Restoring Machines: Original colour or new colour?

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Forum topic by Tyrone D posted 06-18-2012 02:36 AM 1878 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tyrone D

314 posts in 1425 days

06-18-2012 02:36 AM

The title says it all.
When you restore or fix up machinery do you keep the colours original or do you choose a new colour?

I’m thinking on my Rockwell/Beaver lathe I might do a different colour as this is a very common machine. Changing the hammered green on my Wadkin Bursgreen tablesaw would be something I’d never do.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

21 replies so far

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

85 posts in 1718 days

#1 posted 06-18-2012 03:02 AM

I paint it what ever color fits my shop. I like having the machines in lighter color. Dont need to make it any darker in the shop.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View MedicKen's profile


1610 posts in 2554 days

#2 posted 06-18-2012 05:18 AM

All of my machines have been done in the original color. I would however consider changing the color depending on the machine being restored.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View MrUnix's profile


2354 posts in 1291 days

#3 posted 06-18-2012 05:40 AM

I’ve done some as close to as original as possible, and others completely different colors.. depends on the machine and my mood :)


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View mtenterprises's profile


879 posts in 1785 days

#4 posted 06-18-2012 12:43 PM

I just finished redoing an Atlas metal lathe and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I just left it all worn and orignal.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2078 days

#5 posted 06-18-2012 12:59 PM

I paint them a different colour. :)

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View dhazelton's profile


1746 posts in 1389 days

#6 posted 06-18-2012 01:13 PM

My first drill press restore was a Craftsman that was grey, but I did it in a hammered bronze color, mainly because that was a color offering at one point. After that I’ve done most things in light machinery grey. Boring, but I’d rather a shop look uniform than tinker toyish.

View DamnYankee's profile


3283 posts in 1654 days

#7 posted 06-18-2012 02:48 PM

Restore – as in making it like new – same color
Restore – as in taking one from non-functional and making it work with whatever parts are available (a Frankenstein machine if you will) – make it any color you want.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Don W's profile

Don W

16833 posts in 1660 days

#8 posted 06-18-2012 05:06 PM

as my mood strikes. Its your machine, make it your machine.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

85 posts in 1718 days

#9 posted 06-19-2012 12:10 AM

Machines in my shop are never restored to original. I will make it useable and make it look nice. This s why I said I paint it lighter colors. In my shop I am more concern with how the machine operates vs fit and finish, after all it is a production shop and machines get used hard.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 1425 days

#10 posted 06-19-2012 05:35 AM

I have decided to paint my lathe Hammered Black. I have some black primer on it now; waiting for it to dry so I can paint the other side.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


16747 posts in 2768 days

#11 posted 06-19-2012 05:41 AM

repainting machines means John Deere Green and Yellow ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2740 days

#12 posted 06-19-2012 05:42 AM

1) a machine has to be real ugly for me to be motivated to
paint it. I’ve only done it a few times and owned dozens
of machines. I care about function more than appearance.
I guess I don’t qualify as a restorer.

2) light colors like white bounce light around in the shop
which can be beneficial. Dark machines eat light.


View kizerpea's profile


746 posts in 1460 days

#13 posted 06-19-2012 11:38 AM

the bandsaw in my pic is 1896ish nope not the rite color…it was a dull gray…now red an white


View willie's profile


523 posts in 1546 days

#14 posted 06-19-2012 02:56 PM

I paint my tools a color that I like and one that makes them unique. If they ever get stolen it will make them a lot easier to find.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Ironman50's profile


39 posts in 1274 days

#15 posted 06-19-2012 05:52 PM

It’s a good idea! Giving personality to your tools. How come I never thought of that? I might borrow your idea if that’s ok with you.

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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