I bought about a 6' high x 3' wide AC/DELCO metal cabinet today, plus a
horizontal one of about 3' wide and 18" high. Original paint, and nice
AC/DELCO lettering on the fronts of the doors. The sides of the cabinets
are blue, but much more faded than the deep blue of the interior and
interior shelves. The outsides look like they have been out in the weather.
Would simple washing take some of the white streaking off without taking off
too much oxidized paint? Would a coat of clear help stabilize it, and if
so, what type of clear? Lacquer, enamel, polyurethane? I would imagine the
paint to be plain automotive enamel.
They're real cool and I got them for $10 for the pair. Just want to keep
them from going downhill further.
Same steel and same finish as a car fender. Wash, then buff them out
with rubbing compound, wash again, and apply a good coat of paste wax.
Careful on the 90-degree corners- you can buff right through the paint.
If that doesn't make them presentable enough to tolerate, you are
looking at repainting, which means you can probably kiss the lettering
on the front goodbye, unless you can find matching decals or know a sign
painter. I have seen people mask lettering like that and paint around
it, but it is usually pretty obvious.
I just went out and took a wet paper towel and tried a couple of small
areas. On the side, it cleans up the white oxidation acceptably and no blue
comes off, but on the white face, the black lettering comes off onto the
paper towel (I didn't wipe hard, just enough to see what it would do). I
think I'll take the approach of washing the outside with a microfleece cloth
and a light dishwashing detergent, then spraying with clear. I just have to
try different clears to make sure it doesn't react and bubble. Will try
that on inside. Now that I look at these, they are really awesome. Got a
dozen or so old quart cans of oil that are about fifty years old that will
look great atop them, and other garage antiques.
I'm going to try to preserve what's there rather than redoing it. I think
even if it comes up short, it looks better, as a redo looks like a cheap
Chinese new clone.
If they could only talk and tell what they've seen.
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