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#140112 - Fri May 08 2009 06:39 PM Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!!
1970mach Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jul 01 2008
Loc: Ottawa Ontario, Canada
I recently was able to track down a store that carried Bar Keeper's Friend Porcelain cleaner. I used it with amazing success on a supertest tin sign and an an old Bell Telephone porcelain sign. So, earlier this evening I decided to try it on one of my 8 ft x 2 ft Goodyear tire signs. They were already in nice condition but thought I would clean them with bar keeper's friend and then hit them with Mequires wax. The cleaning went well and I let them dry. They looked excellent and still had their day one shine. I then applied the wax. After applying the wax and attempting to shine it up, the sign has become a very very dull royal blue color, with no lustre at all left on the sign. I tried washing them again with BKF to see if the wax was the issue but I cannot get it back to the original lustre the sign had before began this cleaning.

Has anyone run into this issue before..if so what did you do to remedy the situation. Only thing I can think of is to apply a rubbing comound, experts opinions very welcomed!
_________________________
Colin Latreille
Always looking for Quality Canadian Oil & Gas & Ford Signs

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#140114 - Fri May 08 2009 07:40 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach]
THE AMERICAN GARAGE Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Wed Jun 02 2004
Loc: PECONIC BAY, L.I., NY, USA
IF THIS WAXY FILM YOU SPEAK OF IS ON A PORCELAIN SIGN, THEN JUST USE LACQUER THINNER. THAT SHOULD BREAK DOWN AND REMOVE THE WAX LEFT BEHIND. USE IT LIBERALLY AND LET IT WORK. USE AN OLD COTTON SHEET OR T-SHIRT.
_________________________
DOC @ THE AMERICAN GARAGE

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#140116 - Fri May 08 2009 07:58 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: THE AMERICAN GARAGE]
1970mach Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jul 01 2008
Loc: Ottawa Ontario, Canada
I will try that. Since I wrote this, I tried some spray on paint stripper on a small section but that didn't make any noticeable difference. I will try some thinner this weekend....Thanks Doc.
_________________________
Colin Latreille
Always looking for Quality Canadian Oil & Gas & Ford Signs

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#140135 - Fri May 08 2009 10:36 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach]
Rick Berrong Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Oct 26 2008
Loc: dallas, georgia USA
Maybe a buffer would work????

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#140139 - Fri May 08 2009 11:29 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Rick Berrong]
thermactor Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Wed Apr 27 2005
Loc: Decatur, IL
What kind of wax was it?

If the lacquer thinner does not work, you might try some wax stripper (from an auto parts store) that's normally used to strip the wax off of a car before rewaxing.

Wes

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#140147 - Sat May 09 2009 05:18 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: thermactor]
1970mach Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jul 01 2008
Loc: Ottawa Ontario, Canada
tried a buffer..didn't work. I will get some wax stripper. However I would have thought the paint stripper would have done what wax stripper would do. But I will try any suggestions. Thanks for suggestions
_________________________
Colin Latreille
Always looking for Quality Canadian Oil & Gas & Ford Signs

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#140157 - Sat May 09 2009 07:14 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach]
Wes Maxwell Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Fri Oct 15 2004
Loc: Central Ohio
I have heard that some of the blue porcelain does not hold up to good to the elements or to certain cleaners. When I get a new sign, I hit it with a coat of wax to clean/ polish it up and let it go at that. Some people use all kinds of different cleaners or acid to get off stains. A lot of signs will clean up better with these cleaners but I have heard that sometimes certain blue porcelain will not stand up to the chemicals. Hope yours does.
_________________________
US Air Force Retired, 1981-2007

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#140166 - Sat May 09 2009 08:02 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Wes Maxwell]
lordparaffin Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Mar 23 2004
Loc: Sunbury, PA, USA
Colin, I'm very interested to hear how this works out for you as I will be cleaning a rough Goodyear sign and the last thing it needs is to be helped along. Good luck.
_________________________
........Dave
___________________________________________________
Looking for old, rare, auto light bulb tins

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#140176 - Sat May 09 2009 09:38 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: lordparaffin]
Lastgas15 Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Mar 04 2002
Loc: illinois
Use very fine white polishing compound, not the reddish rubbing compound. Apply the compound, then hit it with your buffer.
Apply paste car wax. Let it dry. Hit it with your buffer and your sign should look good as new.
_________________________
Wanted: Gas pump globes:Sinclair & affiliates, IL companies. Ripple bodies. Anything Sinclair, Stoll, Pierce, 4 Bros.


