retinned copper pots

by | Oct 24, 2018 | All Things Home | 56 comments

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I sent some of my vintage French copper pots off to be retinned.  I wanted to share how they turned out.

After purchasing a beautiful copper pot from E. Dehillerin in Paris and a couple of beautiful copper molds in Lucca, I found myself window shopping for more copper pieces on Etsy and eBay.  I realized the ridiculousness of those searches as I have several antique French copper pots hanging above my head every time I’m in the kitchen.  Most of the pieces that were in my price range needed to be retinned, anyway.

While in Tuscany, Dana (the trip planner) mentioned having some copper pieces retinned and she referred me to East Coast Tinning.   I ended up shipping off four pieces to have them polished and have the tin lining replaced.  The lining was almost completely worn away in a couple of the pots, removed and replaced.

About two weeks later, I was excited to find a box from Rhode Island on my porch.  I literally gasped when I opened the box and unwrapped the first pot.  It was almost unrecognizable from how it looked when I sent it off.

Miss Mustard Seed Retinned Copper Pots

Like an idiot, I didn’t take proper before pictures.  But here is a picture I took of my copper pots when we first moved in…

Miss Mustard Seed Retinned Copper Pots

You can’t appreciate the new lining, but you can see what a difference the polishing makes!

Miss Mustard Seed Retinned Copper Pots Miss Mustard Seed Retinned Copper Pots

Tin lining makes it so they are functional and can actually be used for cooking.  They are shiny and have a soft, hand-rubbed texture, but they will start to turn a dull gray with use.

Miss Mustard Seed Retinned Copper Pots  Miss Mustard Seed Retinned Copper Pots

They look so stunning on the pot rack that I had to polish up my stainless steel, so it didn’t look spotty and smeared in comparison.  Polishing my cookware after each use was something I did before I had kids and started a business, but that’s something I had to let go of when life got busier.  I’ve picked it up again because it’s a small thing that keeps the cookware looking its best.

(I just wipe them down with Bar Keeper’s Friend before the final rinse.)

Miss Mustard Seed Retinned Copper Pots

Miss Mustard Seed Retinned Copper Pots

I took the opportunity to clean and tidy up the entire pot rack.

Miss Mustard Seed Retinned Copper Pots

Some people, I know, hate the pot rack and they think it looks cluttered.  For me, though, it’s very functional since most of my daily cookware hangs from it.  But it’s also one of those decorative touches that makes it feel like “my kitchen”.   With all of the changes I made in my last house over the 11 years that we lived there, the pot rack was one thing that remained constant.  I can’t imagine not having it hanging in my kitchen.

The funny thing is that I’ve been scared to cook in my copper pieces!  I told my mom that the other day and she pointed out that I took the leap and started using my heirloom sterling silver daily (some pieces are almost 200 years old), so I need to get over it and just use them.

Good point.

Mom’s aren’t always right, but they are right a lot.

Miss Mustard Seed Retinned Copper Pots

56 Comments

  1. Rebecca

    They look gorgeous!! Was it expensive? I have a few that need retinning as well. You are inspiring!😊

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      It was about $280 to have all four done and that includes shipping. So, it’s not cheap, but it’s affordable compared to purchasing a new, useable set. You can price out your pieces on their website (with measurements), so you know how much yours will cost.

      Reply
  2. Amy

    SO beautiful Marian! I also love your pot rack and think it adds a touch of old world charm that you do see in Europe. In my own travels to Europe, homes seem to be a reflection of the people who live in them and are all so very different, with collected treasures that serve as functional members of the household. Your home is just the same and it is quite lovely!

    Reply
  3. Becky

    Wow the pots are beautiful! I do have one question though. Do you put your silver in the diswasher? I just picked some up and would love to use it every day. But I don’t have the time for hand washing.

    Reply
    • Pam

      Becky – I put my grandmother’s silver in the dishwasher every day and it’s fine!

