While you may be used to seeing a plethora of neon signs all around you as you drive down the highway, porcelain signs are a bit more unusual and repairing them to a usable and attractive appearance is a bit more challenging. For instance, porcelain signs require a gentle hand when cleaning them, and removing rust is not always the best plan. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a clear understanding of the intricacies associated with salvaging damaged porcelain signs, as discussed below.
Consider Not Removing All of the Rust
Even though your first instinct might be to remove all of the rust on an item and then to paint or otherwise restore its original condition, the truth is that rust often gives the sign character and authenticity. Therefore, many collectors believe that removing the marks of age from a porcelain sign can render the item virtually worthless.
That means that, before you use a pumice stone to remove the rust, it is a good idea to speak with an expert about the wisdom of doing so. If the damage is overwhelming, there might not be much of a choice about removing at least some of the rust. However, since rust indicates age and age will often contribute to being able to verify the authenticity of the unit, it only makes sense that you should proceed carefully.
Clean the Porcelain Sign Very Gently
It is important to note that many of the porcelain signs now available are fragile and can easily become damaged. As a result, it is crucial to take the appropriate steps for cleaning them. Use only the amount of water you need to clean the area and never place the sign under running water, as that force could result in the flaking of paint or the exacerbation of damage that is already present. In addition, use a soft, clean rag. Make sure you do not press down on the sign any more than is necessary and pat it to dry.
A spray bottle can provide the amount of water needed for this project. The alkaline, slightly abrasive properties of baking soda in that water can help you to clean the sign and another spray bottle with clean water can be used to rinse the item. If there are any water spots on the sign that you hope to brighten up, you can use a solution of half bleach and half water to restore the lighter images.
In conclusion, porcelain signs were used for many years and have recently developed quite a fan base in some areas. If you are fascinated by or have acquired one or more porcelain signs, you should talk to a professional sign repair company like Apogee Signs for advice prior to attempting any cleaning or repair of the units in question.