Posted 10 years ago
This trophy illustrates what can happen to a lacquered silver object over time. Over time, the lacquer on the trophy pictured below, yellowed and degraded, allowing tarnish to form underneath. Since this is a common occurrance, I don't recommend lacquering as a tarnish preventative. I prefer the use of archival micro-crystalline Renaissance wax which won't yellow or crack.
To remove the lacquer, I used Dumond Smart Strip, a 100% biodegradable, water-based paint stripper with no emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This gel-type stripper adheres to the surface to which it is applied. After approximately 18 hours, the still-wet stripper and loosened lacquer were removed with cotton balls. The surface was then rinsed with water.
The third image shows the cleaned trophy and the surface not yet polished. Two major dents were removed and the interior surfaces (which contained no lacquer) were cleaned and hand polished. The resulting surface required light machine polishing to remove all tarnish and micro-etching resulting from the tarnish.
The final image is the trophy with its final finish. The age of the piece is still intact with its patina of minute scratches and "dimples." This is a better outcome than what often emerges from a mass-finishing service which may overpolish silver, removing this valuable patina and possibly damaging the crisp engraving.