Vintage Drink Machine Repair and Restoration

Clear Coating Over the Orginal Patina

A Great Way to Preserve The Vintage Look

As an option to a partial restoration, many customers choose to have us clean the exterior of the machine and add 2 -3  coats of automotive clear.    I wanted to explain this process a bit more today for those who may be considering it. 

What does this do and not do?

What is does:  This process seals the old weathered look on the machine, called the “patina.”  It will add a nice shine to the machine and will inhibit the rust from advancing.   

What does it not do:  It does remove dents, it does not remove the rust (just the loose rust), nor paint scratches or chips.  All the scratches are left intact.   We clean it, but it wont remove stains.  We clean only on the surface so as to not damage the pain.  Also, we are only doing the exterior, so it does not affect anything inside the machine.  

Then we put 3 coats of automotive clear coat on it, adding a nice glossy shine. 

Customers often say "I would love to remember the machine as it was when I was young, imperfections and all"

Step 1 – Clean the Exterior of the Machine

We use a fine abrasion pad and cleaner to remove any surface dirt and create an adhesion layer for the clear to grab to.  

Some of the dead or oxidized paint is cleaned up as well.  

This process will get out light dirt and some stains, but leave the patina in place.  

 Loose rust is removed, but that is all.  Surface rust is cleaned.  Dents, scratches, worn areas all remain in tact. 


Step 2 Tape up the Chrome, Glass, Faceplate, Rubber.   

We cover anything that will not be clear coated before bringing it into the paint booth for clearcoat.    

After another final wipe down it is ready for clear. 

Step 3 Spray with Clear Coat

Then we bring it into the paint booth for 2-3 coats of automotive clear.   

After it is dry, we will remove the tape from the covered areas.      We have done many machines like this, and our customers have been very happy with the results.   

And again, for a machine with surface rust, this will greatly inhibit that from advancing for many years.  

What does it look like?   

It adds a nice glossy finish to the machine.  But every machine is different, largely dependent on what the exterior was like when we started.  Some machines have a lot of rust and exterior wear.    See the Pepsi machine image below for an example.  On other machines the process makes the machine finish look closer to how it was when new.