How To Treat Rust on Vintage Lockers?

How To Treat Rust on Vintage Lockers?

Regina Yunghans
Apr 27, 2012

Q: I am the recent (lucky) receiver of these two old metal lockers. They were given to me by a friend of my sister's. She guesses that they are from the 1940s/50s and even though they don't match perfectly, somehow found each other as a pair over the years. As far as I can tell the buttery yellow and moss green paint is original. As you can see from the photos, the metal is rusty in certain locations. I am the first to admit to my love of old rusty objects, but I also want them to be a clean surface for storage and to prevent further erosion:

I would love advice from the Apartment Therapy readers as to the best way to restore these relics. I have already cleaned the surface rust off with vinegar and aluminum foil. Should I just leave them in their rusted glory with a clear coat of lacquer? Attempt a new paint job on my own? Or splurge on getting them powder coated? My fear is that powder coating will be too expensive and make them look too new. What do you think?

Sent by Hannah

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