The Ultimate Guide to Abrasive Stove Refinishing

the Ultimate Guide to Abrasive Stove Refinishing

The Ultimate Guide to Abrasive Stove Refinishing

Updated: February 14, 2022

If you have an old stove, perhaps a treasured family heirloom passed down through generations, it has likely accumulated layers of soot and tarnish over the years. You’re not alone in this — 42% of Americans have a family heirloom at least 50 years old, and many of those heirlooms will have lost their luster over time.

Or maybe you’ve uncovered a vintage stove at a yard sale or antique store, and you can see its potential charm and beauty even under layers of grime. You might feel thrilled with your possession, hopeful about its potential and daunted by the question of how to make your stove look new. Abrasive refinishing provides an ideal stove restoration solution. It returns your stove to its former beauty and helps get it clean and safe for further use.

How Does Abrasive Metal Refinishing Work?

The metal finishing process uses various techniques to improve the look of stoves and other metal objects. Sometimes it works by applying a layer of metal coating or substrate over a flawed surface. Other times, it requires electroplating to deposit new metal ions onto an aged surface or the application of harsh materials to scrape off impurities and old paint and restore shine. No matter the specific technique, metal refinishing cleans, polishes and improves the overall appearance of an object’s surface.

Below are some of the many benefits of metal refinishing:

  • Minimizing corrosion
  • Enhancing paint adhesion
  • Improving strength and wear resistance
  • Concealing the effects of wear and friction
  • Increasing aesthetic appeal
  • Boosting chemical resistance
  • Removing surface nicks or defects

The following are some common metal refinishing processes:

  • Hand grinding, sanding and polishing
  • Mass finishing
  • Electroplating
  • Electroless plating
  • Electropolishing
  • Roller and ball burnishing
  • Powdered brush, belt and disc deburring
  • Thermal deburring
  • Plasma surface treatment
  • Shot peening
  • Soda blasting
  • Tumble slurry blasting
  • Abrasive flow deburring and polishing
  • Abrasive blasting

Abrasive metal finishing uses tiny pieces of grit or rough materials to remove impurities and old paint from the surface of a metal object like a stove. It typically uses a nozzle and compressed air to blast the abrasive materials at a metal surface.

The media used for blasting vary widely. Different restoration projects may require specific types of abrasive grains depending on the metal’s hardness and the desired appearance of the finished product. Materials like sand, steel shot and grit, glass beads, plastics, walnut shells, corn cobs, baking soda and even dry ice are all useful.

During sandblasting or any other abrasive media application, the operator commonly places the object to be refinished in a protective cabinet if it will fit. Enclosing the item in this way protects the person from flying grit that could get into the eyes or irritate the skin.

when should you get metal furniture and decor refinished

When Should You Get Metal Furniture and Decor Refinished?

An industrial, vintage look is in style right now. So you may not always need to get your metal furniture and decor refinished. In some cases, an heirloom or other item has become so degraded that the time, effort and cost of refinishing make it easier and more economical to buy another piece. If your antiques seem to be beyond repair, you might elect to replace them instead of refinishing them.

How can you tell if you should refurnish metal furniture or decorations? One way is to think about what look you find appealing for your home. If your metal pieces are excessively tarnished and don’t contribute to the atmosphere of your house in the way you’d like, you may want to consider refinishing as an option.

Another consideration is whether you’ll actively use the item in question. If you plan to use a vintage metal appliance in your home, you’ll most likely want to get it refinished. Refinishing an appliance ensures it’s clean and can operate correctly and safely. If you or your guests will sit in vintage metal chairs, you’ll likely need to refinish them so the rusted, degraded areas don’t scratch people’s skin.

Should You Call a Professional to Refinish Your Metal Furniture and Decor?

If you’re willing to put in the work and learn the techniques, you can do some refinishing projects yourself. A free afternoon and a little elbow grease can leave your antique metal furniture, decor and appliances looking as good as new. With some projects, a DIY approach may not lead to the results you’re hoping for. No matter how hard you work, stubborn tarnish or corrosion may remain on your items. In that case, calling a professional is likely your best bet.

Restoring Common Appliances With Abrasive Metal Refinishing

Abrasive finishing is useful on many old metal pieces to get them looking like new. Here are a few common household appliances and items that can benefit from abrasive metal refinishing:

  • Stoves
  • Sinks
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Irons

Just about any older metal object will benefit from abrasive metal refinishing. With professional help, you can likely make a tremendous difference to the sparkle and shine of your antiques.


If you’re in the market for professional abrasive metal finishing, you’ll want to work with someone who can give you beautiful, lasting results. At Finishing Systems, we pride ourselves on providing the best in quality and service. Below are a few testimonials about the work we’ve done:

Finishing Systems has helped us in many jobs this year, pushing things thru your shop for us. We are grateful for everything Finishing Systems has done for us; without your help we would not have been as successful.
—Readco Kurimoto

The customer service is fantastic, their crew does a great job of getting back to you on quotes, process time, etc in a very timely manner. Their quality is A+. One of the greatest vendors Epy Industries has the pleasure of working with.
—Bernadette Miller, Customer Service Manager, Epy Industries

Thank you for being such an easy company to work with. We appreciate the excellent service that you provide when completing our parts in such a timely manner. The personal relationship is impeccable, especially with you taking the time to notify us when the parts are ready to be picked up. We appreciate all of your support. We would recommend your business to anyone who would ask.
—Jeanette, Dixon Valve & Coupling

work with finishing systems

Work With Finishing Systems for Quality Abrasive Stove Refinishing

To get professional assistance with stove refinishing, contact Finishing Systems. Our antique stove refinishing services restore a beautiful, gleaming shine to your beloved family heirlooms or vintage finds.

We start by having an in-depth conversation with you about your stove’s condition and what you’re hoping to achieve. Once we start work, we remove soot and tarnish with an advanced abrasive stove refinishing process. Our abrasives include sandblasting media, steel shot and grit, glass beads, black beauty, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, Starblast™, plastics, walnut shells and corn cobs. We’ll be able to select the perfect media for the best results with your stove’s metal and your desired finish. Our friendly customer service team is always here to answer questions and offer advice.