How to fix chips on enameled cast iron pots

Written by louise harding
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How to fix chips on enameled cast iron pots
Enamelware and graniteware are not necessarily the same thing. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Enamelled cast iron pots, sometimes called enamelware, are often confused with graniteware pots, but are different. Enamelled cast iron is a cast iron pot coated with a porcelain enamel finish. Graniteware doesn't necessarily have to be a pot of cast iron, but can also be enamel-covered tin, steel or other metals. The enamel finish applied to cast iron pots is prone to chipping over time. A chip on the interior of an enamelled cast iron pot can only be treated to prevent rust, but an exterior chip can be cosmetically fixed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cooking oil
  • Teaspoon measure
  • Paper towel
  • Enamel repair kit
  • Enamel paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Clear enamel paint

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    Treating an Interior Chip

  1. 1

    Clean and dry the cast iron pan. Pour 1 tsp cooking oil onto a paper towel.

  2. 2

    Rub the bare cast iron exposed by the chipped enamel with the oil-covered paper towel. In ordinary cast iron pans, the pan must be seasoned with oil to prevent the iron from rusting. This will not make the chip go away, but it will prolong the life of the pan and keep the exposed iron in good condition.

  3. 3

    Wipe any excess oil from the enamel surface with a clean paper towel. An enamel finish is weakened by acidic foods, soft water, extensive freezing and the usage of the wrong utensils.

    Fixing an Exterior Chip

  1. 1

    Purchase an enamel cookware repair kit and follow the manufacturer's recommendations on the kit's usage or proceed to the next step. These kits are available at cooking retailers and some discount stores and contain special enamel-based paints for use in repairing enamel-finished cookware.

  2. 2

    Paint the exterior chip with enamel paint. Start with one layer and allow it to dry. Continue painting one layer at a time until the dried enamel paint is level with the enamel surface of the pot. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

  3. 3

    Paint a clear coat of enamel paint over the repaired chip to provide additional strength to the paint.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have a graniteware pan that reveals a metal base other than iron, you may be able to patch the metal so an exterior chip doesn't turn into a hole. Other metal pans can corrode through once the protective enamel finish has chipped. Sand the chip smooth. Rub the sanded area until shiny with a cotton or flannel rag. Use a workshop blow torch to melt half-and-half soldering metal over the metal revealed by the chip. Once the metal soldering patch cools, use enamel paint to cosmetically cover the area.
  • Never use enamel paint or other repair methods to fix a chip inside of a enamelled cast iron pot. The enamel factory finish is closer to a glass than a paint and is baked on with high temperatures that cannot be replicated at home. Enamel paint contains chemicals that are hazardous when mixed with food.

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