      Reply
      • Marian Parsons

        You can put silver in the dishwasher, but there is some disagreement among experts about the dish detergent and how it might wear away the silver over time. I just hand wash them. It doesn’t take much time.

        Reply
        • carswell

          You definitely need to hand wash any pieces that have bakelite handles. All the knives in my set have those. The dishwasher will do those in very quickly with the extreme heat.

          Reply
        • beverlee lyons

          You are right. The silver gradually discolors with washing in the dishwasher. Some of the character, like all the crevices in yours change. It just takes less than 5 minutes. Some things are worth the care. If you are fortunate enough to have silver flatware, love it enough to care for it.

          Reply
  4. Kim

    Mom loved the last comment 🙂 in the post. I think she could put it in the dishwasher but Marian doesn’t. Pans look great. Well worth it now they are functional. Mom

    Reply
    • beverlee lyons

      you are the best Mom. And it is so sweet to see the mutual love y’all have.

      Reply
  5. Kim

    What is the Bar Keepers Friend? What does it do?

    I think that the thing that detracts for me with a pot rack are those big ugly chains. I realize you NEED them there, of course, but they are the eyesore more than the pots, in my opinion. They are too “Medieval castle” or something.

    Since your kitchen always looks uncluttered, and your pots are aesthetically pleasing, the pots just look like a friendly cluster of balloons ready for a party.

    Reply
    • Connie

      It’s a great cleaner for the kitchen. There are many versions of it. It cleans sinks, pots, cooktops (there is a special formula for that. It’s not hard to find, especially if you find a store that has a great selection of cleaning products.

      Reply
  6. Linda

    Your pots look beautiful Marian and I love that you hang them in your kitchen which to me makes your kitchen warm and homey!

    Reply
  7. Mary in VA

    Wow, they are beautiful! I like the pot rack, it adds so much interest to your kitchen.

    Reply
  8. Stacey Arps

    Steel cable rather than the chains on the pot rack? It would all but disappear, resulting in the effect of the pot rack floating. Just a thought after reading other comments. Retinned pans turned out gorgeous. It’s always fun to see what you’re doing!

    Reply
  9. Connie

    Now those beautiful pots are too pretty to use!! Love it all, pots and pot rack!

    Reply
  10. Denise V Cox

    I LOVE your pot rack!! It’s gorgeous!!!!!

    Reply
  11. Jessica | Petal + Ply

    Wow! I didn’t even know this was a possibility! I have a set of small copper pans from my grandfather that need some help. I’ll be pinning this post to save for when I’m ready to get them redone. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  12. Karen

    I know the tinning was necessary for cooking but the copper was so pretty with the age and patina.

    Reply
  13. Erin

    What exactly is re-tinning and is tin safe to consume from I thought actual tin cans were eliminated for safety reasons. Just wondering because they are so lovely.

    Reply
  14. Debbie H.

    The “makeover” of the pots is absolutely wonderous and I just may take the leap to have mine redone. I spent two years in Turkey in the early 1980’s and have quite a few and I had no idea that such a service existed. Thanks again for such a great post; as always, your home looks gorgeous, INCLUDING that pot rack!

    Reply
  15. Sherri

    Marian, they are gorgeous!! I wouldn’t want to use them just yet either! They really did a gorgeous job!!

    Reply
  16. Laurie

    Marian, You have too many of those copper pots! You need to sell some to your subscribers… ; ) really.

    Reply
  17. Gale

    Thank you for sharing the tinning site
    I have only copper pans & molds hanging up in my kitchen. I just prefer to cook with my grandmothers cast iron pans for everyday
    I thought u could not mix real silver with silver plate or stainless in dishwasher as cause the silver to pitt Gale

    Reply
  18. Peggy

    My mom ruined her sterling by putting them in the dishwasher. However, one issue might be not to put them next to stainless steel silverware.

