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Cleaning / polishing old paint without damaging it

Old 05-13-23, 08:04 AM
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hph
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Cleaning / polishing old paint without damaging it

Hi all,

I have a 67 Phillips with original paint/decals and I'm wondering what tricks you use to polish and clean that without damaging the decals. Any special methods needed, or can you clean/polish them the same as paint?

Thanks
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Old 05-13-23, 08:31 AM
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Do you have any pictures? I would like to see the style of decal. How I deal with a 'waterslide' would be different than a laquer mount, or stickie back. I don't know if you have a clearcoat, that would change care some, not real likely from the period.

Waterslide would probably be the most delicate and want to avoid water if it is not cleared. Laquer mount could get chippy,

There are some products that can draw dirt out, almost like your scrubbing bubbles. That stuff may hurt the colors of the decal if you are not fast or work things to much.
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Old 05-13-23, 08:56 AM
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Just my 2 cents but I have a Rudge that is roughly 80 years old finished in dark green but in some (all) areas there was chalkyness probably caused by some sort science I will never understand. Many of the original decals were visible and I did not want to mess those up.

I started by using a very fine polishing compound in a shoe-shine boy method and very quickly the rag was dark green from some of the paint being removed. FULL STOP! I could see that some of the paint was shining up but also that the base coat was being revealed.

I switched to a paint polish (used before applying wax) and nothing was happening. I went back to the polishing compound using a dab on a microfiber cloth and a small, light circular motion and this seemed best. Some green on the cloth but base coat wasn’t showing through. I went very cautiously over the decals and that worked. The “Made in England” decal was more visible and the Rudge decal on the head tube ✋🏼 cleaned up decently.

I decided to quit on many of the other areas - notably fenders since I could see taking off more paint than I wanted to and the rear Rudge decal was quite aged.

(Searching for photos…)








Probably way more info than necessary but there you go.
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