HOW TO CLEAN & RESTORE BRONZE PLAQUES
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There are 2 methods of cleaning a bronze plaque - professional and do it yourself.
The best way to clean / restore an older bronze plaque to 'like new' condition is to remove it from where it is mounted and return it to us for a complete refinish. When we receive a bronze plaque for refinishing, it is sandblasted down to the raw metal removing all of the old finish and discoloration. A new background color is then applied followed by a baked on clear coat. For about 25% of the cost of a new plaque, your refinished plaque that will look as good as a brand new plaque.
DISCLAIMER: We do not know what material or alloy your existing plaque may be composed of. We are not responsible for any direct or consequential damages you cause to a plaque or mounting structure if you follow these do - it - yourself instructions.
Over time, unfinished bronze should gain a bluish-green color referred to as a patina. Sometimes, it just ages and looks dirty. If you want to remove this aging and make the bronze plaque look shiny again, here are some suggestions that MAY help.
You will need to evaluate the plaque BEFORE you attempt any cleaning. Does it have a background color or is it all plain metal? If it has a background color, do you want to remove the color or protect it and just polish the raised letters. Is there a clear coat over the plaque that may have failed? If so, this can complicate the cleaning process.
Assuming you are comfortable with proceeding, here are some suggestions.
N.B. - Never, ever use any product that says it 'removes fine scratches'. These products have a fine abrasive in a suspension of cleaning fluid such as ammonia. The abrasive WILL remove any clear coat on the plaque and the ammonia will discolor the metal.
First - try a simple non-acidic cleaner and a rough terry cloth towel or the soft side of a Scotch-Brite pad. Use this on the raised surfaces only and leave the background alone. If it works, the letters will turn shiny again and the background will remain dark yielding a contrast between the background and the letters,
If the above does not yield the desired results, the next step would be to very carefully use the coarse side of the pad - again, on the raised surfaces. Remember, bronze is a very soft metal and the coarse side of the pad could scratch the metal.
The last method is to use a power washer (pressure washer) set on a broad stream. Use this from the furthest distance that produces cleaning.
Any of these Do - It - Yourself methods could cause damage to the plaque. If you use them, you are doing so at your own risk. If you have used them and would care to share, we would love to include before and after pictures, on this web page, of your efforts.
DISCLAIMER: The information presented on these pages is general in nature. It is up to the individual using this information to determine if it is applicable for their specific use. There are numerous variables affecting the applicability of this information for a specific use. We are not responsible for any damages, actual or consequential that arise from the use of this information.
The use of tools may be dangerous. It is up to the individual reading this guidance to determine if they have the ability to accomplish the tasks. Protective gear MUST always be worn and bystanders must not be allowed near the installation site. Drilling cement or other type of walls, chipping boulders or anything else is inherently dangerous.