http://www.lastgas15.com/

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#140185 - Sat May 09 2009 10:49 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Lastgas15]
gasoildude Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Nov 29 2004
Loc: Oneida IL USA
Dish soap will also remove the wax from the sign. It is also the cheapest way to do it. It also works on removing the wax from your cars or trucks smile
_________________________
Wanted Owens Motor Oil & Mobiloil Gargoyle.
Brad Ralston & my website is
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#140315 - Sun May 10 2009 06:19 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: gasoildude]
1970mach Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jul 01 2008
Loc: Ottawa Ontario, Canada
Thanks for all the suggestions but I think Wes, (unfortunately) may be right. I have tried all the suggestions and nothing restores it to the original lustre. I an sure though that if I was to varnish the sign it would make it look much better than it's current state. Is this something that can be done to Porcelain signs? has anyone tried it ? how does it hold up over time?
_________________________
Colin Latreille
Always looking for Quality Canadian Oil & Gas & Ford Signs

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#140323 - Sun May 10 2009 06:50 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach]
lordparaffin Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Mar 23 2004
Loc: Sunbury, PA, USA
I've seen very blonde shellac (orange shellac will tinge the original colors) used but it needs to applied with a sponge like applicator and I would suggest a thin cut. How it's looked upon or how it's longevity is rated, I couldn't answer either one.

Sorry to hear things didn't work out so well.


Edited by lordparaffin (Sun May 10 2009 06:52 PM)
_________________________
........Dave
___________________________________________________
Looking for old, rare, auto light bulb tins

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#140328 - Sun May 10 2009 08:29 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: lordparaffin]
r49th Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Thu Dec 18 2003
Loc: clio, michigan usa
When you applied the Barkeep friend what did you use to apply it with? Sounds like the sign got scuffed by a fine scuff pad or steel wool? If it did that would explain the dull finish. Just a thought.
_________________________
ROD [Mich.]

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#140351 - Mon May 11 2009 03:45 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: r49th]
1970mach Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jul 01 2008
Loc: Ottawa Ontario, Canada
I used the finest steel wool you can get. I had read many posts stating you cannot harm a porcelain finish with this. as I stated I cleaned another sign - a Bell telephone blue flange sign with steel wool and a painted tin supertest sign with BKF and steel wool and it did not scuff the finish of the Bell sign, nor did it scratch the painted tin. I think you are right the steel wool may have contributed to this, but what is different about this porcelain that caused this?
_________________________
Colin Latreille
Always looking for Quality Canadian Oil & Gas & Ford Signs

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#140352 - Mon May 11 2009 04:21 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach]
MetroPetro Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Fri Mar 25 2005
Loc: North Jersey
I would warn anyone against using Barkeepers Friend on porcelain signs. I believe it contains an acid in its ingredients and it says on the label that it may harm old porcelain.
Good luck with your sign Colin, I hope you can bring it back.
_________________________
Looking for photos, etc from 60s era Shell-A-Rama gas station and Pal's Diner, Rt. 17 Mahwah, NJ
& US or state highway signs, shields, route markers

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#140355 - Mon May 11 2009 05:45 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: MetroPetro]
KZ1000 Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Sun Oct 21 2007
Loc: Mass
I do not believe that you damaged the sign, I think it was Clear coated or something else was applied to give it a shine, all you did was take off that coating and brought back the sign to it's original state before being "Repaired". Try spraying it with WD40 and laying it out in the sun for a day, will probably look fresh. Until it is cleaned again. Just my opinion
_________________________
"Remember, history that is forgotten is doomed to repeat itself!"

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#140358 - Mon May 11 2009 06:43 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: KZ1000]
Garage-A-GoGo Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Feb 10 2009
Loc: Midwest
I think KZ1000 is right. I would have a hard time believing any kind of wax would do that. I have used bar-keepers friend on many many signs including quite a few blue porcelain ones without any problems. My "secret" con-coction is mixing Bar-keepers freind with Gel-gloss porcelain polish. Works miricles by removing rust stains and leaving a show shine. Just my opinion
Good luck I know they were very beautiful signs you had.

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#140367 - Mon May 11 2009 08:48 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Garage-A-GoGo]
chrisbowers Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Mon Nov 22 2004
Loc: Baltimore, MD
I too have used BKF on many signs without issue. The key is though to not leave it on for more than a couple minutes or it CAN etch older porcelain. The thing is though, if your sign looked fine after the BKF then looked wierd after the wax, that tells me it wasn't the BKF that did it.

