From Drab to Fab - Putting together a "How-To" Restoration Guide


New member
In an attempt to "do it right," I've been browsing the restoration threads on this forum. In doing so, I thought it'd be prudent to collect all the various bits of knowledge into one single "how-to" guide.

While no single guide can be perfect for everyone or every grill, the idea is to capture ~80% of what most people should consider when taking an old Weber gas grill from drab to fab.

This is the first draft. Please let me know any errors, corrections, or suggestions!

Initial inspection
"Check the frame right where the fire box and upper frame rail meet on the left. Here is where most corrosion starts. It would be good to remove the fire box and clean repaint that part of the frame." - LMichaels

General Cleaning/Degreasing Tips
"Use a wire brush on the firebox to get loose stuff off. Most important is to degrease it. Get some cans of brake cleaning solvent. Spray it down liberally (don't do this on a blacktop driveway or your lawn BTW). Allow it to air dry or blow it dry if you have air. Then paint it. The modern rattle can products are VERY good now. Use a satin or flat on the firebox and lid end caps. Trust me it will not flake off IF YOU DEGREASE. As for the frame here too I'd use a high heat gloss/semi-gloss Rustoleum product on the very top rails that are near the fire box. The rest of it use the newer Rustoleum 2X paint. It is REALLY good. These products don't even require sanding. Knock off and sand smooth anywhere you have flaking paint. Again here too degrease and if you're not sure degrease some more. That is the most important thing you can do. If you're stripping the grill down there is no reason to skip this" - LMichaels

"Just degrease the parts/areas you want to paint with something like this don't worry about the stuff. First you're not going to use it INSIDE the grill or anything food touches so the precautionary statement given elsewhere is over kill. Spray it on liberally letting it basically "flow" off the piece. Either allow the piece to air dry or blow dry it with air if you have it. Once dried the paint you use will adhere very well. It's a very clean evaporating solvent basically. Certainly no worse than the volatile compounds in the paint." - LMichaels

"First I sprayed everything with oven cleaner ,after letting it sit awhile I rinsed and scrubbed. I did this a couple of times. I then used a degreaser and scrubbed a little. I just used a steel brush by hand for the rest. Make sure you use Rustoleum High Heat ULTRA. It gives a high gloss, easy to use and dries quick.
Take your time and good luck." - glen jones

Cleaning out the firebox / Stainless Steel grates
Meguiar's D10801 Super Degreaser - RMcCormick
4 1/2 inch angle grinder, with 4 in cup wire brush - DaveW and others

Firebox interior
4 1/2 inch angle grinder, with 4 in cup wire brush
Clean it up and degrease it all you want, but do not paint the interior. - DIYAlready (external link)
Reddit link:

Firebox exterior
Angle grinder with cup wire brush
Paint with high heat matte spray paint
Paint only the exterior. - DiyAlready (external link)

Lid interior and exterior
Material: Porcelain-coated enamel
Use: super-fine 0000 steel wool, with a degreasing spray like Simple Green - Chris Allingham

Lid edge scratches/chips
"I see in your picture that you have some chips in the porcelain where the end caps cover, this is a common theme as my last two restores both had the same issue.
After you are done cleaning the lid with #0000 steel wool and Simple Green clean the chipped area with mineral spirits or isopropyl alcohol.
Use high heat automotive brake caliper paint and get the closest match you can. I used VHT brand SP731 for my red Weber 700.
I spray a small amount of the paint into a cup and then used a small foam brush to apply to the affected areas. When the end caps are on you will not see your repair but you will not be surprised by rust mark in several years when the porcelain rubbed through to the metal." - Jeff MA

Lid End Caps
Material: Aluminum?
Paint preference: Matte black
Paint only the exterior sides.
"If you do pull the sides off the lid don't sand them too much, they are textured and you do not want them to be too smooth, just scrape off the loose paint and hit 'em with some high heat paint." - Jeff MA

Weber Badge/Emblem
"Remove the emblem from the lid. It may be fastened with nuts or friction clips.
Use a stiff wire brush to remove any flaking paint. Clean the surface with a solvent such as lacquer thinner.
Spray the surface with high-temp gloss or semi-gloss black paint. Allow paint to dry thoroughly
Sand the emblem to remove paint from the raised surface, leaving black paint in the negative space. Place a piece of 100 grit sandpaper on a flat work surface and place the emblem face-down on the sandpaper. Move the emblem in a circular motion to remove paint. Check the emblem frequently. Don’t sand more than necessary to remove paint.
Repeat with 150 grit, 220 grit, 320 grit, and 400 grit sandpaper until a smooth finish has been achieved." - Chris Allingham

semi-gloss black paint - Jeff MA

Control panel with text
Material: porcelain coated steel
Clean with 0000 steel wool and simple green

