How to Strip the Units Back to Aluminium

Stripping the units | 9 comments

OK now that I have a few pieces it’s time to approach the stripping process. I accept that I’ll probably have to totally dismantle the units to do a proper job and I already know how hard that can be.

I’ve heard several suggestions as to how to strip the units back to the aluminium. They include sand blasting (but that dents the aluminium) media blasting (leaves the aluminium intact, but doesn’t remove rust) or some sort of chemical remover, for example Nitromorse.

The next thing will be what to do with it once the metal is exposed. I’m assuming it will start to oxidise again almost immediately, so either we need to duff it up in some way in preparation for painting, or polish it up and protect it somehow if we were to keep it nice and shiny aluminium. We know that’s possible because Source Antiques do it!

Anyway, I realise that a bit of Googling will reveal some of the answers which I will do, but I wanted to state the problem first and, of course, invite comment. So to some extent, over to you!

9 comments to How to Strip the Units Back to Aluminium

  • juliestockley  says:

    Hi read your blog with interest as I bought an English Rose kitchen from ebay, it does have some small dents though!
    I am now at the stage I am ready to get it stripped and restored, we live in NW London and I am reluctant to take it to Cardiff if at all possible. It would be completely fantastic if you would share with me where you had yours done as it sounds as if you live near London if not here. I would be so grateful if you could get back to me, any tips also welcome! So many thanks Julie

  • The Scribe  says:

    Hi Julie,

    Welcome aboard the ERK journey! Our contractor asked around and found a body shop near Notting Hill. I can give you their details if you like, but I can tell you that the guy was a perfectionist and did a fantastic job. We have all the units back now and apart from anything else all the dents have disappeared.

    The bottom line, a friendly body shop is the way to go.

  • Laura  says:


    Can you give me the details of the body shop in notting hill? we have just brought a fantastic ERK that needs restoring, thinking of taking it back to aluminium until we have enough money to get it resprayed. Did you find out anything about how to preserve aluminium once exposed?

    Many Thanks


  • Nik C  says:

    I’m lucky enough to have bought an old house with English Rose cabinets and would like to have them restored. I live close to Notting Hill and would appreciate the name and number of this body shop to take it back to aluminium.
    Thanks lots!

  • The Scribe  says:

    It seems there’s a lot of interest in this and so far three people apart from us have taken their units along to our guys to be refurbished. Nik will make the fourth.

    So, with his permission, here are his details:

    A L Babb
    Unit 17 King’s Down Close
    W10 6SW
    020 8991 5499

    He’s a real perfectionist as you can see from the cars that he’s restoring. Twice now he’s sent paint back on our behalf because they didn’t clone the colour accurately enough for his taste. Usual disclaimers apply, but – oh sod it, no they don’t. You WON’T be disappointed!

    And if you call or make it there, don’t forget to mention us to Tony!

  • Maria  says:

    On the strength of your recommendation I’m thinking of asking Tony to spray my car! As it’s almost a year down the track from your last posting I just thought I’d double check you haven’t changed your opinion.

    Did anyone else use him for their units? What did you all think?

    (Also have you got any further with appliances? I can’t see how to add a comment to that area. Are there any other potential retro look cookers and fridges to share with us?)


    Looking forward to your next update.

  • The Scribe  says:

    Hi Maria,

    Wow how remiss of me – I had no idea it was so long ago that I last wrote anything.

    No our opinion of Tony hasn’t changed at all. He’s done a great job, is still a perfectionist and apparently is considering specialising in ERK units now, alongside his pristine work on cars. Highly recommended still.

    We have all the appliances we needed – well all except a usable stove. We bought a 5 burner on the basis of a photo on eBay, but realistically you can only use about two of the rings at a time because it’s so small. I’m sure I can work that one up into an amusing blog post when I’m not so busy being married!

  • Malc  says:

    Hi everyone, i have an English Rose Kitchen,with integrated fridge freezer with s/steel top and an electric cooker alongside given the appearance of 6 units total ( cooker 1 double drainer erk unit 3 and f/freezer 2). this morning i visited a Powder coater and Bead blaster (more gentle alternative to sand blasting). They assure me they can do the job…on another note i may consider selling the fridge freezer(it works) and the oven /cooker if a genuine buyer is interested and the offer is right.
    I hope this has been of help .
    Malc Northants

  • Maria  says:

    Thanks for the reply. I still haven’t gotten around to having the Figaro resprayed.

    However I have made some headway on appliances and will post here in case anyone else is interested. (I’m sure people would find it helpful if you added these details in the appliances section as many you mentioned there seem unavailable now.)

    The Stoves Rangemaster (550 wide) was the only suitable looking cooker I could find which was normal size and could be used in a flat. It is quite nice because it has an enamel lid matching the colour of the cooker. I’m going for cream.

    I’m also ordering a Gorenje RK60359OC (cream) fridge freezer, although getting a left hinged model is a special order. Rangemaster do a cream 60/40 fridge freezer which is a bit more modern looking but it is right hand hinge only which ruled it out for me. Baumatic Retro 14BL are quite retro looking too.
    The Smeg fridge freezers look great but have a really bad reputation.

    Smeg also do washing machines (with a full curved door covering the round machine door) and dishwashers (built under and free standing).

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