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#140385 - Mon May 11 2009 06:20 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: chrisbowers]
1970mach Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jul 01 2008
Loc: Ottawa Ontario, Canada
Thanks again for all the replies and PM's on this issue. I got home from work and spayed it with WD-40...It is now in the sun for a few hours. I will hit it again in the morning and leave it all day. I will let you all know how it turns out.
_________________________
Colin Latreille
Always looking for Quality Canadian Oil & Gas & Ford Signs

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#140395 - Mon May 11 2009 09:01 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach]
Hud Oil Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Sat Oct 30 2004
Loc: Belvidere,IL 61008
I have found that BKF can do more harm to certain porcelain colors then good, if put on with to much force, will leave the sign with permant fade and the more buffing etc that you do, will make it worse, and the gloss is gone forever, I rarely buy signs that I know have been cleaned with BKF, unless I can see it in person.
Just my thoughts

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#140458 - Tue May 12 2009 07:33 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Hud Oil]
1970mach Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jul 01 2008
Loc: Ottawa Ontario, Canada
Well I have soaked the signs in wd-40 and a 3 in 1 silicone spray for the past 30 hours and much to my satisfaction it has restored the color back to original. While the finish/gloss is not the same as the matching sign, I can at least live with the sign again. This problem has been eating me alive since it happened. I only wish I had taken a BEFORE picture of it prior to bathing it in wd-40. The difference is incredible. Attached is the cleaned and uncleaned sign. The sign on the right is the one that was cleaned. I think I have learned a valuable lesson through this process, that always try cleaning a small area of a sign first before going in guns a blazing! While I still believe BKF is an excellent product I think I will be more carefull in the future...and my next sign to clean is a 5ft Red Indian. I think on this one I will start with Easy Off oven cleaner first! Thanks again to all the people who replied to the post or just sent me PM's to provide me guidance on this one. This is a great site with a tremendous knowledge base....

_________________________
Colin Latreille
Always looking for Quality Canadian Oil & Gas & Ford Signs

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#140478 - Tue May 12 2009 09:17 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach]
THE AMERICAN GARAGE Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Wed Jun 02 2004
Loc: PECONIC BAY, L.I., NY, USA
LET'S NOT FORGET THAT OTHER WONDERFUL PRODUCT MENTIONED ON SIMILAR SUBJECTS BEFORE....


"HOWARD'S FEED & WAX."
_________________________
DOC @ THE AMERICAN GARAGE

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#140479 - Tue May 12 2009 09:18 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Hud Oil]
texaspelican Offline
Showcase Feature Host

Registered: Fri Jan 13 2006
Loc: 7 miles from Texas in Louisian...
your right about barkeepers doing harm to certain colors..thats why I don't use it anymore...I used glass stove top cleaner and extra fine steel wool and have never harmed the colors It will remove the rust stains....come on...what is porcelain? crushed baked glass....
_________________________
Paddy
Wanted. Billups, Ride with Rose, Har-V, LORECO, STANOCOLA, Pan Am (early), Hurricane, Evangeline, Canal, Gulf Coast, oil companies.

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#140488 - Tue May 12 2009 11:38 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: texaspelican]
Hemibird Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Oct 30 2005
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Glad to hear the WD-40 worked. I tried using it a few times on some of the "rougher" Cobalt Blue Powerlube signs I've had over the years without much success. Perhaps I need to try BKF or the Howard's Feed and wax
_________________________
Chuck
smile
Signs Wanted: Sunset, Clipper, Harbor, Indian Motorcycle, Powerlube, Beacon, Michelin, Conoco MM

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#140494 - Wed May 13 2009 04:40 AM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Hemibird]
lordparaffin Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Mar 23 2004
Loc: Sunbury, PA, USA
I'm glad to hear things worked out for the best. That's a great pair of signs.
_________________________
........Dave
___________________________________________________
Looking for old, rare, auto light bulb tins

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#140544 - Wed May 13 2009 02:51 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: lordparaffin]
Wes Maxwell Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Fri Oct 15 2004
Loc: Central Ohio
Colin
I don't want to rain on the parade, but...
I have heard that different people use diferent products to help "restore the shine" on some signs. I have heard of people using clear coat, vegatable oil, WD-40, furniture polish and other like products. In most cases, the "restored gloss" is only temporary. Some people even use it to shine a sign up so it will sell quicker at a show or look better in pictures for eBay. Again, some of the products do not restore the shine, only make it look better for a short while. One way to spot this at a show is a sign may be slippery, a sure sign that the sign may have help looking good. Most of the above mentioned products only give a temporary shine, they do not restore the original gloss. I would be surprised if WD-40 would make a permanent change.

