Things you can do with a $2 Thermos

I picked up this vintage Thermos because it was complete, intact and ugly…not to mention $2. So it had a bit of rust? It’s at least 40 years old, it’s understandable. It also had a bit of rust INSIDE the sleeve, which was interesting. I attributed that to the crack in the filler foot which would have prevented a complete seal, and let moisture inside. The repair list would be : Derust, sand, repaint, sleeve inside and out, not forgetting the bottom and the rolled edges, fix the cracked plastic foot, and polish the plastic cap.

After disassembly, I submerged the sleeve in a bucket of Evaporust for a day or so, the rust washed off, but the few spots of corrosion had to be sanded smooth. The original paint layer was textured and I wasn’t about to sand the entire thing if I didn’t have to. I reached for Rustoleum’s Hammered texture paint, I’d been looking for a project to use it on, and I am quite pleased with the results.

To make things interesting I added some vinyl decal pinetrees leftover from another project. I will probably add a clear waterproof topcoat when finished to protect the decals from moisture.

The bottom was also a bit rusty, as were the rolled edges. After sanding I hit them with a light layer of Krylon’s Chrome paint, which is delightfully self leveling, so it does give a nice smooth finish. As I discovered with these shiny paints, light coatings are the key to satisfaction.

The filler foot had a crack which prevents it from creating an airtight seal when the top is screwed down tightly. I filled the void with baking soda and dripped Locktite CA superglue over it, and then flipped it over and did the other side. I didn’t bother sanding it smooth, since it wouldn’t be seen and wouldn’t matter.

For the final touch, I sanded the scratches off the top of the cap cup, with 600, 1500 and 2000 grit wet dry sandpaper and then polished it with plastic trim restorer. This Thermos also comes with two OTHER cups under this one, so it’s very fancy.

Overall I am pretty happy with the results. I am running some experiments with clear FlexSeal spray versus my regular choice for a clear top coat of Rustoleum’s triple thick lacquer. I’d like a waterproof topcoat that isn’t too slick, to prevent future dropping.