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Vintage Metal Kitchen Cabinets For Sale

Vintage Metal Kitchen Cabinets For Sale

The key, if you want to find these cabinets and make them your own: Patience. Doing these kinds of projects is a real hassle… you must have the mindset to take it on… if you do, the results can be very gratifying. Remember my kitchen (pictured again behind me, that’s my vintage Republic cabinets salesman’s sample kit)? It took me FIVE YEARS to find them. I almost gave up, and had pursued bids on MDF cabinets to paint aquamarine. Then, at the 11th hour, the retro decorating gods sent me 68 steel cabinets, original aquamarine finish, that had once been used by nuns to teach cooking. My kitchen has been featured in two magazines and all over the intranet. Moreover — the pursuit is what led me to create this blog. Over those five years of searching, I gathered so much info on vintage steel kitchen cabinets and the other elements to pull the kitchen together, that I decided to create the blog to share the info with others.
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Vintage Metal Kitchen Cabinets For Sale

Interest in metal kitchen cabinets is growing: Here in the U.S. there seems to be a growing community of people trying to collect and restore vintage metal kitchen cabinets. This can be a journey… an endeavor… yes, a trial… because it can take a while to hunt down enough used cabinets to fit the configuration that you need. Some readers have collected three kitchens just to get the pieces they need. Many have driven, like, 15 hours there and 15 hours back to get the sets they want. Then there’s repainting… I recommend dealing with professionals to get the best results. Even this can be tricky — you need to find pro’s who will work with you and you will want to ensure the stripping and painting processes they use are appropriate for your gems. If you DIY, please take care to test your cabinets for lead paint and other safety/environmental issues and to plan accordingly.
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Vintage Metal Kitchen Cabinets For Sale

If you are tired of looking at your old chipped, peeled, drab metal kitchen cabinets, take a trip to the hardware store for a can of paint. Paint offers a fast, easy and inexpensive way to give any cabinets a quick makeover. Painting metal can be tricky, but with a little knowhow and the right products, you can give your kitchen a whole new look.
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Vintage Metal Kitchen Cabinets For Sale

“Vermin-proof”: The history of postwar steel kitchen cabinets in fact starts decades before. I’ve spotted “hoosier cabinets” from as early as the 1920s that were made of steel. These were promoted as “vermin proof.” Cleanliness was a big concern for homemakers in earlier parts of American history. For example, the whole notion of “Sanitary Kitchens” was very important. Remember, we had no vaccine for polio, for example, until the mid-50s, and the flu epidemic in 1914-1918 killed 450,000 people in the U.S. and up to 70 million worldwide. Rats and mice could not eat through steel — so if you had a metal hoosier (or at minimum, a metal flour bin) they couldn’t get into your foodstuffs and contaminate them.
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Vintage Metal Kitchen Cabinets For Sale

Fast forward 45 years to today, and steel kitchen cabinets are making a comeback. In 2008 the same company that makes Viking ranges re-introduced St. Charles steel kitchen cabinets to the market. They come in 23 powder coated colors and stainless steel (above). But, they do not seem to be targeted at the retro market — they are high-end Euro style. I believe that in Europe, steel kitchen cabinets are also available, and like current-day St. Charles, high-end. Update: Viking discontinued the St. Charles brand in early 2012.
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Vintage Metal Kitchen Cabinets For Sale

#1 Renovate Safe: Like other original features in a vintage house, vintage steel kitchen cabinets can contain materials that require environmental and safety precautions. So when undertaking your restoration project, be sure to consult with professionals regarding the materials used in construction and painting of the cabeints, how to deal safely with them, and also about the proper disposal of debris, etc. See our Be Safe/Renovate Safe page… the EPA hosts a complete website on lead in the home and a complete website on asbestos in the home.
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Vintage Metal Kitchen Cabinets For Sale

Oh, and look at this vintage English Rose REVO oven that surfaced for sale on ebay in 2012. I am not sure I understand the nomenclature, but that’s what the listing said. So interesting to see a built-in oven that is so detailed to look like the cabinets. Such was the inventiveness of the time.
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Vintage Metal Kitchen Cabinets For Sale