This is another case of buyer beware, as the great shine on a sign may only be temporary.
_________________________
US Air Force Retired, 1981-2007

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#140556 - Wed May 13 2009 05:45 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: gasoildude]
Utahsignguy Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Sun Mar 25 2001
Loc: Ogden, UT
Be careful with Bar Keepers Friend. I used it on some pump faces and it etched the gloss right off of them.

Dave

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#140566 - Wed May 13 2009 07:10 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Utahsignguy]
Dick Bennett Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Wed Oct 25 2000
Loc: Santa Paula, Calif
Before trying anything on a porcelain sign, test it on plain glass. IF it etches the glass, it will etch your sign.

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#140572 - Wed May 13 2009 07:28 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Dick Bennett]
THE AMERICAN GARAGE Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Wed Jun 02 2004
Loc: PECONIC BAY, L.I., NY, USA
I ALWAYS SAID THAT SOFT SCRUB W/BLEACH WAS BETTER THAN BKF! YOU JUST HAVE TO BE PATIENT WITH IT.
_________________________
DOC @ THE AMERICAN GARAGE

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#140573 - Wed May 13 2009 07:36 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Dick Bennett]
1970mach Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Jul 01 2008
Loc: Ottawa Ontario, Canada
Wes, I realize that I will never have the original gloss on the sign as the matching twin has, my main concern was at least getting the colour to match, as it appeared as if the porcelain was etched and the blue became a couple of shades lighter. Using the Wd-40 if nothing else, makes the sign look presentable and good enough to hang in the garage again. I am ok with it being temoprary..I don't mind doing this a couple times a year if thats what it takes. I am happy the colour has returned, but I didn't go around high fiving my wife after claiming success with the WD-40. I wish I had never done this to such a pristine sign...as luck would have it it was the best of the two sign as well!!!!!!!!
_________________________
Colin Latreille
Always looking for Quality Canadian Oil & Gas & Ford Signs

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#410301 - Wed Apr 17 2013 06:31 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: MetroPetro]
57CameoGuy Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Fri Mar 08 2013
Loc: Kansas
Unlike similar abrasive cleaning products, such as Comet and Ajax, Bar Keepers Friend uses oxalic acid as its active ingredient.

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#410326 - Wed Apr 17 2013 07:59 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 57CameoGuy]
Dr Dave Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Thu Jul 28 2011
Loc: Georgia
The WD40 will not make a permanent change in the sign. It is useful to remove oxidation and does leave a nice shine. I have heard of using it with a very fine steel wool to remove rust as well. (I have not done that experiment though.)
I have rubbed down my truck with a microfiber towel and a touch of WD40 then used a clean microfiber towel to buff it out. (I have heard that car detailers use this trick) It does make a great shine, beads water like crazy, but does eventually wear off.

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#410328 - Wed Apr 17 2013 08:10 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Dr Dave]
mcguffeyd1 Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Wed Sep 19 2012
Loc: Cincinnati
WD-40 WILL MAKE DUST STICK LIKE CRAZY!!!!

A auctioneer friend of mine uses it on old tractors and junk to make them sell. But when you get the stuff home it is really dusty. LOL.
_________________________
Quart and Liter can relidding and dent removal services.PM for detail and pricing.
Collecting Mobil and other graphic quart cans.

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#410659 - Fri Apr 19 2013 12:42 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach]
cormy Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Mon Feb 09 2004
Loc: PA
Wise man Once Say: Once gloss is lost..it's lost...

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#410687 - Fri Apr 19 2013 04:52 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: texaspelican]
blacktee Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: Mon Jan 17 2005
Loc: Saline, Mi USA
Originally Posted By: texaspelican
your right about barkeepers doing harm to certain colors..thats why I don't use it anymore...I used glass stove top cleaner and extra fine steel wool and have never harmed the colors It will remove the rust stains....come on...what is porcelain? crushed baked glass....


I thought I was the only one who had a problem with bar keepers. So I never posted on here. I destroyed two Contains Signs and something else by leaving it on the surface for a while, oh it was a red porcelain star. I threw that stuff out. I will never use anything but rubbing polish and wax...

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#410691 - Fri Apr 19 2013 05:18 PM Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: blacktee]
coheley5 Offline
Petro Enthusiast

Registered: Thu Jun 11 2009
Loc: Georgia
I went and looked at a sign at auction and when I touched it I got oil on my hand. found out from the buyer later he keeps putting W-D40 on it because it keeps drying out is not glossy any more. W- D 40 just short term.
_________________________
Remember you are only as good as your help
If you don't make any noise no one will hear you!

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