Saturday, July 26, 2014

Craigslist Retro Range Redo

Continuing my series about the flip of our first home, today we're moving onto the kitchen!

The house came with a doozy of a stove. There was no hope for this range. It was a filthy throwback to the 80's, and it needed to go! Goodwill was more than happy to come and take it off our hands (*bonus, it was a tax write off!).

The house itself was built in 1928, and while I wasn't about to cook on a stove from that era, we did want to stick with a retro theme. Plus, we were on a budget. So, we searched Craigslist and flea markets for a better stove. In only a few short weeks my husband found this "beauty"!

It's pictured above without some of the parts because I had already taken some them off for cleaning. But it was complete, and had no missing pieces. It worked too, although not well.

If you're looking for something similar, try searching craigslist and ebay for phrases like: "retro range" or "vintage range". You can also swap out the word "range" for "oven" and "stove". Another way to search is under the names of manufactures of these type of stoves. Look for brands like "Wedgewood" (popular on the west cost) "O’Keefe & Merritt" and "Occidental" (popular on the east coast).

The first order of business was to scrub this thing! 
It was an Occidental brand gas stove, likely manufactured in the 1940's, and I don't think it had been cleaned since then! 

I armed myself with these tools:

-Vacuum cleaner
-Dust brush
-Scrub brush
-Massive amounts of 409 cleaner
-Dental tools (for detail work, I got mine from a hygienist friend, but you could try ebay)
-Steel wool
-an iPod and Stuff You Should Know podcasts (for sanity)

I started with the vacuum and dust brush, to get as much of the loose dirt as I could before I got anything wet. Then I went in with the 409 and scrub brush. I took off an pieces that I could get off and scrubbed them in the sink. The worst part was the grease traps.

I don't know what that gelatinous grossness was in there, but it took a lot of hot water and cleaner to get it out! I also scrubbed off a lot of rust using the steel wool.

A couple more photos, just because it was so shockingly gross!

The last steps were to get into all of the nooks, crannies and edges using the dental tools, and to shine the chrome with the steel wool

Dry steel wool will polish old chrome. It helps remove rust and buff out scratches. If you really want to be meticulous (and have the budget for it) you can also have the pieces re-chromed in a foundry. But, that wasn't in our budget.

Soon, it was gleaming!

Luckily this particular model had a fold down top, so I was able to hide some of the less than shiny chrome by simply closing the top. When not in use this also offered additional counter space in the small kitchen. 

We moved the gas line to a less awkward section of the kitchen and installed the "new" stove. I found a local tradesmen who specializes in old stoves and ranges and had him come give everything a tune up. Soon we were ready to cook!


Old range removal: Free
Craiglsist Range: $200
Cleaning supplies: $25
Range tune up: $80 (for a house call)

Total Cost: $305

For less than the cost of a new low end range, we were able to have a shiny antique model that fit in with the feel and theme of the home. It pays to shop used and put in a little elbow grease!

Eventually, we remodeled the whole kitchen (stay tuned for a future post!) and this old range fit right it!

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  1. Hayley, the whole kitchen is gorgeous--can't wait to see all the pics! And that oven is fab. One thing TOTALLY cracked me up--your description of the old stove. Which is the exact same one as ours! Ours is a *little* cleaner, though. ; )

  2. Ha! I'm glad you liked it. It was an accurate description of whatever that was stuck in there. *shudders at the memory*. Hope you are well Lisa! Thanks for checking out my new blog :)

  3. HOLY SMOKES!!! What an incredible transformation! You do great work, Hayley! I am now following you on G+!

    Thanks for linking up at the Bewitchin Projects party this week! I can't wait to see what you link up again next week over at!

    ~Cathy Mini~

  4. Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful project on The Inspiration Board at homework. I loved your project and featured you today!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    carolyn ~ homework


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