"Disassemble, lightly lube with high temp synthetic grease, and reassemble
You simply pull the manifold off. On the top of the valves you'll find 2 small Phillips screws. Remove the 2 screws (carefully as very easy to strip) and inside you'll see the stem seats into a cone shaped device. Use a scotch brite and some solvent. Clean and polish the shaft and the upper plate, remove the cone, with solvent wash everything. Put VERY VERY tiny bit of lube on the cone and on the shaft and reassemble. BTW do only one valve at a time to be sure you don't get anything "crossed up". One other thing. Remove the orifice (screwed onto valve) and thoroughly clean it. I have seen grills burn unevenly due to corrosion here. Put it all back together (DO NOT use any sealant on the threads of the orifice BTW). Your grill will operate like the day it was made" - LMichaels

Materials: high temp synthetic grease (I prefer one with molybdenum) - LMichaels

"Go to some place like Advanced Auto Parts and grab a little packet of this it'll have enough in it to do like 40 grills LOL use just the tiniest amount all it takes is a thin film on the valve internals" - LMichaels

Nuts and bolts
Buy a set of stainless steel hardware. from the local hardware store.
Match what you took off.
Put copper? anti-seize on all metal-to-metal threads.

Photo of all Stainless Steel hardware, from Jeff MA's rebuild

Endcap bolts
"I used Stainless 1/4" x 20 5/8" long tapered bolts.
Weber uses splined bolts with those thin "speed nuts" originally.
You can reuse the nuts if you want too." - Jeff MA

Flavorizer bars
Buy from RCPlaneBuyer

Grill Grates
Buy from RCPlaneBuyer

"I tried a couple different ways to get the caps off as I not only took off the wheel caps. but the propane tank gauge rollers as well to paint my 3200.
Either way I did it it left some impressions on the black and white caps. If you go to your local hardware store, (as neither Lowes nor Home Depot stocked these), they probably have a bin full of these. (push nuts)
If not you can purchase Weber #3622 hubcaps." - Jeff MA

Paint recommendations
Rustoleum high heat ULTRA - glen jones
Ultra is the high-gloss. Use it on the frame.
More responses saying to use Ultra
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New member

Inspect for rust
treat for rust
Sand (400+)
paint with high-gloss, high-heat paint

"For the frame, Rustoleum High Heat BBQ paint. We all use it." - Bob Ivey

"The frame is in great condition so I sanded down some light surface rust by the weld joints, shot it with VHT Rust Convertor, sanded with 320 grit, then hit the spots with Etching Primer, lighted sanded with 400 grit, and then used Wax and Grease remover to cleanup. If it ever stop raining here in Mass I will apply several light coats of black paint to the frame." - Jeff MA

"If you sand down the frame, use 400 grit or higher. I made the mistake of doing a light sanding with 100 and that made the job a lot more work than necessary. The sanding was very visible with the high heat gloss paint. I had to sand, paint, sand, paint numerous times to get them out." - MarkMac

Rust treatment
"You can have a look at a company they have chemicals that coat and turn the rust into some other material that becomes very hard. I have used it in automotive applications. They even sell a long hose with a spray nozzle on the end that is 360 degrees. The stuff works.
Don't pound on the bolt BTW or you will shatter the cast aluminum. This happened to me on an old Ducane (back when they were really good not made in China by Weber products). I was trying to center punch a screw and I shattered a bit of the casting.
You could add some metal to reinforce the area and then use a stainless steel carriage bolt. Also use some never seize and you'll never need to worry about it again. Another word of advice. If you remove the burners they slide out to the right they do not "lift" out. You'll see inside on the left side of the fire box 2 screws that appear to hold the burners down. DO NOT REMOVE THESE or attempt to. You'll only open up a hornets nest of issues.
As for the bottom hard to tell. You may be able to salvage it but if you can get a new piece cheap grab it. I would then do rust treatment with those chemicals from Eastwood" - LMichaels

Parts List
Weber - Caster with insert - Part #65936 $12.50 each
Weber - 8" Wheel - Part #63050 $9.50 each
Weber Igniter kit - Part #900 - $12.50
Weber Rocker Switch Bracket - Part #92515 $5
Weber Rocker Switch - Part #92510 $5
Weber Control Knob - Part #78960 $5 each
RCPlaneBuyer SS Flavorizers - replaces Weber #7538 $73
RCPlaneBuyer SS Cook Grates - Replaces Weber #9930 $120
Burner tubes - ???

