't work as well on soft stuff. This is good when you want to protect something with a bit of masking tape. But I found that the baked on grease spots worked the same as the tape. It took some scrubbing with dish soap and TSP and some extra scraping to make sure I was down to the metal. If you did that part on your own, the powder coating job would probably be better and cheaper.
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Old 10-19-2014, 12:28 PM   #12
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I ended up having my stove cover powder coated. Also I painted the stove top with Rustoleum High Temperature paint, flat black followed by gloss clear. Very happy with the results.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:50 PM   #13
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My vote is for powdercoating as well.

I did my previous Airstream's (72' Overlander) stove top in a silver metallic and I think, it looked great. The shop I brought it to sand blasted off all the crud and uneven surfaces. The grates are in high heat black, which is commonly used in automotive applications. I lived full time in that trailer for over 2 years and used the stove top every day, and it held up perfectly.
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Old 10-19-2014, 03:24 PM   #14
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Some nice powder-coating stove renos done here! Thanks for posting the photos, guys. If you have any more photos, especially close-ups, please post them?

Also, how did you get the folding cover off? Mine appears to have some kind of pin arrangement to act as hinges for the cover; how did you get that out? How the pin comes out is not obvious to me...

Also, is there such a thing as a rebuild kit for the shut-off valves? Or did you folks replace it? My wife complains of a gas odour if the valve is left on, and closing it stops the smell. I realized in typing this is that it may not be the shut-off that leaks, but rather one or several of the individual temperature controls for the four burners.

Lastly, my PO took it on himself to spray the knobs grey. Anyone have extra knobs they would sell? Thanks in advance.
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