retinned copper pots

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home56 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

retinned copper pots

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56 Comments on “retinned copper pots”

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

    1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

        2. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  23. 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

  24. 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.

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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

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

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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!!!

  34. 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……

  35. 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.

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