Tips for restoring antique barber chairs include using bathroom cleaner to clean porcelain chairs, using porcelain repair kits to fix chips and cracks and removing rust using aluminium foil and water. Some replacement antique barber chair parts may be expensive or difficult to find.
Porcelain barber chairs are typically made with porcelain over cast iron. The pump tower and seat base are the main areas where cast iron is used. Porcelain used on vintage barber chairs is usually durable and can easily be cleaned using a bathroom cleaner such as DOW or 409.
Antique chairs may have rust stains, especially around metal attachments. These stains can be removed using a scouring pad and products such as Barkeepers Friend, LimeAway and CLR.
Small chips and cracks on the porcelain can be fixed using porcelain repair kits found at most home improvement stores. Allow the compound to dry and harden and wet-sand the area before buffing. Larger areas may require professional assistance because the job needs expert skill to blend the repair seamlessly.
Most vintage barber chairs made of metal use cast iron covered with chrome or nickel. Rubbing a small, wet square of aluminium foil over small areas of rust is a good way to clean the chrome.
Lastly, although expensive, professionally re-chroming vintage barber chairs is the best way to get a good finish.