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Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! #140112
Fri May 08 2009 04:39 PM
Fri May 08 2009 04:39 PM
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Ottawa Ontario, Canada
1970mach Offline OP
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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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Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach] #140114
Fri May 08 2009 05:40 PM
Fri May 08 2009 05:40 PM
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PECONIC BAY, L.I., NY, USA
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: THE AMERICAN GARAGE] #140116
Fri May 08 2009 05:58 PM
Fri May 08 2009 05:58 PM
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Ottawa Ontario, Canada
1970mach Offline OP
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach] #140135
Fri May 08 2009 08:36 PM
Fri May 08 2009 08:36 PM
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dallas, georgia USA
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Rick Berrong Offline
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Maybe a buffer would work????

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Rick Berrong] #140139
Fri May 08 2009 09:29 PM
Fri May 08 2009 09:29 PM
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Decatur, IL
thermactor Offline
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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

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: thermactor] #140147
Sat May 09 2009 03:18 AM
Sat May 09 2009 03:18 AM
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Ottawa Ontario, Canada
1970mach Offline OP
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach] #140157
Sat May 09 2009 05:14 AM
Sat May 09 2009 05:14 AM
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Central Ohio
Wes Maxwell Offline
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Wes Maxwell] #140166
Sat May 09 2009 06:02 AM
Sat May 09 2009 06:02 AM
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Sunbury, PA, USA
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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
___________________________________________________
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Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: lordparaffin] #140176
Sat May 09 2009 07:38 AM
Sat May 09 2009 07:38 AM
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illinois
Lastgas15 Offline
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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.


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Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Lastgas15] #140185
Sat May 09 2009 08:49 AM
Sat May 09 2009 08:49 AM
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Oneida IL USA
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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


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Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: gasoildude] #140315
Sun May 10 2009 04:19 PM
Sun May 10 2009 04:19 PM
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Ottawa Ontario, Canada
1970mach Offline OP
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach] #140323
Sun May 10 2009 04:50 PM
Sun May 10 2009 04:50 PM
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Sunbury, PA, USA
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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.

Last edited by lordparaffin; Sun May 10 2009 04:52 PM.

........Dave
___________________________________________________
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Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: lordparaffin] #140328
Sun May 10 2009 06:29 PM
Sun May 10 2009 06:29 PM
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clio, michigan usa
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r49th Offline
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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.]
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: r49th] #140351
Mon May 11 2009 01:45 AM
Mon May 11 2009 01:45 AM
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Ottawa Ontario, Canada
1970mach Offline OP
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach] #140352
Mon May 11 2009 02:21 AM
Mon May 11 2009 02:21 AM
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North Jersey
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MetroPetro Offline
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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.


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Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: MetroPetro] #140355
Mon May 11 2009 03:45 AM
Mon May 11 2009 03:45 AM
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Mass
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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!"
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: KZ1000] #140358
Mon May 11 2009 04:43 AM
Mon May 11 2009 04:43 AM
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Midwest
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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.

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Garage-A-GoGo] #140367
Mon May 11 2009 06:48 AM
Mon May 11 2009 06:48 AM
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Baltimore, MD
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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.

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: chrisbowers] #140385
Mon May 11 2009 04:20 PM
Mon May 11 2009 04:20 PM
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Ottawa Ontario, Canada
1970mach Offline OP
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach] #140395
Mon May 11 2009 07:01 PM
Mon May 11 2009 07:01 PM
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Belvidere,IL 61008
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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

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Hud Oil] #140458
Tue May 12 2009 05:33 PM
Tue May 12 2009 05:33 PM
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Ottawa Ontario, Canada
1970mach Offline OP
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach] #140478
Tue May 12 2009 07:17 PM
Tue May 12 2009 07:17 PM
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PECONIC BAY, L.I., NY, USA
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LET'S NOT FORGET THAT OTHER WONDERFUL PRODUCT MENTIONED ON SIMILAR SUBJECTS BEFORE....


"HOWARD'S FEED & WAX."


DOC @ THE AMERICAN GARAGE
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Hud Oil] #140479
Tue May 12 2009 07:18 PM
Tue May 12 2009 07:18 PM
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7 miles from Texas in Louisian...
texaspelican Offline
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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
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Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: texaspelican] #140488
Tue May 12 2009 09:38 PM
Tue May 12 2009 09:38 PM
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Colorado Springs, CO
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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
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Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Hemibird] #140494
Wed May 13 2009 02:40 AM
Wed May 13 2009 02:40 AM
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Sunbury, PA, USA
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: lordparaffin] #140544
Wed May 13 2009 12:51 PM
Wed May 13 2009 12:51 PM
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Central Ohio
Wes Maxwell Offline
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: gasoildude] #140556
Wed May 13 2009 03:45 PM
Wed May 13 2009 03:45 PM
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Ogden, UT
Utahsignguy Offline
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Be careful with Bar Keepers Friend. I used it on some pump faces and it etched the gloss right off of them.

Dave

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Utahsignguy] #140566
Wed May 13 2009 05:10 PM
Wed May 13 2009 05:10 PM
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Santa Paula, Calif
Dick Bennett Offline
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Before trying anything on a porcelain sign, test it on plain glass. IF it etches the glass, it will etch your sign.

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Dick Bennett] #140572
Wed May 13 2009 05:28 PM
Wed May 13 2009 05:28 PM
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PECONIC BAY, L.I., NY, USA
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I ALWAYS SAID THAT SOFT SCRUB W/BLEACH WAS BETTER THAN BKF! YOU JUST HAVE TO BE PATIENT WITH IT.


DOC @ THE AMERICAN GARAGE
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Dick Bennett] #140573
Wed May 13 2009 05:36 PM
Wed May 13 2009 05:36 PM
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1970mach Offline OP
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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
Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: MetroPetro] #410301
Wed Apr 17 2013 04:31 PM
Wed Apr 17 2013 04:31 PM
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Kansas
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57CameoGuy Offline
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Unlike similar abrasive cleaning products, such as Comet and Ajax, Bar Keepers Friend uses oxalic acid as its active ingredient.

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 57CameoGuy] #410326
Wed Apr 17 2013 05:59 PM
Wed Apr 17 2013 05:59 PM
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Georgia
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Dr Dave Offline
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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.

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: Dr Dave] #410328
Wed Apr 17 2013 06:10 PM
Wed Apr 17 2013 06:10 PM
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Cincinnati
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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.


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Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: 1970mach] #410659
Fri Apr 19 2013 10:42 AM
Fri Apr 19 2013 10:42 AM
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PA
cormy Offline
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Wise man Once Say: Once gloss is lost..it's lost...

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: texaspelican] #410687
Fri Apr 19 2013 02:52 PM
Fri Apr 19 2013 02:52 PM
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Saline, Mi USA
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blacktee Offline
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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...

Re: Porcelain Sign Cleaning Nightmare..HELP!!! [Re: blacktee] #410691
Fri Apr 19 2013 03:18 PM
Fri Apr 19 2013 03:18 PM
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Georgia
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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.


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