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Cleaning Signs
#776106 Sun Mar 20 2022 04:54 PM
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I love the before and after pictures when someone cleans up (saves) an old sign. Thanks to the advice gained from people here, I used oven cleaner to remove whitewash on the Atlantic tin sign below. I was amazed at how it took off the whitewash but left the paint below it. Added the frame after cleaning. Also used a recommendation to clean the Gulf sign with muriatic acid. Again I was very happy with how it turned out. Always starting with least aggressive methods first and on a very small spot is good. I was very careful with the chemicals and neutralized them when complete, read product instructions, personal protective equipment etc. So let's see some more before and after pics from others.

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Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776107 Sun Mar 20 2022 05:09 PM
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Is muriatic acid what they clean brick with?

Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776108 Sun Mar 20 2022 05:20 PM
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Yeah, nasty stuff that you don't want to leave on a porcelain sign for too long. It eats the rust staining and would eventually eat the good metal also.

Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776109 Sun Mar 20 2022 05:41 PM
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That's really amazing results! Thanks for posting!

I have a 6 foot porcelain sign that was repurposed on a farm shed years ago so has been painted with house paint on one side (not sure if it's latex or oil-based - probably lead given the age but who knows). Seems like a large area for paint stripper (of course I could do small areas until completely done). However, any suggestions on which brand or type of paint stripper to use? I have some Jasco I've used on smaller stuff but it dries so quickly it's going to be a challenge on this large surface. Has anyone had luck with less toxic citrus stuff for something this size?

Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776110 Sun Mar 20 2022 05:47 PM
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When removing paint on porcelain I use aircraft stripper I get it at my parts house. The only time I personally would use muriatic acid is if there were cement on a porcelain sign. Bar keepers friend works great on rust and I also use fine steel wool with it.

Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776118 Sun Mar 20 2022 07:43 PM
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Thank you!

Re: Cleaning Signs
mcgas #776119 Sun Mar 20 2022 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mcgas
That's really amazing results! Thanks for posting!

I have a 6 foot porcelain sign that was repurposed on a farm shed years ago so has been painted with house paint on one side (not sure if it's latex or oil-based - probably lead given the age but who knows). Seems like a large area for paint stripper (of course I could do small areas until completely done). However, any suggestions on which brand or type of paint stripper to use? I have some Jasco I've used on smaller stuff but it dries so quickly it's going to be a challenge on this large surface. Has anyone had luck with less toxic citrus stuff for something this size?



I used lacquer thinner on this oil cabinet. It took it off a layer at a time. I stopped at the Gulf layer. Sinclair is another layer down. Lol

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Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776129 Mon Mar 21 2022 05:06 AM
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Looks like the cabinet is in great shape. Maybe all of the paint layers protected it for all those years. It will be interesting to see what you uncover.

Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776138 Mon Mar 21 2022 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Mllrtym
Looks like the cabinet is in great shape. Maybe all of the paint layers protected it for all those years. It will be interesting to see what you uncover.


I was surprised at how nice they were ( I got 2). No rust holes any where, A little surface on the inside. One is missing a door. Other than that, they are both complete with trash can and oil pan.

Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776140 Mon Mar 21 2022 09:57 AM
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Got another before and after. Sign was cut and repurposed. If it was still whole , I wouldn't have been able to afford it. Stripped the paint and hung it up.

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Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776145 Mon Mar 21 2022 12:19 PM
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Using Zud….a cleaner like Barkeepers Friend that someone recommended to me.

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Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776146 Mon Mar 21 2022 02:38 PM
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Cool sign, cleaned up the rust stains well. I had used barkeepers on the Gulf sign above but didn't use the fine steel wool that Tankar mentioned. I may have been a little impatient and went to the muriatic acid too soon but it worked. I have had trouble in the past with an orange black and white united states tire porcelain sign using barkeepers. It degraded the finish and removed some of the black lettering. It seems like some porcelain signs can be more delicate than others. So going slow, a small area at a time and with the less aggressive product to start may be the right path on most things.

Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776151 Mon Mar 21 2022 05:30 PM
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Love the white Flash ,great job cleaning it

Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #776244 Thu Mar 24 2022 02:10 PM
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The cleaned signs all look great!! Automotive rubbing compound works great on porcelain also!


Michael F. Moran
Re: Cleaning Signs
Mllrtym #777401 Thu May 05 2022 03:22 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions! Given the cool northwest Spring seemed like a good time to get after this so thought I’d share an update. I ended up using the Citristrip and it worked easy. Two layers of paint but most came off on the first pass with some smaller areas to do twice.

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