Olympia Cremina "Restoration"...totally reversible

Equipment doesn't work? Troubleshooting? If you're handy, members can help.

#1: Post by JAH »

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post here on home-barista but have been lurking here for almost a year. I'm a somewhat new owner of a 1984 Cremina. I did all my research on which espresso machine to buy, how to use it, and every possible detail form this forum. I never had to ask a question because EVERYTHING had been asked before and was well answered. So, as a THANK YOU for all the help i thought i would share my unique restoration approach.

I had been on the lookout for totally beater of a cremina and was ready to rebuild one from scratch. I read a ton of build threads, watched the orphan espresso videos (love them!) and then lucked out and found a near MINT Cremina for a good price. All it needed was a descaling, a bottomless portafilter, and miscellaneous cleaning. The only thing not to love is that it was brown; the first cremina i ever saw was red and thats what i always imagined having.

From my previous research I found a lot of people powder coating their machines. Looks amazing, but its not exactly DIY and can cost alot (you get what you pay for). So, i went looking for something else. What worked out in the end was a product made as an alternative to painting your car...3m vinyl car wrap


$16 dollars for a sample of 5ft x1ft, enough to wrap two creminas. the stuff is extremely durable. easy to clean. cheap. easy to apply (take your time). comes in a ton of colors (i went with a matte red). looks great. and is 100% reversible.

BEFORE - Brown

Removed badge with dental floss and removed residue with nail polish remover

Wrap slowly and push out the air bubbles with your fingers. If you mess up, pull it back off and reapply.

The top two corners are the trickiest part as they are the most visible. I used an exacto blade to cut the edges to meet at a 45 degree angle, just like the sheet metal was formed

I also covered the steam wand "button"

And here it is all done! 1.5 hours later. Looks great and very professional. and the best part is if i get tired of the red its easy enough to try something else or bring it back to factory original when i bring it to Antiques Roadshow in 100 years ;-)

Part two i will show you what i came up with for a reversible paint job for the brown frame. fingers crossed



P.S. one of the colors they make is a mirrored chrome. definitely would be good for the backsplash and drip tray. a poor-mans re-chroming. if you apply heat to the decal with a blow dryer it will conform to multidimensional surfaces (they use this for hub caps and sideview mirrors). might work on the group head, lever, etc

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#2: Post by Chert »

NICE result!

How will that material handle the heat of the machine in operation?
LMWDP #198


#3: Post by IMAWriter » replying to Chert »

My question exactly. Also, what if you have to adjust the stat, which is something I did with my cremina about every 3 months, slightly.
Also, and this is of just personal, but I Loved my brown Cremina, a dark coffee color. Less threatening than red! :lol:

Josh, please keep us up to speed as you're pulling shots.
LMWDP #187


#4: Post by Beenbag »

Chert wrote: How will that material handle the heat of the machine in operation?
I cannot speak for the Red vinyl on that nice Cremina, but i have had some "clear" vinyl bookwrap on the top of my Isomac ( to protect the SS cup warmer tray) for nearly a year and there is no sign of it coming off.
On the top it gets hot and a lot of abuse from cups, porta filters, milk jugs, etc.
Best thing is, there is no "glue" left behind when if do remove it !


#5: Post by lesterp »

Excellent idea, looks great.


#6: Post by Grant »

Chert wrote:NICE result!

How will that material handle the heat of the machine in operation?
I agree on the result...beautiful. Has me thinking about my Elektra now :idea:

Considering that material is designed to coat a vehicle, I would assume that is can withstand some pretty intense heat (think vehicle sitting in the mid-day sun etc.) I can put my hand on the side of my espresso machine with no problem (I am not sure about how hot the sides of a cremina gets though). In summer, I can't hold my hand on the hood of my car after it's been in the sun.


#7: Post by JAH »

So far so good. According to the spec sheet its good to go from -65 to +225F.

More details here...
http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebse ... sGCOrrrrQ-

Also, this mod doesn't hinder removing the cover to adjust the PSTAT in anyway.

i'll keep you all posted.


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#8: Post by Eastsideloco »

Dig it. It's just protecting the original finish.