FAQ’s

I have invested a lot of time and money organizing all the research on this blog into the Categories in blue across the top. If I’ve covered it, you’ll find the information there. I also have certain posts tagged as FAQs – read them here. Retro Renovating is demanding mistress — so roll up your sleeves and dive in. Meanwhile, here are some of the top questions I get day in and day out:

Bathrooms

Kitchens

  • Buying/selling vintage metal kitchen cabinets. See this story.
  • Selling price of metal cabinets. See this story.
  • Hinges for metal kitchen cabinets? I did this story to see if anyone could help. No one could. You need ingenuity on this one.
  • Recessed white plastic backplates for old-model Geneva kitchen cabinets? None available. You need to salvage them from other units or change the entire look to use flat escutcheons (backplates).
  • Best way to paint old steel kitchen cabinets? This is not a DIY site. That said, various readers have used various methods and also may have provided some resources. Best way to scan the available options is to go through the stories in the Kitchens/Steel Kitchens section. Note: Old paint may have lead in it; consult with a licensed professional about the materials that your cabinets are made of.
  • How do I order something from RetroRenovation.com? You can’t. I don’t sell anything here — I write about stuff. See the individual stories, look for the links to the seller’s website.

If you do have a question — and you can’t find the answer — you can (1) make a Comment on a related post – subscribe to the comment to see my response; I read all comments, so generally, this is going to be the speediest way to get an answer. If you don’t want to leave the question as a Comment, contact me via my Contact form.

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Comments

  1. says

    Hello !! I have a GE refrigerator that I LOVE LOVE LOVE that I have in my office. I’m missing a couple of parts – nothing major. There’s an aluminum and bakelite handle on the drawer under the refrig that’s broken. Also I think there’s a sliding drawer on the inside with a glass top that’s missing. ( I think it’s a vegetable drawer.)
    Anybody know of a place/website where I can get missing parts? I can post a pic of the frig if I could figure out how to do it 🙂
    thanks!

  2. Deb Schum says

    I live in a 1951 compact ranch. I am enclosing the carport and am looking for garage door that fits the style of the house. Further complicating things is the siding (most of the house is brick) on the house runs vertical.

    Any ideas?

    Deb.

  3. Mary McCarthy says

    I just bought a house with a mid 1950s bathroom with pink fixtures (tub, toilet & sink) in amazingly good condition. I would work with them except the walls are mint green mudset ceramic tiles. I do not like the color combination at all. Unless I can get some ideas to work with these colors, I will sell the fixtures because to remove the mudset tiles, the walls have to come down. Any suggestions?

  4. Gelcys Nielsen says

    I need help – remodeling kitchen area in our 1969 home – unfortunately we were not able to keep any of the cabinets as they were built directly onto the drywall and came off as splinters..have wanted to try to stay true to the time period of the home but it had so many layers added that we thought we would have to start from scratch – we were surprised in one area. The kitchen & laundry/utiltiy/hall off of it had the same 12×12 tiles from a miami vice redesign – but we were surprised to find that in the kitchen there were 2 layers of linoleum underneath – none in good condition – though the original had a cool design and we’d have loved it to have been tile so it would have fared better. The paper backing from that bottom layer is still firmly attached to the concrete and we can’t seem to get it up with anything (heat gun, home depot linoleum removal rental, chemical from hd, etc – only heat gun and raser seems to work inch by inch)- we want to put down new tile so I think I need to cave and ask the tile installer to include this removal in his price unless there are any ideas on how to get it off???

    AFTER going through all that, I’ve hit up on what I thought was a WONDERFUL surprise – teh hall/laundry area DOES NOT have the same surprise underneath – instead there are original 1 inch and 1×2, and 2×2 inch tiles in tan shades that would go wonderfully with the large tiles I want to do in the kitchen… for the last week I’ve been chipping away 12x12s and their thinset from the top of these little porcelain tiles…. only to realize that the entire floor creeks – it’s all loose and just floating on the concrete?! The thinset or whatever the adhesive was (now a cream color) was so thin and brittle, it’s not holding the floor down. I can remove a bunch of tiles just by picking at them with my finger, and the rest are just together with grout – a chisel under one edge lifts a large section. I am DEVASTATED… I can’t imagine taking each tile up, thinsetting, and repositioning each little tile back down. There was a backer, but it was like a negative – some black plastic with stop sign holes through it which breaks to the touch now. I have a 2 ft squared area up at this point, but have about another 20 off feet on the ground in probably the same condition. One extra note – the old tiles are much thinner than the new kitchen tile, so we know we’d have to do some sort of threshold between the two, and we can’t mix and match .

