Author Topic: Cleaning Porcelain Signs  (Read 180 times)

Offline Sargeguy

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Cleaning Porcelain Signs
« on: November 07, 2017, 07:08:51 PM »
There is not a lot of information on the cleaning of vitreous enamel/porcelain signs.  Here is a summary of the processes I use.

Start with soap and warm water-Wash with a scrubbing sponge and soap and water to remove dirt and crud.  The sign is made of glass so it is usually pretty difficult to scratch.

Soak sign in distilled water for a few days.  Distilled water is "hungry" and will absorb minerals and loosen deposits for easier cleaning.  Change water and repeat if desired.  I use a tray made from a heavy duty trash bag and a tray designed to fit under rabbit cages.  I put wooden blocks underneath the plastic so the size is as close to the size of the sign as possible.  This will conserve some of the very expensive rust conversion solutions.    I place small magnets on the side of the sign that faces down to create a gap to ensure that it gets the solution on that side as well.

Easy-off oven cleaner (Heavy Duty)-Spray the sign with cleaner and let sit overnight.  Use outside with gloves.  Easy_off attacks carbon-based stains and gunk.  Run the cleaner into the surface with a toothbrush for older signs with cracks or pitting.  Scrub clean with scrubber sponge or steel wool. 

For paint, use Citrus Strip or another paint stripper. 

Scrub sign with a baking powder/water solution.  Use steel wool or a wire brush.  Repeat.

Soak in a rust converter like Metal Rescue or Evapo-Rust up to 48 hours.  Metal Rescue makes a gel that can be applied to larger signs.



« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 09:00:20 PM by Sargeguy »
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Cleaning Porcelain Signs
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2017, 07:10:35 PM »
DO NOT USE:

Ammonia

Cider Vinegar

Muriatic Acid based cleaners

Barkeeper's Friend
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Cleaning Porcelain Signs
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 07:11:55 PM »
Things that I have not had much success with:

CLR

Buffing with car polish

Iron Out cleaner

Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Offline cihensley@aol.com

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Re: Cleaning Porcelain Signs
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 09:47:44 PM »
From your pictures, it seemed to have cleaned-up well.

Chuck

Offline Fabius

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Re: Cleaning Porcelain Signs
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 10:31:09 PM »
I have used Bon Ami with good results
Tom Vaughn
La Porte, Indiana
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Offline wds

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Re: Cleaning Porcelain Signs
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 07:55:10 AM »
yes, it did clean up nicely.  Can I have it back now?
Dave

Offline 19and41

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Re: Cleaning Porcelain Signs
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2017, 02:35:47 PM »
Very nice result, can't deny that!
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Offline Fabius

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Re: Cleaning Porcelain Signs
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 06:41:13 PM »
Yes, nice clean up.
Tom Vaughn
La Porte, Indiana
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Offline WEBellSystemChristian

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Re: Cleaning Porcelain Signs
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2017, 04:42:07 PM »
It does look great! How did you get what looks like bleached blue porcelain back to full color? Was that either glare, or something white on the surface?

yes, it did clean up nicely.  Can I have it back now?

No, it's not yours. However, I live in Wisconsin, so I am able to restore dignity and order by returning it to it's rightful home. The museum of choice for it to be displayed will be my room... ;D
Christian

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Cleaning Porcelain Signs
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2017, 06:14:36 PM »
Thanks, I'm still working on it.  I managed to get some more of the rust off of the bell area.  The bleached out area is from the flash, not damage to the sign.  I will probably let it go eventually since it does not fall within the parameters of my collection. It'll make fairly good trade bait.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409