Hey All! I decided it was time to restore one of my woodstoves. Quite a bit of surface rust, but nothing that made it un-restorable. Started with a wire brush and drill to remove all that I could.
I decided that I did NOT want to use hi-temp paint and all the problems that go with it. i wanted to do it how it was apparently done for many years... oiling the stove and seasoning it like you would a cast iron pan. i researched that Lard was what was used for many years.
So I melted down a stick and began the process.
Using some steel wool and rags, I coated the stove as it was heating up. I continued to wipe on many (10-20) light coats throughout the entire process, while the stove was hot. This allowed many layers of coating and really helped blend all the colors for a nice look.
Once it began to smoke, the color started coming to life.
It was at this point that I realized my first and only "issue". I left the fire bricks in the stove, afraid to overheat the stove. This caused only the top to begin the seasoning process. I continued and figured I re-burn the following day with the bricks removed, being careful not to over-fire the stove.
You can see that the process was working... albeit only on the top half of the stove. No worries, I'll fix it with a re-burn.
The color changes from a burnt orange to a deep brown/black once it reaches the correct temperature. Here are the final pics during and after the 2nd burn. I'm very happy with the way this turned out. A nice deep, gloss finish that is easily retouched in the future.
This is not a "show" stove, this one works for a living. I wouldn't recommend this process with a "showy" stove. I was just MUCH more interested in doing this the "natural" way, much as our forebear's would have. I mean why pay all that money, wasted paint/chemicals and prep work when it's not necessary? The whole process ran me $2.50 for the lard and some elbow grease... not much either. Hope someone finds this helpful.