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How to Restore a Round Oak Stove

With a few easy fixes, old round oak stoves can be made to look more aesthetically pleasing.
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Round oak stoves, typically made of steel and cast iron with shiny nickel accents, burn both wood and coal. The stoves can be properly restored to be both aesthetically pleasing and beautiful on the outside and completely functional on the inside. While it is advisable to leave major restoration jobs designed to restore the functionality of a stove to highly specialized restoration professionals, you can clean and carry out basic aesthetic restoration quite easily.

Examine the round oak stove and check for missing parts on the outside and the inside. Also look for parts that are clearly damaged. Damage could have been caused by age, normal wear and tear, misuse, abuse, transportation, or improper storage or care.

Order replacements for the parts that are missing or damaged well beyond restoration abilities. Parts can be purchased through local antique stores, online antique dealers, or online auctioneers.

Clean the iron/steel parts on the outside of the round oak stove with a wire brush or wire pad to remove soot, dirt, or rust. Then wipe clean with a cleaning solution formulated for metal antiques. Sometimes all an antique round oak stove needs is a thorough cleaning rather than a full restoration job.

Brush out the inside of the stove with a stiff handheld broom if the stove contains soot or ash. Clean the inside using a non-toxic and environmentally friendly degreaser like Simple Green in order to remove soot. Next wipe the surface clean with a mixture of warm washer and dish soap with grease cutting ability in order to remove any residue of ash or degreaser.

Restore and polish the black parts on the outside of the round oak stove using stove polishing compound in black with a polish brush or rag. Restore the shine to the nickel and decorative parts using a polish formulated for nickel on antique stoves. The polish needs to be formulated for stoves because of the high heat the oak stove will generate if it is used in the future.

Things You'll Need:

  • Wire brush
  • Wire pad
  • Handheld broom
  • Non-toxic degreaser
  • Dish soap
  • Stove polishing compound - black
  • Nickel polishing compound for high heat surfaces
  • Rags
  • BBQ or high heat appliance black spray paint


Take before and after photographs of the restoration of your round oak stove. Taking photographs during restoration can also help you remember where parts go and how they were removed and where they will need to be replaced.

If you desire to paint areas on the stove black, use a BBQ or oven spray on black after taping off nickel areas. Do not use the spray on the inside of the stove.


  • Do not use toxic cleaners on the inside of the stove because they can leave an invisible residue which will be burned off and released into the air as a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound).
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