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Wood sign preservation question..........


yellaheep
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Attention folks that work with wood!  

 

I picked up this groovy old back-board section that used to be on a '56 Ford truck associated with an old Conoco gas station.  (You know, those truck bed side boards used to advertise - this spanned the back connecting the two side boards).  

 

Anyhow, was very well built and the wood was clear coated or shellacked (?) and that coating is peeling.  I want to preserve it's "patina" so, so far I've taken a wet terry cloth towel and gave the surface a rub down to remove dirt and the loose bits of lifting coating.  The painted lettering - some of which is done in reflective paint - was done over the coating so there are areas where the lettering has come off as the coating lifts from the wood.

 

So...... if I were to use a matte finish clear coat product, either brush on or aerosol, would that likely cause some lifting/bubbling of the old coating?  If I were to use a wood restorer product like Kramer's Best Antique Improver  http://www.kramerize.com/   Is that oily product a bad thing to do?  Would that likely cause more lifting of the old coating?  I've used this on old wood that was natural and old wood that had been stained.  It does seem to soften and smooth up the wood surface but it also tends to darken the tone...... not sure what it'd do to this back board.

 

Any ideas - preferred proven ones - on how best to preserve this board?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

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Very cool sign. I like to use satin (or flat) polyurethane spray (on a dry non-humid day) for preservation of surfaces like that. Several light mist coats applied 5-10 minutes apart. It's never caused problems with lifting or bubbling the undersurface for me.

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No oil is going to stop the original clearcoat (probably shellac or varnish) from continuing to peal; probably will make it worse. I'd wipe it down gently with a non-oily soft cloth, then poly it with several light coats to seal and preserve what's left.

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Yeah I have huge hesitations about using an oil based anything on it as it seems to me the oil would just get under the clear/varnish and encourage it to keep lifting.

 

The light coats of poly seems like a better option.  Light coats should keep the moisture of the new from reconstituting the old and creating bubbling or lifting..... I'd imagine.

 

I can keep it as is I suppose.  The pics posted are after I used a damp microfiber cloth and gave it a light scrubbing to knock off a majority of the flaky stuff.  Being that this will be a wall hanger, I just want to give it a surface that can be wiped down without being something that really hangs onto the dust and catches lint/fuzzies from being wiped down later on...... 

 

The painted "Gene's Conoco" part is somewhat offset to the left... I'm hoping I can find a small tin/steel Conoco sign/emblem or maybe a tin Conoco wall thermometer or something with good patina to attach to it there.  Just looks a bit off center.

 

It came with the side panels, those  used to have green plastic letters and some sort of Conoco logo piece nailed to them.  Was thinking of putting those on the bed of the '66 GMC C10 I have.  Unfortunately the stake pockets are smaller and farther apart than the stakes on the panels.... not sure how I'll make it work yet.

 

 

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3 hours ago, yellaheep said:

Yeah I have huge hesitations about using an oil based anything on it as it seems to me the oil would just get under the clear/varnish and encourage it to keep lifting.

 

The light coats of poly seems like a better option.  Light coats should keep the moisture of the new from reconstituting the old and creating bubbling or lifting..... I'd imagine.

 

I can keep it as is I suppose.  The pics posted are after I used a damp microfiber cloth and gave it a light scrubbing to knock off a majority of the flaky stuff.  Being that this will be a wall hanger, I just want to give it a surface that can be wiped down without being something that really hangs onto the dust and catches lint/fuzzies from being wiped down later on...... 

 

The painted "Gene's Conoco" part is somewhat offset to the left... I'm hoping I can find a small tin/steel Conoco sign/emblem or maybe a tin Conoco wall thermometer or something with good patina to attach to it there.  Just looks a bit off center.

 

It came with the side panels, those  used to have green plastic letters and some sort of Conoco logo piece nailed to them.  Was thinking of putting those on the bed of the '66 GMC C10 I have.  Unfortunately the stake pockets are smaller and farther apart than the stakes on the panels.... not sure how I'll make it work yet.

 

 

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This word 'poly' is thrown around in the abstract. 

 

Just curious? One one hand  you say no to oil, on the other hand you say apply poly. What do you think poly is?

 

Tom was close. Two forms of polyurethane, oil-based or waterborne, even the waterborne is going to be 'oil-modified'. However, waterborne is not 'high build', even after several coats you'll have an uneven finish.

Solvent based or oil based products attack the substrate, the chemicals break down or melt the finish they are applied to, this is how poly adheres, just so you know. 

 

 

Just know that whatever you apply.........you can never get back the original finish. 

Any varnish, and some polys, will yellow or amber out on you in a few months, especially in the sun. 

 

 

Clear by the responses here that none of you know what Danish Oil is or have ever used it. 

 

If it were me, I'd hang it on the garage way and enjoy, just the way it is. 

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5 hours ago, yellaheep said:

"Clear by the responses here that none of you know what Danish Oil is or have ever used it. "

 

Well instead of scolding me....... how 'bout you enlighten me?  Hence the reason for this thread.  :wink:

Danish Oil is a very light oil, nothing heavy like a tung oil, actually it's very similar to a rubbing poly. It dries in about an hour, cures out in about 24 hours. 

I'm not trying to sell you on it. The only reason I mentioned it- Danish oil has to be reapplied about once a year to maintain it's finish, it does not last forever. Also,  you don't like it, give it a couple of days and you can poly over it. It's a step that can be taken  before you poly, once you poly........that's it, you're stuck with it. 

As for wood preservation, it's an art that I'm not into, there are waxes, vegetable based products......etc......

 

 

Anything that is auto related, vintage, nostalgic, is very cool, I like it, that said-

These stake bed signs have no real value, yeah, someone might give a couple hundred bucks for it, but, it's not Washington's rocker. You an do whatever you want with it, just know that you have to live with the result. 

 

Like trying to help someone here with an electrical problem.......go round and round.......yet, if I could just get my hands on it I could figure it out in short order. Some things one just intuitively knows once he gets his hands on it. 

 

Below is an outdoor kitchen that I build over the winter, I made the mistake of allowing the homeowner and the contractor determine what finish I applied to the walnut BB top I made. Next week I'm going back to strip down and refinish the top. Live and learn. 

 

Point is, do nothing that cannot be undone. 

After 30 years of this $#!&......like I said, if I had my hands on it, could study it, I'd know what to do. 

 

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1 hour ago, NC Tom said:

You put a Walnut butcher block outdoors?

The day I took it out of the box, it looks better now, wrinkle free. 

I give my customers what they ask for, I warn them, they pay me to do it again, if need be. 

It's covered now. 

I thought I've have time to refinish the top this week, maybe next week. 

 

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I've always been payed to work where others pay big money to be. First half of my life, the beaches, now my view of God's creation. 

The more I do for this guy, the more he has me do, been there a year now, on and off. 

 

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On 6/21/2018 at 10:52 PM, yellaheep said:

I just want to give it a surface that can be wiped down without being something that really hangs onto the dust and catches lint/fuzzies from being wiped down later on......

 

One more thought. Straight-up bees wax may work. Usually, repels dust and is easy, easy to reapply when/if needed. Also water-proofs.

 

 

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On 7/4/2018 at 9:45 AM, NC Tom said:

One more thought. Straight-up bees wax may work. Usually, repels dust and is easy, easy to reapply when/if needed. Also water-proofs.

 

Great stuff for indoor wood, but should have annual reapplication if outside.

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