    We are just tired – demo of 2.5 weeks on the kitchen, no kitchen at the end of the night, so ideas are appreciated – because the easy way out at this point of course would be to take up all the little tiles and reuse them elsewhere, carry the large kitchen tiles thorugh this area and get the project done… but I’m so dissapointed every time I walk in there and stare at what I’ve lovingly uncovered..

    • pam kueber says

      hi Gelcys, It’s impossible to diagnose such issues online. Moreover: PLEASE know that there can be vintage nastiness — like asbestos and lead — in old materials like the ones you are uncovering. Including in tiles of all sorts, and in their adhesives and backings. CONSULT WITH A PRO regarding what you have, and are uncovering, so that you use safe environmental and safety procedures!

  5. Darlene says

    Hi Pam,
    I’ve been lurking since… forever, and I decided to out myself today on the mermaid contest thread. But, I don’t know how to comment on the thread since I don’t see a comment box. Did I miss out on the contest?

    Best regards from Chicago!

    Darlene

    • pam kueber says

      Yes, Darlene, contest ended this morning. Glad to hear from you, though! We’ll be having another contest soon. Pam

  6. says

    Hi Pam,

    Where can I find a contractor in the New York City area that can reface and reinstall a set of metal kitchen cabinets? I saved some from an apartment identical to mine and would love to get them gussied up and restore the kitchen to its original splendor.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Jodi

  7. says

    Hi,

    I have been scouring this site for a long time but never posted anything until today 🙂

    I recently moved to another house which is in need of a new kitchen so to speak. This house was build in 1950 and underwent a ‘bad’ remodel sometime ago. I have always loved the Mid Centery Mod feel and style and have the oppertunity to re-untroduce that to this house, starting with the kitchen. Having just received a Frigidaire Flair Custom Imperial Range from a friend I really would like to design the kitchen around this and I would love to get some input from other readers. Money is a little tight so it will be a slow process unfortunately, but need some ideas.

    Thanks,

    Mischa Hof

  8. hope says

    HI, new to all this(blogging). I have a very nice porcelain kitchen sink, on a nice metal base. I love my sink, I’m re-doing the kitchen, and would love some ideas about whether to keep the base. The rest of the cabinets are wood, which I will be painting a very pale ivory. Do I keep the base, paint it ivory too, or let it go. I have just a glimmer of an idea to mount the sink on some old piece of furniture, like the bottom half of a hutch, I love that furnitur-ish look in the kitchen.I’d love some help with the decision, and any ideas for mounting the sink!

    • pam kueber says

      hi hope, it sounds very interesting. hey, can you email me photos? Use the Contact box to establish contact – then I can give you my email. many thanks, pam

  9. Eugene Kelly says

    Hi: I’m looking for guidance on a mid-50’s house, which was built in a faux-Japanese style. I am trying to scan an old picture to send.
    Any ideas where I might look?
    Thanks

  10. Lizeth says

    Hi. I just bought a house that was builit in the 1930s. It still has the original art deco fixtures. I would like to sell them and was wondering if you had any ideas where it would be best.

    Thanks

  11. Valerie Gibbs says

    Hi Pam, I love to look at Retro Renovations-great sight! I love mid century modern homes. Here is a link to some of the mid century modern homes here is Eureka CA. Some are more contemporary and others have very colorful kitchens from the past. All of the links on this page give great info on materials etc. and the history behind these homes. All of these houses are being retro fitted. Hope you enjoy the sight!

    http://www.eurekamodern.com/

  12. Natasha Phillips says

    Hello Pam,
    Longtime reader, first time poster here 🙂 My family and I recently bought our dream home – a time capsule condition, 1947 cape cod. To say we love it would be an understatement. My children love their bedrooms and the basement rec room, and I would like them to be able to decorate them as children would (posters, the “No boys allowed” sign on the door), but I am concerned about what type of adhesive to use so that after they are grown and gone I can still have my vintage yumminess in good condition. So, my question is: what type of adhesive/attachment devices can be used on wallpaper, wood doors, and knotty pine surfaces? Thanks so much for your help, Natasha

  13. Jill in Nashville TN says

    Hi Pam,

    I would like to use your Pink-Ometer pic and frame it and put it up in a pink bathroom I am renovating. Is there anyway to get a .jpg or something I can get blown up to about 1 1/2 foot x 1 1/2 foot?

    Thanks!

    -Jill-

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