Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures
Cleaning And Painting Cast Iron Lamps
National Capitol Region Specifications
Cleaning And Painting Cast Iron Lamps
CLEANING AND PAINTING CAST IRON LAMPS
CAUTION: MECHANICAL/ABRASIVE METHODS OF CLEANING MAY DAMAGE
HISTORIC FABRIC. THIS METHOD OF CLEANING SHOULD BE PERFORMED ONLY
BY AN EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL AND ONLY UPON APPROVAL FROM THE
REGIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICER.
THE CLEANING OR STRIPPING OF METALS MAY INVOLVE THE USE OF
ABRASIVES, LIQUIDS OR SOLVENTS WHICH MAY SPLASH OR RUN OFF ONTO
ADJACENT MATERIALS. TAKE SPECIAL CARE TO PROTECT ALL ADJACENT
MATERIALS, AND DO NOT USE THIS PROCEDURE ON METALS OTHER THAN
THOSE SPECIFIED IN THE SUMMARY.
BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY PROJECT INVOLVING PAINT REMOVAL, APPLICABLE
STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS ON LEAD PAINT ABATEMENT AND DISPOSAL MUST
BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT AND CAREFULLY FOLLOWED. STATE AND FEDERAL
REQUIREMENTS MAY AFFECT OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO OWNERS ON BOTH PAINT
REMOVAL AND REPAINTING. THESE LAWS, AS WELL AS ANY REQUIREMENTS
PROHIBITING VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCs), SHOULD BE REQUESTED
FROM THE STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICER IN EACH STATE. (From
Preservation Brief 28, "Painting Historic Interiors".) REGULATORY INFORMATION MAY
ALSO BE REQUESTED FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
REGIONAL OFFICE AND/OR THE STATE OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY.
A. This procedure includes guidance on filling open cracks,
cleaning and painting iron lamp standards.
B. For information on inspecting for cast-iron failures, see
05010-01-S. For general information on the
characteristics, uses and problems associated with cast-
iron, see 04720-01-S.
C. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines
cover the following sections:
1. Safety Precautions
2. Historic Structures Precautions
4. Quality Assurance
5. Delivery, Storage and Handling
6. Project/Site Conditions
7. Sequencing and Scheduling
8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
Preservation Officer (RHPO).
A. Steel Structures Painting Council (SSPC), 4400 Fifth
Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
1.03 PROJECT/SITE CONDITIONS
A. Environmental Requirements: Do not apply finish material
when temperature is below 50 F. and falling. Do not
apply paint on surfaces in direct sunlight. Do not apply
finishes in spaces where dust is being generated, which
would speck the finish.
A. Benjamin Moore, Co.
51 Chestnut Ridge Road
Montvale, NJ 07645
B. The Sherwin Williams Co.
101 Prospect Ave. N.W.
Cleveland, OH 44101
C. Martin Senour
D. Devcon Corporation
30 Endicott Street
Danvers, MA 01923
NOTE: Chemical products are sometimes sold under a common
name. This usually means that the substance is not as pure as
the same chemical sold under its chemical name. The grade of
purity of common name substances, however, is usually adequate
for stain removal work, and these products should be purchased
when available, as they tend to be less expensive. Common
names are indicated below by an asterisk (*).
A. Mineral spirits:
1. A petroleum distillate that is used especially as a
paint or varnish thinner.
2. Other chemical or common names include Benzine* (not
Benzene); Naphtha*; Petroleum spirits*; Solvent
3. Potential Hazards: TOXIC AND FLAMMABLE.
4. Safety Precautions:
a. AVOID REPEATED OR PROLONGED SKIN CONTACT.
b. ALWAYS wear rubber gloves when handling
c. If any chemical is splashed onto the skin,
wash immediately with soap and water.
5. Available from construction specialties
distributor, hardware store, paint store, or
printer's supply distributor.
C. Emery paper
D. Flint sandpaper
E. Fine steel wool
F. 600 grit aluminum oxide
G. Rust remover solution containing orthophosphoric acid.
Several are available in gel form from retail outlets.
H. Soft rags
I. Clean, potable water
J. Sealant: Polysulfide sealant, color as approved by RHPO.
K. Metal Filler: Steel filled two part epoxy metal filler,
putty grade, such as "Plastic Steel A" (Devcon
Corporation), or approved equal.
L. Paint for Metal Paint and Finish Products, such as those
by Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Martin Senour, or
approved equal. See also 05010-13-S for general
information on the advantages and limitations of various
paint and primer types.
1. Paint products shall be fresh and well ground;
shall not settle readily, cake or thicken in the
container; shall be broken up readily with a paddle
to a smooth consistency; and shall have easy
2. Other painting materials, such as linseed oil,
turpentine, mineral spirits, and miscellaneous
thickeners, shall be the highest quality of an
3. Colors: Primer coats to be clearly different in
color from each other; base coat to be clearly
different from primer or finish coat; finish coat
to be approved by RHPO.
4. Dry Film Thickness: Each coat to be 2 mils.
A. Rubber gloves
B. Eye and skin protection
C. Paint scrappers and putty knives
D. Ball peen hammer
E. Sanding blocks, sanding sponges, sanding wheels
F. Wire brushes
G. Stiff natural bristle brushes
H. Rotary wire wheels
I. Proper, heavy-duty extension cords
J. Air-abrasive cleaning equipment (80-100 psi) for use with
fine grit dry and wet abrasives. Consult RHPO.
