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D-I-Y, Thrifty Finds

Christmas Came Early….Rust Removal 101

So two weeks ago in my Christmas Wishes post, I was writing about the ultimate Christmas wish. This week, I have in my kitchen a sleek and gorgeous vintage Saarinen-style tulip table and 4 chairs, courtesy of my loving and enthusiastic husband. No ladies, you cannot have him. Christmas came early for this MCM blogger, and I couldn’t be happier about it!

Let me preface this gift explanation by saying the table and chairs I’ve been wanting run from $900/used-$2500/updated or refinished. If you were to want to purchase a new tulip table and chairs that are reproductions;  you’d be paying no less than $1000 BEFORE shipping.  So even though its torture, I am continually scrolling through Craigslist, estate sale photos, and Ebay on the look-out for the elusive fairly priced and very much in demand tulip table and chairs.  Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon an Ebay auction for one said set for a fraction of the price that I’ve been seeing them online. The only catch to this auction was that the merchandise had to be picked up locally – in Long Beach. Long story short, I am convinced that the only reasons why I “won” this auction: because I didn’t have to compete with the rest of the world, it was a Wednesday night and I’m the only crazy person trolling for tulip on a Wednesday that and they were totally meant for me. I.AM.SMITTEN. Do you want to hear something amazing? This set isn’t a Saarinen original, but it is mid-century, and it was manufactured by Frank Bros. Furniture, who were commissioned to furnish the Case Study Houses! I love vintage furniture, but I love it more when there is a story behind a piece.  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/home_blog/2009/08/the-jaunty-guy-on-the-left-in-the-above-photo-is-ron-frank-son-of-one-of-the-two-co-founders-of-famed-long-beach-furniture.html

Before I show my sweet new set in its little cozy corner of the kitchen, let’s change gears do a little Rust Removal 101. The base of the table and chairs are paint on metal, and there was quite a bit of rust on them. The tulip stems clearly needed some TLC, and I was only too happy to give it to them. Kudos to my mother, who said, “Why don’t you go to Home Depot and get some of that stuff that removes rust but is safe for the finish?” To which I replied, “Geeeeeeehhhh?” I had no idea that something like that even existed. Obdient and enlightened, I headed to Home Depot with a picture of my rust problem. The helpful guy in the paint department asked me a strange question, “Can you be gentle?” I hesitantly replied, “Yes?” not really sure what that meant. I was prescribed the following – and instructed to apply the magic potion to my table with a cloth. I was positively delighted with the results (after about an hour):

Krud Kutter - $4 bucks at Home Depot. Chuck Norris has nothing on this guy.

Krud Kutter. ($4) Cuts more crap than Chuck Norris.

2 of the Chairs Before from afar

2 of the Chairs Before from afar

Action Shot

Action Shot

I recommend gloves and a soft cloth for application

Safety first…wear gloves and use a soft cloth for application.

Worst offender before photo

Worst offender before photo

Worst offender after an hour

Worst offender after an hour

Example/Chair 2 Before

Example/Chair 2 Before

Example/Chair 2 After

Example/Chair 2 After

No, I do not work for Krud Kutter….but I wouldn’t mind being a spokesperson, now that I’ve seen their stuff in action. It actually dissolves the rust, is water-based, biodegradable and easy to use. In fact, I have been running around the house applying Krud Kutter where the shaving cream bottle left rust in the shower…and I have some vintage bar stools with rusted metal bottoms that I’ll be tackling next. If you’re looking for remarkable results and immediate gratification, this is your DIY project.

And finally, second only to my gorgeous son, this is my favorite sight in the morning:

Vision in white. Once I find bright teal seat cushions, it will be perfection.

Vision in white. I’m on the lookout for teal seat cushions…and we shall have perfection.



About midcenturyobsession

My love for midcentury surfaced after inheriting a couple pieces of my very fashionable grandmother's MCM furniture. I'd always loved clean lines...and became obsessed. I'm currently in the process of redoing our entire home in Mid Century style. My husband would tell you "She's off her head." (Irish-speak for NUTS.) I am the wife of a Dubliner, a mother to an adorable little boy and two clownish french bulldogs Pig and Pearl. I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. If there is anything I learned earning my degree, it was that I didn't want to pursue criminal justice. My heart just wasn't in it. I played 2 years of volleyball on a full scholarship and graduated a 4 year college in 3 years. I lived in Dallas for a very long time and left friends behind to be closer to family for my son. A native Californian, I have to say it's great to be back home.


8 thoughts on “Christmas Came Early….Rust Removal 101

  1. Nice work! I am glad that you got them!!!! They are comfortable to sit in too … to beat. Looks good. You may need to have the cushions made to fit. Your little set deserves it.

    Posted by Rebecca@MidcenturyModernRemodel | December 10, 2012, 6:40 am
  2. Ahh Brooke. I can’t help but feel completely STOKED for you on this find. I know this table and chair set will give you a huge grin every time you… see it-talk about it- sit in it-have your guest (ME) sit in it-clean them and a not such a happy grin when catching Liam trying to jump off of them. Whoops, did I put that out there?!? Krud Kutter… Sounds like a DJ’s name LOL. Whicky Whicky Wack

    Posted by Senta-letter | December 10, 2012, 9:23 pm
  3. YAY! I love Home Depot and working on DIY. You can sew you own cushions…just saying! XOXO

    Posted by Lola | December 11, 2012, 6:02 pm
  4. That is a really beautiful set, and you did a great job cleaning them. They look as good as new. What a Merry Christmas for you!

    Posted by Dana@Mid2Mod | December 12, 2012, 9:08 pm


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