Greg transforms a 1980s oven… into a 1950s oven: Mad skills required!

red kitchen oven
This project requires expert skills, you know what I always say: Get thee to a properly licensed professional. Surely Greg — of the fabulous red farm house kitchen — has those skills because holey moley, look at what he did: He started with his existing, 1980s built-in oven… jury-rigged a vintage Tappan Deluxe stove panel to the front, adding working knob controls, too — this panel ain’t just for show… then painted the whole think auto body safety red and added chrome auto body trim. Mad skillz indeed! Read on for his verbatim description of his project.

Greg writes:

wall oven

We missed out on an antique wall oven on Ebay so converted our mid-1980’s Tappan wall oven to vintage style.

tappan deluxe stove control panelI bought a early 50’s Tappan Deluxe “stove topper” off Ebay for $30.00. I carefully cut it down, notched the backing plate on the existing stove to mount.

wall ovenHad to rewire existing knobs to fit properly. Sanded the front glass and painted safety red. Used chrome automotive wheel well trim. Used an early 1950’s Tappan stove top and modified it to fit the stove. Had to do some rewiring, scuffed the glass, painted it red. Used auto wheel well chrome for sparkle.

red kitchen oven

This one really blows my mind. If you can take the time to learn old fashioned skills — woodworking, metal working, professional spray painting — for sure you could save lots of money updating (err: back-dating) existing or salvaged appliances, cabinets, furniture, you name it, as part of your home renovation projects. Many of our relatives in the not-too-distant past had these mad skills — if they can do it, so can we!

  1. Jon Hunt says:

    I’d love to know more specifics about the step you listed as “painted it red.” Obviously given that high heat is involved, you didn’t just spray it with Rustoleum — would love to know what kind of paint you used and the step-by-step of how it actually went down!

    (Have been LONG pondering doing a similar thing with a more recent double oven we have — probably less on the wiring and more on the cosmetic end of things!)

    1. Greg Pearson says:


      I actually did use regular Rustoleum paint! I puzzled a bit over the same question, but the door is so well insulated that it only gets warm–rarely hot to the touch. I just taped it off, scuffed the glass with a maroon Scotch pad, primed and painted.

      it’s over a year later & it still looks great!

      Heat your oven up and see how warm/hot the door gets..then make a decision.

  2. Just another Pam says:

    Fabulous job! You have mad skills, Sir! There’s far too little of this kind of talent around these days, retro skills if you will.

    And Pam you taught me a new expression on top of all the many household and decorating lessons. Here I am pushing my ‘wisdom’ years….ahem….and I’ve only ever heard Jerry-rigged so jury-rigged sent me to goggle in a flash.

  3. Stacy says:

    Oh, please come and do that to my 80’s Tappan, which I can’t wait to replace. I would never have thought it could look like that!

  4. Wow! That’s very creative, and a nice job. I kind of liked the ’80s stove, too. Too bad it couldn’t be convertible, in case you’re in the ’80s mood, you just flip the panel.

    I love the whole kitchen, and the selection of appliances is unbelievably wonderful!

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