Monday, 4 February 2013

My Mid Mod Nest--The 'Brady Ponderosa' Kitchen, Before and After

Well my dears, as I mentioned in a previous post, I've finally moved into my grandparents' "time capsule" early '70s house!  Yaayyy!  It was a LONG three and a half months to get to the moving in, and it's still a work in progress, but it's beginning to come together!  Here's a few pics and a post that I had drafted right before I moved in but had never published!
Things have slightly improved in a few areas since I drafted this, so I'll post more and better once I get some good, up to date photos (it's been soooo dark around here lately that it's hard to take any!).....


If you'll remember, this is what the Brady Ponderosa looked like before...

The Poppy Red fridge had died years ago and had been replaced by a tiny dorm refrigerator and the matching oven was on it's last legs (oven didn't work at all and one eye was dead).  Now, if the fridge had still been there, I might have kept the set.  But as it was, I knew I'd never find the colour match and the oven would have been expensive to fix.  So I opted to instead bring the oven and refrigerator from the canning kitchen in the basement as they both worked and...more importantly...were white!

The oven just needed a good cleaning.  The refrigerator (a mid-late '60s Hotpoint), on the other hand, needed more than a cleaning...

Yep kids, that's rust coming through the paint.  So I opted to repaint him.  To be honest, I don't know that it's something I ever want to endure again.  It's a lot of work and takes a lot of time and effort.  But it was well worth it......

 Here's how I did it, in case you're so inclined:
1.  I brought him up on the carport and cleaned him inside and out with a bleach and water solution while he close attention to the door gaskets as they tend to get stained from not only age, but also from mold that can sometimes grow in spots where you're losing air.  I then left him overnight to finish defrosting.
2.  I scrubbed him down once again, this time with TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate).  This stuff is a miracle.  Really.  It takes off everything but the paint and the rust!  Word to the wise, though:  Be sure to wear rubber gloves with this stuff.  If it takes off dirt that easily, imagine what it will do to the skin on your hands!
3.  Speaking of rust, that was the next step...getting rid of it and getting a smooth surface to paint.  To do this, I used 220 sandpaper.  Once I'd sanded everything (don't forget the sides and inside lip of the doors!), I dusted it and repeated the sanding again with the 220.  Then I dusted it again.  Another word to the wise:  If you're sanding anything from this era, there's a good chance it could be lead based paint that you're sanding.  Wear protection!  I not only covered every inch of my body and head, but also wore goggles and a mask.  No sense taking chances with your health, my dears!!
4.  Then, I sanded it with 400 wet or dry sandpaper.  Once that was done, I cleaned it with water and let it dry.
5.  I vacuumed the coils and underneath.  If you have a drip tray, take it out and clean it.
6.  Then I taped off everything I didn't want painted: the inside of the doors, the inside of the fridge itself, the handles, the logo on the front, the info plate, the coils.  I also taped the INSIDE of the gasket (I painted the outside--just the part that can be seen when it's closed--because it was stained so badly it wouldn't come clean--but you want to make sure that you don't paint the inside part that 'connects' with the door when it closes as that could affect your seal!) 
7.  Then, I painted.  Use Rustolium appliance epoxy.  You can get it at Lowes or Home Depot...unfortunately it doesn't come in many colours---just white black and almond---and it's super cheap!  This stuff is a PAIN!  Not only does it stick to everything but it gets EVERYWHERE!  I wore a hazmat suit, goggles, a mask, a shower cap, and the hood that's attached to the suit...I STILL had it all in my nose, eyelashes, and even in my hair despite all the covering up!  And the overspray is terrible!  No matter how much you cover, it'll just go that much further!  On the plus side, when you finish, the overspray comes up easily with a scrubby sponge, water and TSP if you clean it within an hour or so.  The paint itself is pretty good, but you have to watch it as it tends sometimes to want to 'spit' which leaves little spots that you can't fix....that's the thing about this stuff, once it's on it's on!  It's not like normal paint.  And if you mess up or miss a spot, it can only be repainted within a half hour, otherwise you have to wait a week to redo it.  It doesn't run too badly unless you get too close.  I did, but thankfully it was on the 'test' side (once installed it is against a wall and can't be seen).  I highly recommend starting on a bit that won't show until you get the knack of this stuff.  Again, it's epoxy and doesn't behave like normal spray paint!
8.  Leave it be for at least a day.  It says 9 hours, but leave it 24...I left mine almost 48 just to be safe.

Here he is in place next to 'Mags' mid-late '60s Magic Chef Series IV oven...

Here's some better shots of 'Mags' herself....

Isn't she lovely?  She has one issue...she won't shut off when she gets to the set temp on the oven.  I think the sensor bulbs either gone bad or gotten jiggled loose in all the moving she's been doing lately!  But it's not a big deal and I can put up with it for a while until I can get her a new one! 
(edit....I now have determined that Mags is exactly 100 degrees off.  If I need 250, I set her for 150.  Simples!)

My sofa and chair turned out fab as well, in case you're wondering.  I only have a pic of the sofa at the mo, but here's a sneak peek at the living room!  I'll do a detailed post with updated pics soon!....

That's that for now, loves!  Hope to be back soon to fill you in on all the magnificent goings on in my mid mod world! 



  1. I really love the "this is how it's done" DIY explanation of your fridge reboot...a lot of hard work, but I think it turned out splendid! And that COUCH! How did you ever even get it in the room? I don't think I've ever seen one that long outside of a commercial setting! It's perfect! I am seriously turning pea green over the furniture in your house today.

  2. It would only come in via the sliding glass doors in the dining room!! And we had to move every piece if furniture out of the dining room because we had to have a straight shot with no corners into the living room! When I dropped it at the upholsterers, the guy about had a heart attack! "A man could have one hell of a nice nap on that couch!", says he. "Wilt Chamberlain could have one hell of a nice nap on it!", says I.