PlanetBrandee LIVE from Brooklyn!

Vintage Copper Restoration

Brooklyn Bridge opening graphicPicture that old school kitchen with shiny copper pots and dried, homegrown herbs hanging from the wall. The smell of a delicious meal cooked by someone you love bubbling on the hearth greets your nose as you open the door and walk into the hallway after a long days work. Well, ok, some SOME of that sounds like a Martha Stewart dream state. Reality is more like pizza from Seamless and some sci-fi post work, BUT you can have a LITTLE of the Pinterest American dream if you know where to shop. And I’ve been working on that dream for awhile now. So join me this week as I roll up my sleeves and get down and dirty to make one piece of the NYC dream kitchen puzzle come true. Let’s revitalize old-school vintage copper pots!

Old and dirty copper potIt all started when I found some fantastic vintage French copper pots on the ecommerce wing of Goodwill NY-NJ.

old copper pan bottom viewOnce I had the beauties in my possession, I realized they were in need of some definite clean up. I try to keep it simple, so I rolled up my sleeves after a grocery store run and got started!

salt and lemonsTo properly clean copper, you’d need a bottle of vinegar, some granulated salt and some fresh lemons. Start by slicing the lemons up in halves, sprinkle the salt over the lemon, and begin to rub the lemon half against the copper’s surface.

copper pan half cleanedAlmost instantly you will see the residue of old dirt and grime lift right off. It’s the Italian in me that loves this chemical FREE and non smelly way of shining these gems back to their original luster. After a good bit of scrubbing and cleaning, you simply towel off and follow up with a vinegar rinse. Towel by hand and buff to a copper penny shine with a soft, dry rag, lo and behold, beautiful results!

cleaned copper potThen, look for the best place to display your new jewel.

And get excited because this type of cleaning also works with anything that is tarnished and grimy: Old silverware, vintage tea sets, etc. They will add a color and character to your home and make it your own. Each piece we find carries its history, a story, sometimes decades of use. They start conversations over them, love infused in them, and that is what makes them unique. In my opinion, this sort of find is much more fascinating than any mall or big box store item. No department store offering can match a 1950’s vintage handcrafted piece of cutlery, worn thin with the adoration of its previous owners, their hands and family stories written on the handles like a language lost, all that fantastic romance lives on in upcycling, and that’s a beautiful thing!

So go forth. Find your treasures, dig them out, and like me, have an adventure traveling to the best places to do so! 

Join my travels as I continue to roam from runway to highway fueling my search for the best food, fun and fashion the world can offer. Till then, see you on the streets! Follow my adventures on Twitter and Instagram! #planetbrandee 


Brandee Sanders is a writer, creative lifestyle and thrift enthusiast. Brandee’s work has been featured in Bill Cunningham’s New York Times style column, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, AOL and Time Out NY. Follow her runway meets the highway adventures and travels @PlanetBrandee 

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