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How to Restore Vintage Gas Pumps

Antique gas pumps can be restored to thier former glory.
county gas pump image by Robert Bourgeois from Fotolia.com

Restoring old gas pumps is a passion shared by many. The process is a rigorous one, although not difficult. The entire process from start to finish can be completed in approximately 80 hours of work. There are no expensive tools or knowledge required to restore an antique gas pump. When completed, the finished project can be cherished or sold for a hefty profit. Some people have turned the process of restoring antique gas pumps into a profession.

Disassemble the gas pump. Document where each piece belongs to ensure that they are properly reassembled. Throw away the motor to the gas pump. It will not be needed and will lighten the gas pump significantly.

Remove any stickers or grease from the metal parts.

Sand away the paint and rust from the metal parts. Completely expose the shiny metal surface below. Fill any holes in the metal with plastic filler. Remove any dents by banging them into place.

Buff all stainless steel and porcelain parts until they shine.

Clean or replace any glass parts. The rubber will most likely need to be replaced. These pieces can be substituted for similar pieces that can be found in hardware stores.

Apply two coats of high-quality primer to all metal surfaces. Wait for each coat to completely dry before applying the next. Apply with a paint sprayer.

Apply two coats of high-gloss paint. Wait for each coat to completely dry before applying the next. Apply with a paint sprayer.

Set the gas prices according to prices at the time when the gas pump would originally have been used.

Reassemble the gas pump according to the system you used to disassemble.

Things You'll Need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Socket wrench
  • Putty knife
  • Electric metal sander or grinder
  • Plastic filler
  • Electric buffer
  • Glass cleaner
  • Towels
  • High quality paint primer
  • High-gloss paint
  • Paint sprayer
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