Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ??

Posted by: Philip

Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Mon Dec 25 2006 11:46 PM

Does anyone have any ideas on cleaning large amounts of dried concrete off a porcelain sign? What are the odds of success without damaging the porcelain underneath?

I personally don't think it can be done, but I've been wrong before. Maybe someone out there has ran onto this and has some insight.

Thanks!!
Posted by: THE AMERICAN GARAGE

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Tue Dec 26 2006 07:01 AM

DEPENDS ON THE CONDITIONS OF THE SIGN. IS IT IN A FRAME OR NOT? IF NOT, I WOULD TRY TO FLEX THE SIGN AS MUCH AS I CAN TO SEE HOW MUCH WOULD FALL OFF ON IT'S OWN. ON OCASSION, I HAVE USED A WELL SHARPENED PUTTY KNIFE AND GETTING BEHIND AND UNDER THE CEMENT LAYING ON THE SIGN AND EITHER SCRAPING OR FLICKING PIECES OF THE CEMENT OFF. THERE MIGHT EVEN BE A LIQUID PRODUCT THAT WOULD BREAK DOWN AND LOOSEN CONCRETE....QUESTION IS, WHAT WOULD IT DO TO THE SURFACE OF THE SIGN? DO YOU HAVE A PICTURE OF THE SIGN IN QUESTION?
IF YOU NEED HELP POSTING IT, SEND IT TO ME IN AN EMAIL.

GOOD LUCK!!

~DOC
Posted by: Mac

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Tue Dec 26 2006 08:39 AM

Not sure about its affect on porcelain, but I know that many car detailers struggle to get concrete off of vehicles' exterior paint surfaces. Many use Muratic Acid, but I know that you have to be very careful not to get it on your skin, in your eyes, or breath the stuff. I'm not sure if it would damage porcelain, but I imagine it would work as you can use it (carefully) on a car's painted surface.

Good luck.

Mac
Posted by: JimT

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Tue Dec 26 2006 08:53 AM

Phil-
My father was a bricklayer and I've been a cement mason for over thirty years. Occasionally we have to clean splashes or smudges off various surfaces. The thing you have going in your favor is that porcelain is'nt very porous.But it is brittle so dont flex it to much or cracko!You'll probablly want to try to break down the cements bond to the sand particals and surface with some muriatic acid. You maybe can get a gallon of it at home cheapo or lowes. For sure at a builders supply(masonary). They will tell you to start off with like 10to1 mixture. I'm much to impatient for that.Mix it so when you wipe or brush it on the porcelain it doesnt bubble--Try on the back first probablly about 4or5 to 1.Make sure your not etching(taking the gloss off) if not wipe it on the cement. It should bubble a bit-dont breathe the fumes-try not to get on your skin definatly not in your eyes LOL. dont let it sit in puddles on the porcelain-maybe stand it up.repeat untill it corrodes or disolves and comes off rinse it good and then wipe lemon juice on it to neutralize the reaction on the exposed metal or it will rust like crazy. Good luck-I'd like to see before and after pictures. Jim
Posted by: Philip

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Tue Dec 26 2006 09:49 AM

Thanks guys! I don't actually own the sign yet. I've been debating whether or not to buy it. It's a large very rare sign.

IS EVERBODY SITTING DOWN??
It's a 6FT Frontier Keyhole sign (orange background version)

It makes me sick even to look at it with the concrete all over it!

If I do buy the sign it will be a while before I'll actually have it home. I'll post pics when and if I get it home.

Thanks again for the ideas!

[This message has been edited by Philip (edited 12-26-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Philip (edited 12-26-2006).]
Posted by: dodogas

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Tue Dec 26 2006 10:00 AM

The good part is it will be cheaper because of the cement!!

Unless the guy is reading this forum..

90 % sure it will clean up rather quickly..
Posted by: Philip

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Tue Dec 26 2006 10:25 AM

I knew that's a chance I'd be taking with posting this here. I wanted other opinions before I purchased it. I knew everyone would want to know what kind of sign, etc. It's only fair to tell the people who are offering their advice and ideas. The way it is now is pretty much worthless to me. I'll just hope for the best.