    Reply
  19. monique odman

    I do not find anyone to reline copperware in New York anymore or only for the very high price. I have not tried to find a place in France. All I can say is that copperware is no longer popular and they go for a song in country flea markets for two reasons: too much time to keep them looking good and also, the rustic country look is no longer ” in ” generally and not at all for the younger generation.
    Your pieces newly relinned look very beautiful, they glow warmly, I do like them too, but I would need a maid to keep them polished and exposed.. not overhead though.

    Reply
  20. Dana

    Squeeeeel! Love this!! Jim ca put your initials on them also. I can picture these being passed on for years!!

    Reply
  21. Mary

    I LOVE the pot rack! the combination of the copper and stainless is amazing!

    Reply
  22. mary m

    Beautiful! Rhode Island used to be the jewelry capital of the states. There is another place called Flemmings and they replate silver. I purchased a pair of
    silver candle sticks with filigree shades with beaded tassles that must be pushing a 100 years. Someone
    must have used Brillo on them!! So I bit the bullet and sent them off to
    Flemmings and like yours they came back amazing. Expensive, Yes but so
    beautiful. I think it might be on the Cape……….google it.

    Reply
  23. Dolores Pap

    Just don’t use BAR KEEP on the tinned insides of your copper pots, nor should you use metal utensils to stir..I found that out the hard way- the tin wears away 🙁
    I still cook with a lot of copper pots, but all my newer ones are lined in stainless steel.

    Reply
  24. Deborah Raney

    Every time I look at photos of your kitchen, I think how HANDY it would be to have all the pots and pans within easy reach. I didn’t “discover” you until you were moving into this house, but I’ve always thought the pot rack was one of the things that gives your kitchen such personality (not to mention how much space it must clear in your cupboards!) I’m a lover of bright colors, but I could happily move into any room of your house and feel right at home.

    Reply
  25. Janet in Kansas City

    Well I love your pot rack. It looks beautiful and very functional too.

    Reply
  26. Sue Anderson

    Really nice collection.

    Reply
  27. Debe

    Ok….so I had purchased a lovely copper saucepan from Marshall’s! Baumalu. Used it once and got kinda scared and just hung it up on MY POT RACK (mine is an old wooden tabacco drying piece). Didn’t use it again and it was looking pretty sad. Thanks to your post, I pulled it down & pulled the Bar Keepers Friend on it and it looks gorgeous! Will try to use it again….your pot rack is a working thing of beauty!

    Reply
  28. Linda

    Use your good stuff. I just packed up a family members house due to their passing. What a waste that all those pretty things stayed in cabinets and weren’t use to make memories for the family!

    Reply
  29. Liz

    East Coast Tinning is the BEST! I’ve sent them several pieces that I would have thought were beyond hope and they came back to me looking like new.

    Reply
  30. Kathryn

    I use my copper pots all the time.

    Reply
  31. Ginene Nagel

    I think the pot rack is fabulous, as are the chairs…both of those things add warmth to the kitchen. It doesn’t matter what is in fashion and what isn’t. All that matters is if you like it.

    Reply
  32. Patti

    I shouldn’t add my two cents but I can’t help it – I absolutely LOVE your redone pots and I feel personally I wouldn’t use them for everyday either. I wouldn’t mind spending that money once to bring those antiques back to life but it needs to be “redone” every year or so? I might reconsider at that point. It’s different from the silverware you can polish on your own.

    Also, I get that your pot rack is “you” and very functional (love that) but I wonder if it could just be edited down a bit? Your pots are gorgeous and I’m in awe of how spotless but there is so many that maybe it takes away from the look a bit? The kitchen either way is gorgeous 🙂

    Reply
    • Kimberly

      Patty, the retinning of the copper cookware, according to the Duparquet Copper Cookware/Copper Care link on the East Coast Tinning site, only needs to be done every TEN to TWENTY years, depending on how often a person uses their copper cookware, certainly not every year or so. It is a process that must be sent out to be done, not something that can be done at home, but the frequency is far, far less than you imagined.

