How to Refinish a Cast-Iron Antique Farm Bell

Written by ryan lawrence
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How to Refinish a Cast-Iron Antique Farm Bell
Maintain 8 inches between the farm bell and spray nozzle. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Alter the appearance of a cast-iron antique farm bell by refinishing it with a colourful enamel. Cast iron will not accept painted finishes unless it is properly treated. Unfortunately, cast iron is far too durable for the same sanding techniques professionals use to condition vinyl and fibreglass for paint. Treat the farm bell with an acidic etching primer or flaking will eventually result. Finish the antique with a particular paint, formulated to stay durable under duress or fading and cracking may result.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Water-based degreasing soap
  • Steel wool
  • Water hose
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • Masking paper
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Galvanised metal etching spray primer
  • Oil-based spray enamel

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use steel wool to scrub the cast iron antique farm bell with a degreaser. Rinse the farm bell, using a water hose. Allow the antique to dry for two to three hours.

  2. 2

    Apply masking paper to portions of the farm bell that are to remain unpainted, using painter's tape.

  3. 3

    Coat the cast-iron antique farm bell with etching spray primer. Hold the can at varying angles to ensure even coverage. Maintain 8 inches between the farm bell and spray nozzle as you apply. Allow the antique to dry for three hours.

  4. 4

    Coat the cast iron antique farm bell with oil-based spray enamel. Hold the can at varying angles to ensure even coverage. Maintain 8 inches between the farm bell and spray nozzle as you apply. Allow the antique to dry for three hours.

Tips and warnings

  • If you paint an cast-iron antique farm bell that is not primed, peeling will result.
  • Do not use latex paint on a cast-iron farm bell, or the bell will not function properly.
  • Maintain 8 inches between the farm bell and spray nozzle or sagging could result.
  • Do not use latex primer on a cast-iron farm bell, or the finish will flake.

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