Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Cleaning / polishing old paint without damaging it

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Cleaning / polishing old paint without damaging it

Old 05-13-23, 08:04 AM
Thread Starter
hph's Avatar
Join Date: May 2023
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Posts: 39

Bikes: 2022 Trek FX2 Disc Viper Red, 1967 Phillips Road Bike w/ S-A 3-speed, a couple parts or flip bikes

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 8 Posts
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?

hph is offline  
Old 05-13-23, 08:31 AM
Senior Member
Mr. 66's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3,332
Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1150 Post(s)
Liked 1,783 Times in 977 Posts

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.
Mr. 66 is offline  
Old 05-13-23, 08:56 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 1,449

Bikes: You had me at rusty and Italian!!

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 573 Post(s)
Liked 1,067 Times in 556 Posts
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.
RustyJames is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.