Q: I’m living in a 50s era home with a 70s era kitchen. The current kitchen cabinets are falling apart around me, and intriguingly, the original steel Youngstown cabinets are in the basement and are in solid condition. They just need new powder-coating, which would end up being about 10% the cost of new big-box cabinets.
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Peacock Blue Kitchen Cabinets: “The cabinets in this kitchen are made of powder-coated stainless steel, so they're not only pretty, they're pretty permanent. The company that made the cabinets, St. Charles, is now owned by Viking, which means you can order appliances in the same color.”
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Geneva Kitchens: Geneva cabinets were #2 in the marketplace, I’d say, judging from what’s for sale in the “used” market today. The early Genevas are very distinctive because their chrome pulls are recessed with a little plastic backplates behind them. Over time these backplates become yellowed, brittle and even broken. There is no known suitable replacement. Don’t even ask. Later Genevas — like my 1963 aquamarine Genevas above — do not have the recessed/backplate design. Harrison steel cabinets also look suspiciously like Genevas.
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Metal kitchen cabinet colors in from 1953-1963: It wasn’t until about 1953 that things started to settle down, construction-wise, in America. Then, homes started getting bigger, and fancier… and American culture started to get more modern. From 1953 through 1963 — a period dubbed the Populuxe (affiliate link) years in this terrific book, which I highly recommend — we then start seeing pastel-colored kitchens (just like cars). Heading into the 60s, we also saw two-tone kitchens like the 1957 St. Charles, above. Exuberance was the word to describe the Populuxe years, and American kitchens of that period. In fact, I also would describe these as the glory days for steel kitchen cabinets. For 1953-1963 kitchens, I would tend to recommend VCT flooring in tiles or sheets, and wallpaper with atomic references.
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The market for these cabinets is generally going to be very local. People will want to come look at them before they buy and to be sure, it will be a lot cheaper if they can pick them up rather than having to arrange for a moving company. But, “local” actually means “within driving distance” for someone who wants to buy a set of steel kitchen cabinets. So your marketing and outreach should really extend…3 or 4 hours in a circle around where you live, although I know of folks who have driven further to buy particular brand cabinets they need.
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Finally, if your cabinets are in really bad shape — with tons of rust, for example — take a look at the hardware. There is a market for vintage cabinet pulls — in particular old Youngstown handles. And, people with the old Genevas are always eager to connect with the white plastic concave piece behind the chrome pull. And, folks want the knife hinges that connect the doors to the base and wall cabinets. If you have parts, I’d recommend eBay — as they are not expensive to ship.
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I’m in the market for a PRISTINE CONDITION GE or ST Charles or VIKING Steel kitchen for my daughter’s c. 1959 condo. It had a GE kitchen originally and out of 167 units, only two still have their original kitchens. She wants it restored and she’s a perfectionist like her dad. So if anyone knows of a complete (about 26’ +- linear feet of upper & lower cabinets complete with two corner units is humanly possible – although I can have them made if I have to, although doing so is costly in the extreme.) When we say “pristine” we mean almost no rust. . However, do not want something dented beyond repair with broken hinges etc. Paint doesn’t matter because they’ll be stripped and powder-coated and baked. Not quite the old fired-on enamel but as close as we can come today and the color choice is unlimited. Any sellers out there? We’re in AZ – so closer is better but will go to the east coast for the right group of cabinets at the right price.
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Yes, steel is sturdy … steel is modern … and in post-World-War II America, steel was arguably the hottest choice for materials for the home. During the war, America had ramped up tremendous capacity in steel production so that we could produce weaponry. Afterward, all the production had to find a new outlet. Where did it go? To big ‘ole American cars, but also into the American home — for appliances, home construction, and, yes, kitchen cabinets. On this page, I’ll share some of the history of steel kitchen cabinets that I have picked up from watching, reading and collecting since 2002. The image above: From a U.S. Steel ad promoting the benefits steel to American consumers. It worked.

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