Prepare the surface for a clear finish by wiping with a solvent

Update:17 Apr 2018
Summary:

Prepare the surface for a clear finish by wiping with a […]

Prepare the surface for a clear finish by wiping with a solvent such as denatured alcohol or xylene. Then apply a clear coating, such as Protective Coating. Use a sponge brush, a clear-coat applicator pad, a natural brush or a pad made of lint-free cloth. For coating horizontal pipe rails, a cloth pad might work best. Wear protective gloves, such as ones made of nitrile.

Neutralize the gel formula's acid by rinsing the pipe with a special neutralizing solution or baking soda in water. Follow with a plain-water rinse and dry the pipe with a cotton cloth.

A thick tarnish-remover, such as Copper Cleaning Gel, might be most suitable for your project because the gel formula is designed to stay where you brush it on, rather than drip off. Wait about an hour in warm weather or even longer if it's cold, until the tarnish looks like it is melting. If the gel dries before you see this, re-wet it by brushing it with water. When the tarnish rubs off easily, wipe off the residue with paper towels.

In all likelihood, the surface will still look uneven, with patches of tenacious tarnish. Rub those away and make the surface evenly shiny with superfine or fine steel wool or with a synthetic scrub pad.

A mild acid will remove tarnish from copper, especially if you back it up with a little elbow grease and a scrub pad. Applying a clear finish once the copper is bright goes a long way toward keeping the tarnish from re-forming so quickly.

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