A Little Vintage Bottle Opener Refresh

Written by Decor, DIY

My family lived in a few different homes when I was young. But the main house I think of as my childhood home had some cool features in it. There was a brass pipe that went from our kitchen wall to the upstairs hallway. It was an old fashioned “intercom” and I loved playing with it! It also had a hand crank can opener attached to the kitchen cabinets (that worked better than any can opener I’ve ever used since.) There was also this metal Coca-cola bottle opener attached to a window frame in the kitchen.

When my parents sold that house to become full time RVers, it was a bit surprising they took this off the wall and kept it. Fast forward about 7 years, and my parents were doing yard sales from our new house to get rid of a bunch more stuff they’ve always kept in storage. In one of those boxes, was this bottle opener! I instantly knew I wanted it in our brand spanking new kitchen.

As you can see, it had been painted white years ago. It matched the old house’s white window frames. Over the years, it got grimy and chippy. I would have been ok cleaning it and leaving it white, but it was not the right color white for our kitchen. So I started looking for someone to sand blast it to get it back down to fresh metal. An old friend of mine was nice enough to do it for me!

Since he is in Florida, I mailed it to him, and a week later I got it back all shiny and new! He put it in a sandwich baggie with WD40 to ensure it wouldn’t rust on the way back home. It looked amazing! With the layers of paint gone, I could see writing I didn’t even know was there before. Once I saw it raw, I knew I couldn’t paint it again. But I had to at least put a clear coat over it to protect it from rust.

To prepare it for paint, I got it out of the baggie one evening and washed it with a toothbrush to get all the WD40 off of it. I patted it dry so there wasn’t any water pooled anywhere, then let it sit out over night to really be sure there was no moisture left. The next day, I sprayed a couple coats of a protective clear coat over all sides of the bottle opener.

When we went to hang it, we used anchors just to be sure it couldn’t pull out of the wall if someone beefy got too excited opening a bottle of beer one day. I couldn’t find any screws to match the color of the bottle opener itself, so I improvised with some old bedroom paint samples I had in the basement 😉 Even though the color doesn’t match 100%, it’s close enough that it looks spot on! The secret here is that both colors have the same gray value – if this photo was changed to black and white, they would look the same. They just have slightly different undertones in color. I also left the paint on the screws a little transparent. This helped create slight tone shifts in the screws so they don’t look perfect and more obvious that they are different from the bottle opener.

We hung it right next to the back door, so it’s accessible for the kitchen and sun room. So far, we have been the house to go to for family holidays, but seem to have our biggest shindigs in the nicer months when we can open up the sunroom and have more space. It will be easy for people to pop right inside the door and open a bottle. I can already see a little recycling can under it too, for the caps and empty bottles, that will be out of the way of the main hang out areas.

This was a super cheap project for us. I’m still unsure of what a quick sand blasting service actually costs for something like this, since a friend helped me out. I paid to ship the bottle opener to my buddy and back, and the $4 for the clear coat spray paint. We had the perfect size screws and anchors left over from another project. But even with sand blasting, I can’t see this project being too ridiculous of a price.

It’s so nice having something in our home from one of my childhood homes. A tiny reminder. It was a part of one family, and now is gonna be around for the next generation. Also… it’s funny to me, because I’m a Coke addict, Jordan likes a good Coca-cola after a hard workout, and we used vintage Coke bottles as part of centerpieces on guest tables at our wedding… coincidence?

Last modified: March 11, 2018

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