Vintage Eames Chair – The chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames are appreciated by world-class museums and private collectors alike. If you are lucky enough to own a vintage Eames, you can clean and repaint (enamel) the aluminum on it by following a few simple steps. It is important to work carefully to produce uniform coverage and shine without leaving scratch marks.
Mix a little mild dishwashing detergent in one liter of hot water. Gently rub the aluminum with a soft cloth moistened in soapy water. You can also use a scrub pad moistened in warm water. Rub the aluminum parts of the chair with a back and forth movement, not in circles. This should remove the old galvanized paint and any dirt, leaving it with smooth, unfinished aluminum. Boil a liter of water and add in 2 tbsp. of vinegar. Dip a soft cloth in the water and clean the aluminum with the water with vinegar. You may want to use a half lemon soaked in salt instead. Gently rub the aluminum with this half salt lemon (or with a soft cloth moistened with lemon juice and sprinkled with salt).
Apply an aluminum finish renewal product that is recommended by professionals in the restoration of aluminum finishes. Pour some of the painters onto a soft cloth and polish the aluminum with it evenly. Follow all instructions for use and safety! Allow the aluminum to dry completely. Once the aluminum is completely dry (this can take several hours), add a second layer of enamel. Let it dry, and you’re done!