Having absolutely no idea what we would do with this rusty old relic, of course, we bought it and brought it home.
Since I recently updated an ancient electric space heater for our bathroom (www.instructables.com/id/Modernize-a-vintage-heater/ ) we decided to turn this old gas heater into a plant stand. It had a rather unique style, and I figured that once it was restored, it would be an interesting addition to our collection.
Step 1: Material and Tools Required
- an old metal heater
- Krylon paint and primer
Tools required were minimal:
- wire brushes
- pliers and wrenches
Step 2: Disassembly
It wasn't a difficult disassembly. Basically every part was held on by machine screws and nuts. The only hard part was figuring out the order to remove things. After careful study, I removed the legs first, then loosened the top corner pieces (and turned them sideways), and removed the top. After removing the top I could get to the nuts that held the corner pieces in place. Everything else was relatively straightforward.
The sides and back of the heater were fastened together by a folded seam, so they had to stay together.
The burner was a single pipe running the width of the heater. I removed the end cap and slid it out.
Step 3: Sand and Prime
All of the panels were sanded with 220 grit sandpaper, then 400 grit.
After wire brushing the trim and sanding the panels, I sprayed them with Krylon rust resistant primer.
While the primer was drying, I wire brushed every machine screw head and sprayed them with primer as well.
Step 4: Paint the Housing
Next, I painted the top and front panel as separate pieces, and a shelf I had made to go into the bottom of the heater (in lieu of a curved diverter that had initially been there). This panel would allow plants or candles to be placed inside the bottom of the heater.
For all these parts I used Krylon hammered finish black paint.
Step 5: Paint the Trim
I used the same process on the machine screws that held the trim parts onto the heater.
Step 6: Install the Lower Shelf
Step 7: Final Assembly
Even though this heater will be used as a plant stand, no change was made to prevent it from being used as a heater should the need arise. All I would have to do is remove the bottom shelf and reinstall the curved panel that was in the bottom, and it would be a heater once again.
Step 8: Finished
This was not a difficult project -- very messy & dirty at times, but not overly difficult.
I enjoy saving old rusty things from the scrap heap and making something useful out of them. Plus, at least in this case, it gives me pause to wonder who actually used this back in its day? What was their life like? Where did they come from? And, did they ever wonder if someone someday would turn their old rusty heater into a plant stand?