View Full Version : Restoring spraypaint-damaged IBM XT (and others)

August 25th, 2006, 02:35 PM
All right, if you xref my Warehouse Incoming thread in the collections forum, you'll see exactly what I'm dealing with (some very very very nice stuff), but the gist of this is how to rescue IBM PC/XT cases and monitors from spraypaint (red in this case).

I'll post some pictures if need be. It's just the numbers "401" on the top of each part.

August 25th, 2006, 02:52 PM
I suppose Cif on its own is not powerful enough? :-P

August 25th, 2006, 02:54 PM
It will be hard to get that painting off.
It depends of what these things were made.

Removing painting from plastic case of 5153 would be harder that removing from 5160 case.
If I'am wrong correct me...

Are these paintings big?
You tried basic cleaning stuff like CIF?
I don't tink, that this will help, but it's worth to try.

August 25th, 2006, 04:18 PM
This system just came in today. I haven't had time to try anything out on them yet.

The condition they are in is extremely pristine. I've never seen any computer parts 23 years old that looked this good that weren't bagged the entire time.

The spray painting of "401" was done with quite a flourish, approx. 10" x 5" for the three digits.

I'd never heard of Cif before I came to this forum, and I don't think I've ever seen a bottle of it.

August 25th, 2006, 06:25 PM
For metal, let wd-40 sit on the spot for a bit, and use very fine steel-wool, or scrub brush to remove the paint. I can't gurantee that the steel-wool won't scratch the metal, but it certaintly won't remove the original paint. If it's on plastic, let soft-scrub sit on it for a few, with warm water, and use a bristle scrub brush to brush vigorously for a few minutes. Be careful though, because this techniqe is powerful enough to remove the yellowing from old plastics.

August 25th, 2006, 06:35 PM
None of the plastics on any of these components have yellowed at all. Looking at this stuff is like stepping into a quantum time vortex.

I'll try the WD40 technique on the Tallgrass Technologies tape/hard drive first, it's not as super awesome as the original IBM stuff.

Terry Yager
August 25th, 2006, 06:50 PM
It ain't hard to match-up IBM's beige with a can of spray paint from your local hardware store, if all else fails...


August 25th, 2006, 07:38 PM
Yeah, that was one of the first things that came to mind when I first saw the red numbers of doom...as a last resort I wouldn't mind it too much, but the possibility of getting paint inside the monitor especially would mean I'd have to take the poor thing apart.

Terry Yager
August 25th, 2006, 07:45 PM
By all means, try cleaning the plastic parts first (Mebbe even a light sanding with 600-grit, or finer?). As a last resort, tho...


August 26th, 2006, 01:16 AM
By the way:

Anyone ever seen IBM's plastic yellowed?

August 26th, 2006, 01:38 AM
I wouldn't use anything like steel wool, you want the abasive to be in the cleaning fluid, not the tool. The IBM plastics do not yellow since both the metal case of the computer and the plastic cover of the display are painted. This makes a problem as the paint is thin and easy to remove.

Cif is just a kitchen cream cleaner that has a small amount of bleach, I am sure you can find a similar product in the supermarket! Try using that with a scrubbing brush with stiff plastic bristles.

Whatever you do DO NOT use solvents! They just remove the paint and you'll end up in a mess.

For the metal case, I found a decent car paint scratch remover paste worked well. (scratch remover, NOT something like T-Cut)

Keep up posted! And post us some photos anyway :p

August 26th, 2006, 10:01 AM
if I'm reading correctly, someone painted over the beige metal parts (the plastic too?). A VERY good paint remover is sudsy ammonia, or even strait ammonia. Metal can be left to soak over 1 or better 2 nights, and the paint will come off with a stiff bristle brush (I wouldn't use a wire brush at all). Plastic...don't know. The stuph is kind of caustic so it just might dissolve it partially or otherwise ruin it.
Of course I read the thread quickly and might be way off. Regardless, I can't see you *practically* removing one layer of paint from another. You'd have to remove it all. Then prime the bare metal, and preferably with a splotchy paint gun (take a close look at the finish of one, it's very textured) go to town. Would take some practice/experimentation I guess.

August 26th, 2006, 10:36 AM
I found that the only part that yellows is the plastic tabs in the top of the IBM 5151 monochrome display. For some reason, they don't yellow on the CGA! These tabs are the only parts that are not painted.


August 26th, 2006, 11:48 AM
I don't have them in my 5153 :(.