      Reply
  33. Jeffrey Favreau

    Mariam I could say so man things about your kitchen. But the one thing that I think keeps me enthralled of you, is your simplicity of life. Your style and the way you approach life just pulls me towards you.. I have to tell you My Husband and I were on our 1st anniversary vacation in Ontario Canada and my best part of it was discovering a shop that sold your products. I stayed in that shop and talked with the owner for a hour. Thank you to share you creative life with us Jeffrey

    Reply
  34. Rica

    It’s the jewelry in the kitchen

    Reply
  35. Rita

    The Bar Keepers Friend is a friend indeed. I use it on all my stainless steel as it does not scratch to include my fridge, stove and sink. I even use it on my glass cooktop. It work like a charm on pots, pans, pyrex and other glass dishes. It’s the only cleaner I keep in the kitchen. Your kitchen looks amazing with the makeover, and your pot rack adds just the right touch.

    Reply
  36. Jeannie

    Beautiful pots!!! I LOVE your pot rack. Filled with all the things you use. I’ve always wanted a pot rack with copper pots!

    Reply
  37. Ruth

    Yes, use your pretties every day! I turned 50 last year, and decided to use my antique silver and pretties every day, I really wish I hadn’t waited so long.
    Love the pot rack, but would be scared if one pot slipped out of my hands when putting on/off, and cracked the benchtop below.

    Reply
  38. Shelia

    Marian, ignore the naysayers about your pot rack. Not only is it very functional but it looks beautiful with those gorgeous copper pots hanging on it. I think it ADDS to your decor, being it’s mostly neutral, not take away. Also, take it from an older woman, use your nice things on a daily basis. I wish I’d listened to that advice when someone tried to tell me many years ago. Life is too darn short, so use, enjoy take lots of photos and make great memories with your treasured things.

    Reply
  39. Kelly FitzGerald

    For Australian readers, “Lara Copper” in Tasmania offer a great retinning service. They also made new lids for my old saucepans which look fabulous and original. I hang them on my pot rack!

    Reply
  40. MaryLisa

    They look amazing! The cost is well worth it since good cookware can last generations. Use them and enjoy! BTW I miss my pot rack because my cottage has lower ceilings than my previous home.

    Reply
  41. Linda

    ❤️❤️❤️ I would love copper pots. I have a few old pieces but nothing as beautiful as yours.

    Reply
  42. Lillian

    The pot wrack is NOT clutter in your color scheme. It’s a beautiful shiney chandelier. My picky compulsive oppinion is about the leaning bone handled flatware in the leaning Ironstone stack. I tend to lean with them to make sure they don’t spill. Silly me!

    Reply
  43. Katie Mansfield

    Those are beautiful! I polish my Paul Revere pots almost every time I use them now. Bar Keepers Friend is amazing for that. Your kitchen is beautiful with the pot rack.

    Reply
  44. Dad

    True, moms aren’t always right. Thats dads you’re thinking of. Dads are always right.

    Reply
  45. JeanFB

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful pots- wow! So glad you thought of retinning and showing us the result, and sharing the cost. And if I had cookware that gorgeous, I’d display it on a rack too!!!

    Reply
  46. Bernie

    I dont have “good” silver, but silver plate I bought at a thrift store, plus my moms, but some of the plating is wearing off. I inherited some beautiful crystal stemware from my cousin after my aunt passed away. …she didnt want them. I never even knew my aunt had them, despite being to her house for many many holidays over the year. I USE them. If one breaks….well, ce la vie! It’s better than having them just look “purty” in a cabinet. My daughter says her MIL never uses the “good china” so she asked her if she was saving them just in case the Pope ever visited……

    Reply
  47. Suzanne Shea

    Hi “Miss Mustard Seed”. I shine my copper regularly by turning the pan upside down, sprinkling on a little pile of salt, slicing a fresh lemon in half and placing it cut-side down on the pile of salt and scrubbing in circular motions or whatever. Eventually, the chemical reaction between the salt and lemon juice make the copper shine like brand new. I wash it off and dry it afterward.

    Reply
    • Marian Parsons

      Yes! I’ve tried that tip before and it works well.

      Reply

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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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