Picklist - spreadsheet of parts

If Z-Bars need replacing:
"RC Plane Buyer sells the z brackets for the shelves, side shelf and the bottom." - Bobby Segars
Marc - If making your own Z-Bars from aluminum stock, here's a schematic including measurements.

Disassembly instructions

Restoration Threads
JeffMA restoration - very detailed

MarkMac restoration with tips

MarkMac's tips
"Here are a few items I learned along the way. They may already be on the boards somewhere, but figured I'd add the here in no particular order.

- Take pictures of everything before you start. I was constantly going back to pictures to see what was where, or what was even visible when assembled.
- Specifically take a picture of the serial number, model number etc. he first shot of Simply Green blew them right off on mine. No wiping or smearing, they just vanished. Luckily I had already taken a picture of it.
- If your model has the real wood, label piece as you take them off. I did not, and because each piece had slightly different screw holes, when I went to put them back on it was like a jigsaw puzzle. If the hole was too far right, or left, the next piece looked weird.
- The wood handle is different wood than the slats. So when you stain it, the colors will be slightly different and you may have to stain one or the other a second time to try and get them closer.
- If you sand down the frame, use 400 grit or higher. I made the mistake of doing a light sanding with 100 and that made the job a lot more work than necessary. The sanding was very visible with the high heat gloss paint. I had to sand, paint, sand, paint numerous times to get them out.
- I used the advice here to dab loctite Anti-Sieze (I used marine grade good to 2400F) on all the bolts through the FB. However worth noting is that you should wear gloves and be very careful as its a real PITA if you get it on the newly painted/cleaned hood.
- I was anxious to fire it up when I put the burners in. The original burners were in great shape and I cleaned them out, and scrubbed them. However when I turned them on, they were flashing yellow flames, and making an off gurgling sound. I read on the weber site that if you don't have the drip pan and FB in place, the airflow is messed up and this happens. When I put everything together it looks/works great. 600 degrees in no time." - MarkMac

DiyAlready restoration

I take no credit for this information. This is collected from the knowledge shared by each and every one of you on the forum. Your knowledge is much appreciated!
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Shad P

New member
Wow thank you for pulling all this information together! This is a fantastic resource and answered some questions I was ready to ask.

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
I feel a little weird about it. I think you need to make sure you give attribution to the people whose words you copied more or less verbatim.

Jeff MA

Great info all in one post. See my restore was mentioned a couple of times, glad I could be of help!



New member
I feel a little weird about it. I think you need to make sure you give attribution to the people whose words you copied more or less verbatim.
Hi, Dustin. I appreciate the feedback. You're absolutely right.

I've gone back and added quotation marks, and cited each quote with the author who originally wrote them.

Let me know if I've missed any!

Scott P.

TVWBB Super Fan
I actually emailed Rustoleum in regards to using their paint on the inside of a grill. This is the response I received:

Hi Scott,
Thank you for contacting Rust-Oleum Product Support.
Thank you for your interest in our Rust-oleum products. The Specialty High Heat Paint is intended for exterior applications only. It is not a food safe product. If it was painted on the interior of the grill it will smoke and cause fumes to emit which would not be recommended for an area that is exposed to food. We do not have any type of coating that is for the interior of a grill, or fire pit or fire box of a fireplace.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you have any additional questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact us.

Chris Allingham

Staff member
This is a really great resource, I will stick it to the top of the forum. Thanks for doing it, and I encourage people to do more compilations like this. Very helpful! :) :redgenesis1:


TVWBB Olympian
I just used some simple green and #0000 steel wool on a grill top. I was amazed how well it cleared all the dirt and grease, but the top seems to have whitish speckeling all over it...kind of like an oxidation. Also, it seems that the previous owner set some kind of round container on the top and it left rust marks. I am not sure if I can fully get rid of them with the steel wool and simple green. Is there anything else I dare try? What about a coarser steel wool? The looks looks otherwise amazingly good after the simple green and #0000 steel wool.

Pat B in VA

New member
Has anyone scrubbed the firebox interior down to the metal? Can I still paint it with Rustoleum or will it peel?
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Pat B in VA

New member
I'm new to this. How do I go to post #28? Thank you. Also, now that I scrubbed the firebox down to the metal, what are my options. Can I use it or must I buy a new firebox?
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Pat B in VA

New member
Hi Bruce, No it is an used grill I purchased and stripped all the grease out of the firebox down to the bare metal - the fire box and lid. The grill I will purchase a replacement. The outside is like new - did not touch it. I can send you a picture if necessary.