Posts Tagged ‘esky’

Preserving a Malleys steel Esky

Monday, February 20th, 2012

I love old eskies, especially metal ones with metal lids and handles. I’ve restored an old one before, but it only has a plastic lid, so when I saw an example at the local trash and treasure markets I had to ask the going price.

$15 dollars seemed like a good deal, given the rust was only surface., the seal was good and the insides pretty clean. So I took it home. It even has a built in bottle top opener on the side!

Malleys Esky

Polished up with bees wax

I wanted to keep the old and rusty look but preserve it in some way. A quick internet troll revealed a few approaches. Spray with clear coat seemed a popular option, but somewhat permanent and destructive. Others suggested “Penetrol” to stabilise the rust, then clear coat. Again, a bit final. I liked the idea of oiling, although this needs to be redone, and never really dries.

Malleys Esky

bottle opener!

Some suggested wax as a possibility, with surf board wax even suggested. I thought an experiment in this direction was warranted.

I make my own wood polish from bees wax and mineral turpentine, so I decided to trial some on the esky.

Malleys Esky


First I rubbed the whole thing over with a very fine wet emery paper. This created a cleaner, smoother surface, without really removing anything. I was especially careful over the original decals.

Then started in with the polish. It looked great! A sort of semi shiny, wet look, with the rust going darker, and the existing paint even getting up a bit of a sheen. A bit more buffing and I was done.

Malleys Esky

clean enough for stubbies and techni ice!

Now I just need to test it out. A suitable occasion requiring beer transport and drinking is being researched!

Fun times ahead.