Philip
Posted by: JimT

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Tue Dec 26 2006 10:50 AM

Phil= is it a big wad,splashes, smudges or what? Smudges and smears will be a bit tougher but if you try to just keep the cement wet it'll dissolve. Like Dodo said I would be pretty optimistic-Jim
Posted by: gasoildude

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Tue Dec 26 2006 11:57 AM

Muratic acid & a plastic puddy knife. You dont want anything hard that will chip or scratch the porcelian. Good luck & keep us posted
Posted by: Dick Bennett

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Tue Dec 26 2006 06:41 PM

Be very careful with the Muratic acid. I ruined about 20 Early TIDEWATER well head signs. Signs had hairline cracks & it ate the White Porcelain off, left the Black lettering alone.

You can also use Baking Soda & water to neutralize the acid.
db
Posted by: blacktee

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Tue Dec 26 2006 06:48 PM

Somebody will have to correct me if I'm wrong. But the cause of crazing to porcelain (hairline cracks) is flexing, bending the porcelain. Have I been told wrong ???

Thanks Doug
Posted by: gulfiend!

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Wed Dec 27 2006 07:32 AM

...I have picked/scraped concrete off of a porcelain Shell sign...it was little spatters...I kept the sign wet and took my time, used a razor blade paint scraper...it took a while, and MANY razor blades, but it didn't hurt the sign...my advice, take your time...if the sign looks to be in good shape and is priced right, go ahead and get it...use acid as a last resort...my $.02...
Posted by: cormy

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Wed Dec 27 2006 09:12 AM

I'm thinking submerge the sign in water for as long as it takes? Will the cement absorb the water and gradually dilute into nothing? Although- they do have cement under water as bridge bases and such Im sure, so maybe not? I have a painted Old Gold sign with cement splatters always wanted to remove it.
Posted by: dodogas

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Wed Dec 27 2006 11:28 AM

LMAO at the thought of trying to flex a 6 ft sign...maybe Jim Carey could do that!!


I would stay away from the flexing. You could try a harwood homemade scraper or chisel, wet it and start carefully knocking it off..
Posted by: djhubba

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Wed Dec 27 2006 12:32 PM

I like Dodo's idea. I think above all, "Patience" will be key.

------------------
Hubba: GAS GEEK , OIL FREAK and humble moderator
Posted by: richburris6

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Wed Dec 27 2006 07:48 PM

I am an inspector with NCDOT and field test concrete and other materials. We use vinegar to clean up our test instruments after the cement has dried. They are made of glass and porcelain is essentially a glass product. I have also taken concrete off of large porcelain signs by using a metay putty knife and rubber hammer to loosen the large clumps, being careful to stay off the porcelain. Then working using plastic instruments to get the rest off.
Good Luck Rich B
Posted by: allsho80

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Thu Dec 28 2006 09:48 PM

This might sound funny but, WD40. My dad was a contractor and when concrete would splash upon sideing WD40 would take it right off after it hardened. I also have seen it used to take concrete off many other things. It also stated it in there book they put out on what WD is good for.
Might give it a shot, alot easier on the finnish than acid!!!!
Posted by: gasoildude

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Fri Dec 29 2006 03:36 PM

It will give some shine too lol
Posted by: hotcidr

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Fri Dec 29 2006 05:22 PM

Yo Ho and Happy New Year. Here's my take. Get some commercial porcelain toilet bown cleaner which is actually diluted muratic acid this is wont' hurt you unless you just pore it on yourself. Small brass brush, light strokes and wala you are done. Polish to perfection and good luck.

[This message has been edited by hotcidr (edited 12-29-2006).]
Posted by: Dick Bennett

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Fri Dec 29 2006 08:29 PM

Ray,
Are those TOPS bolted on ? Sure Glad TOKHEIM 36B doors AREN'T locked on !
Hey, what time did you say your leaving for the party ?
db
Posted by: gasgeezer

Re: Cleaning Cement off a Porcelain Sign ?? - Sat Dec 30 2006 10:23 AM

Ray, Looks like the pot a gold is directly under the center of the rainbow in Ca...