How to clean a tin sign?

Posted by: 57tbirdkid

How to clean a tin sign? - Thu Feb 02 2012 07:32 PM

I am sure many of us have been faced with the challenge of finding a great tin sign that could use a clean up. A great example is the Kelly sign Kevin recently acquired. The before and after was great. I generally have had good results cleaning lightly rusted tin signs with some very fine steel wool and some clean wax. I would like to know the other methods people are using and results they have had. As most tin signs develop small rust spots over time cleaning them without damaging them can be a long process. Any input, pictures, ect would be much appreciated.
Posted by: THE AMERICAN GARAGE

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Thu Feb 02 2012 08:23 PM

I've had some decent luck with cleaners having bleach added but without ammonia.
I have also used WD-40 depending on the situation. Gasoline, Paint thinner (NOT lacquer thinner).

I have never used steel wool on a metal painted sign....not my religion. I usually finish a decently cleaned sign with Macguire's cleaner wax in the dark red bottle.
Posted by: Dick Bennett

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Thu Feb 02 2012 08:43 PM

In case your mom didn't tell you, mixing bleach and ammonia can kill you. The nitty-gritty details of the chemical reaction aren't important, but the end result is a release of toxic fumes capable of anything from a sore throat to unconsciousness and death.
Posted by: THE AMERICAN GARAGE

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Thu Feb 02 2012 08:51 PM

I was saying that I use cleaners having bleach already in them and suggesting at the same time NOT using cleaners with ammonia.

WHERE DOES IT SAY I'M MIXING STRAIGHT BLEACH AND AMMONIA? eek
Posted by: Dave Richey

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Thu Feb 02 2012 09:38 PM

Soapy water, 600 plus grit sandpaper, a whole lotta sanding and no fingerprints left at the end. This particular one took an entire day.
Posted by: Dick Bennett

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Fri Feb 03 2012 12:11 AM

Originally Posted By: doc
..cleaners having bleach added but without ammonia.

NO ONE sells a product using the 2 together. 1 or the other, NEVER together.
Borax & detergent OR Baking Soda & Detergent is easier on your hands/skin & Lungs.

http://chemistry.about.com/lr/dangerous_mixtures/1101540/4/
Posted by: always lookin

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Fri Feb 03 2012 12:59 AM

crazy
Posted by: reinat

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Mon Feb 06 2012 02:40 PM

so how do you claen them
Posted by: always lookin

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Mon Feb 06 2012 06:34 PM

well I tried it for the first time today. I was cleaning the sign in the picture and noticed there was another underneath. This local company changed its name from Sanitary to Sani-Dairy. I think I was screwed from the beginning. It had 1 layer of paint on some areas and up to 4 layers in others. I found it tough to not remove the original lettering, while trying to remove 4 layers of paint. Oh well, good practice sign. Plus the other side still looks like the first picture.
ps, I tried oven cleaner and citris strip. My opinion, they both work the same.
Posted by: THE AMERICAN GARAGE

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Mon Feb 06 2012 06:36 PM

What cleaning liquid(s) did you use?
Posted by: always lookin

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Mon Feb 06 2012 06:37 PM

I tried oven cleaner and citris strip. My opinion, they both work the same. I can see it working if you have 1, 2, or many layers on the whole sign. When you have different layers in many places, it can be tough.
Posted by: TheRoyalCrown

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Mon Feb 06 2012 07:28 PM

I can see why they changed their name. Sanitary ice cream doesn't sound too appetizing.
Posted by: THE AMERICAN GARAGE

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Mon Feb 06 2012 08:06 PM

Don't think i'd be using Citristrip or oven cleaner on a painted sign.

Just use those products on paint "over" porcelain signs.
Posted by: always lookin

Re: How to clean a tin sign? - Mon Feb 06 2012 11:03 PM

some people have luck on painted signs. I dont !! smile