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Repair enamel coated steel tea kettle? (Inside and outside)

Intro / synopsis: Is there a practical way to repair a chipped enamel teapot? If not, is it safe to use with the bare spots?

Q. I recently inherited a stunning kettle (enamel coated steel) that had been dropped at some point. The enamel chipped both inside and out (see pictures). Do I have any hope of repairing this so that I can safely boil water for tea in it?

61496-1d   61496-1c   61496-1b   61496-1a  

I don't particularly care about the aesthetic quality of the repair because the chips are located on the underside of the kettle, and inside it, but I'd really like to be able to use it as a kettle. I'd be grateful for any suggestions!

Meg Woodruff
- Scranton Pennsylvania
November 1, 2022

A. I wouldn't worry about the inside at all. In the worst case there's a small bare spot of raw metal; so what, it won't hurt you.
You can't really fix the outside because the ceramic is much more like melted glass than paint, but you can try appliance touch-up enamel [on eBay or Amazon] to make the chip less obvious, and see how long it holds up against the heat and abrasion ... it'll be better than nothing. Let us know what happens with the touch-up if you go that way.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Q. Thank you for the reassurance! I will definitely try the touch up on the outside. Here's why I'd like to try to do something with the inside: it's continuing to chip. I don't like the idea of the chips ending up in a teacup or whatever's in them leaching into the boiling water. So I was looking into whether there's a product labeled 'food safe enamel repair kit.'

Meg Woodruff
- Scranton Pennsylvania

A. Professional enamelist can fix it but that is not cheap job.
Try to contact Enamelist Society Inc. ( Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Cerovski vrh Croatia

Foodsafe epoxy

on eBay or


(affil links)

A. Hi again. Yes, there are food-safe epoxies that will cover and help to hold together any ongoing chipping. I wouldn't use them on general pots and pans that can get quite hot and that need scrubbing, but if a teapot never runs dry it will never go over boiling temperature (212 °F / 100 °C).

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Mackenzie-Childs Enamel Teapots

on eBay or


(affil links)

? Just curious as to whatever happened w/ your kettle. It looks like a MacKenzie-Childs ⇨
and like all porcelain enamel on stainless steel brands there are problems with the enamel losing color, or rusting or perhaps wearing out. My sense is that once the enamel breaks inside the kettle it's not alright to use unless you indeed get it re-enameled.

tea lover
- ny, ny
December 11, 2023

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A. Hi.
I agree with you in principal that things should only be used for their intended purpose, and that we don't know what a designer was thinking except that s/he was not intending for the tea kettle surface to be used bare.

Nevertheless, in the specific case of an enameled stainless steel teapot, I'm still confident that the underlying stainless steel poses no danger. Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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