Decal Flaking

Old 03-08-2020, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 18
Default Decal Flaking

I just picked up a Singer 15-91 which appears to be in somewhat decent condition. It is very dusty and dirty, but moves freely. The foot controller, light and I assume motor will need to be rewired. But my concern right now it the decals. I used a soft brush to remove the loose dust and wipe it off lightly with a soft dry cloth. After doing so I noticed that some of the decal on the center of the bed flaked off (I checked my "before" pictures of the machine and the decal was complete). The outline of the decal is there so I think I could touch it up fairly easily. The horizontal surfaces of the machine are very dull, but I tried some ScratchX to a small spot on the back of the machine and it did shine up.

But right now I'm a bit afraid to even touch the machine for fear of causing more damage to the decals. How do you think I should proceed? How to I clean the machine surfaces and not damage the decals? I obviously need to get to protection on the decals, but how so I do so with the dirty surface and such fragile decals? I have read Glen's tutorial on French polishing, but at least parts of the decals on this machine seem pretty fragile. Is there someway to get them clean and stabilize them before trying to protect them with the French polishing them?

Rewiring doesn't faze me, but trying to figure out how to take care of the finish of this machine and not cause anymore damage has me breaking out in a rash. All my other machines just needed a light cleaning and polish. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 03-08-2020, 09:45 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Waterford Michigan
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Tammy it sounds like a challenge for sure. I am not the able to help you but I know there are others here that should be able to help. If it is well cleaned a light varnish or shellac should solve the problem or you may want to see if you can get new decals I know for some models they are available.
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Old 03-14-2020, 04:43 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 18

Ok . . . After the initial panic subsided, I cleaned the machine with sewing machine oil and fortunately there was not much more flaking off of the decals. I've cleaned off the oil with lighter fluid and have started repairing the decals with gold paint. It is a slow pain staking process, but I am really encouraged by the results thus far. I am taking it slow and just working on little bits at a time, I want to make sure I get this right. I tested Testors' gold paint and the DecoColor gold paint pen and the DecoColor was the closest match. It is just a tad lighter, but you can only see the difference if you are closer than six inches to the machine, in very bright light. I think the difference might even subside a little after I get some shellac on it. I've found the best way to apply the paint precisely is to use a tooth that I've shaved down to a very tiny point.

It looks like I'll have to try my hand at French polishing, the decals obviously need protection and the finish of the machine is flat. Since I don't have another machine that I could practice on, I thought I would shellac a piece of metal, let it dry a few days and and practice on that. Fortunately, there is so much great information on this forum, I think I can do this. I am reading everything I can, taking it slow, and being very careful.

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