Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Rip Off (of sorts) and a Challenge {Weekend Finds}

My daughter, who usually wakes us up so early on weekends, decided to sleep until 9 Saturday so that meant no early yard sales. What it did mean is a few hours of quiet on a cool morning in the desert.

This is Modernism Week in the Old Pueblo and we had decided to go to the furniture expo. Last year we scored an amazing vintage patio set. This year we scored nothing. But, we did make a few stops on the trek to the expo.

We hit a local junk shop called Bettie Blue's. Fun fact: this shop has a ghost. Seriously. They have video to prove it. What they also have is neat stuff and some overpriced Pyrex. I saw this Early American 2.5 Q casserole for $14 ($10 for the dish, $4) for the lid. I thought that was insane, way too high of a price considering the wear (it had some scratches and abrasion), especially since this is not a super collectible pattern. Needless to say I passed. 

The next stop was completely random. We spotted a small sign for an estate sale that claimed to have vintage and mid-centry goods. We are all about both so we hunted down the place, even though it was late afternoon. The sale was still going and there were some amazing pieces but the prices were insane for the condition. There was an Eames chair that was destroyed. An cute end table with a huge chip. Some really random vintage home goods and furniture. Oh, and these Primary Colors Pyrex Mixing Bowls. I seriously think the woman stored everything outside, because not just the bowls were covered in dirt and grime.

This wasn't even how I found them (here they are pictured on the patio table I mention above). They were all nested in each other relegated to a table in the backyard. They were a hot mess. My husband asked how much. The seller said $25. I laughed. Really, I did. She said she had meant to clean them and that sets like these go for $100 on ebay. Well, maybe if they are a full set that is clean and in good shape. This set is missing the blue 401.Yes, the larger 404 can be harder to locate but sheesh, the curb appeal is terrible, don't you think? They are filthy on the inside and the outside, with dirt and grime and goodness knows what else. I mean, there are pieces of plant life attached to the bottom of the bowls. It made me so sad as most of her stuff was so amazing but so poorly cared for.

I hemmed and hawed and asked if she would take $15. She grudgingly agreed. So now I have them but I now also have a challenge. These need to be cleaned up both inside and out. Inside is easy-peasy. Outside I am not so sure. I will need to polish them up. I've looked online for tips but can't seem to find anything for the colored Pyrex like this. 

I'm sure someone in the Collective knows how to clean these babies up and make them shine like new. Ideas and suggestions are welcome!



  1. Oh my!!!! I'm glad you got them but so poorly taken care of by its previous owner, my guess is she must have used them for planters! Crazy idea but whatever goes! =\
    I'm not sure how to shine them up though good luck!!

  2. If you're going to display them, I've heard a little bit of olive oil can help with the shine on the outside. :)

  3. A good soak in Bar Keepers Friend (a powder cleaner like Comet, but not abrasive) should do the trick!

  4. Hope you report back on how your restoration attempts go! Always great to get any new tips or tricks!

    Early on I picked up a 404 and 403. Hubby actually brought home the 403 and I wasn't so into the green. The yellow 404 I picked up once it went down to half price at $6 which I thought was a lot still. They've been sitting around for almost a couple years as I was going to sell them. I only looked at the bottoms last week to find out they are the old ones! Now I'm hunting for the rest (and glad I got them since I've become an addict)!

  5. You should attempt this on a bad piece of glassware first. That you don't have a lot of love for.... something that you can trash if things go very wrong.

    I am going to offer this as a product to try.
    Liquid car polish. It will remove bad oxidized paint.

    But do so very carefully. I can not guarantee, that it will solve the issue. Or not remove all the color... off a bowl.

    If you have a piece of colored Pyrex glass you don't care about... try it on that piece of glass first. To get the hang of using the car polish.

    Use very little of the car polish product on the paint.

    Pour a small amount of the car polish on a soft cotton rag... Wipe on a small section of the bowl... count to 7 or 10... and wipe off with a clean cloth.

    Then buff with a soft cloth. (I have old cotton wash rags that I use.)

    It can and will remove old oxidized paint... but it can and WILL remove TOO much of the paint. If you work too slow.

    Be careful when using.

    But I have decent luck with it polishing up old painted glassware. Of course I do not use these vintage glass pieces to serve food out of.

    If you are just trying to clean up the bowls for display this does work.

    JUST keep in mind... it will remove too much of the old paint if you don't work quickly, once the car polish is on the painted color bowl.