K. Water hose
A. Before work is begun on removing the existing paint film
or otherwise preparing the surface all sources of excess
moisture shall be determined and repaired as required.
B. Execute test samples of the cleaning methods specified in
this procedure to determine which method(s) are to be
used. Sample areas shall be selected by the RHPO and
shall include at least one ornamental area and one flat
area, or as necessary to include all surface types likely
to be encountered in this work.
C. Method(s) used in the actual cleaning shall be the one(s)
which provide the necessary level of cleanliness with the
least amount of surface alteration. Final selection of
methods shall be made by the RHPO.
1. Protect adjacent surfaces, including grass, shrubs
and trees with paper, drop cloths and other means.
Items not to be painted which are in contact with
or adjacent to painted surfaces shall be removed or
protected prior to surface preparation and painting
operations. All methods of enclosure and
protection should be approved by the supervisor.
2. Work area shall be sealed to prevent the spread of
dust, debris and water beyond the work site, and to
assist in the collection of contaminants.
3. Provide protection boards to vulnerable decorative
work and maintain for the duration of operations.
4. All waste material shall be collected at the end of
each work day and properly disposed of. It is
considered Hazardous Waste.
5. After each days paint removal work is complete,
area shall be vacuumed with machines equipped with
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters to
insure all lead dust has been removed.
B. Surface Preparation: Determine surfaces to which
painting and finishing are to be applied are even,
smooth, sound, clean, dry and free from defects affecting
proper application. Correct or report defective surfaces
to Contracting Officer.
3.03 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
A. Metal Cleaning, General:
NOTE: REMOVE ONLY AS MUCH PAINT AND RUST EACH DAY AS CAN
BE PRIMED THAT SAME DAY. BARE IRON AND STEEL WILL BEGIN
TO RUST AGAIN WITHIN A MATTER OF HOURS. IT SHOULD NOT BE
ALLOWED TO SIT UNPROTECTED OVERNIGHT.
1. Remove all paint and scale from all surfaces to
2. Dismantle iron lamp standards.
B. Mechanical/Abrasive Rust/Paint Removal: OBTAIN RHPO
APPROVAL BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH WORK.
1. To determine the degree of deterioration and the
level of paint removal required, clear away all
dust and debris followed by rub-down with mineral
2. To remove light rust and flaking, peeling paint:
a. Begin with emery paper or aluminum oxide
b. Use scrapers to get under loose paint and into
c. Use a wire brush, or an electric drill with a
special wire brush or rotary sandpaper whip
attachment if above two methods do not remove
C. Air-abrasive Paint Removal: OBTAIN RHPO APPROVAL BEFORE
PROCEEDING WITH WORK.
NOTE: WHILE AIR ABRASIVE CLEANING (COMMONLY KNOWN AS
SANDBLASTING) IS DESTRUCTIVE FOR SOFTER BUILDING
MATERIALS, IRON, A HARD MATERIAL WITH A NATURAL UNEVEN
SURFACE, WILL NOT BE NOTICEABLY DAMAGED BY ITS CAREFUL
CAUTION: DO NOT USE AIR-ABRASIVE CLEANING METHODS IN THE
FOLLOWING SITUATIONS: 1) ON THIN SECTIONS OR FINE,
INTRICATE DETAILS OF WROUGHT IRON FEATURES. 2) ON ZINC
AND GALVANIZED IRON AND STEEL. 3) ON FEATURES FOR WHICH
THE ORIGINAL SURFACE TEXTURE IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE
DESIGN (AIR-ABRASIVE CLEANING WILL ALTER ORIGINAL SURFACE
TEXTURE AND APPEARANCE). 4) ON STAINLESS STEEL
1. Air pressures at the compressor shall be between 40
psi to 70 psi.
2. Grit size shall be in the range of #10 to #45, i.e.
copper slag. Other abrasives, such as ground
walnut shells, or other abrasive methods such as
glass bead peening, may also be appropriate but
should be performed only under the direction of an
architectural conservator and/or the RHPO.
3. A pencil-point nozzle shall be used to allow more
complete control. Nozzle shall allow for
independent control over air, water and abrasive
and should be held no closer than 12" from the
surface to be cleaned.
4. Flush all surfaces with water to remove all traces
of slurry and spent abrasive. Final rinse shall
contain rust inhibitor with no more than 5000 ppm.
CAUTION: LARGER CONCENTRATIONS OF RUST INHIBITOR
WILL RESULT IN THE DEPOSITION OF SALTS ON THE METAL
SURFACES WHICH WILL CAUSE THE PAINT TO PEEL.
5. Dry surfaces immediately, especially any horizontal
surfaces or water traps which might collect water.
D. Prime as soon as possible after surfaces have been dried
but before rust has a chance to reform. See 05010-13-S
for general information describing paints and primers for
cast-iron. Apply second prime coat after first has dried
completely. Secure approval of surface preparation and
each coat prior to proceeding with the next.
E. Reasssemble cast iron lamp standards. Seal all open
joints between metal elements and metal and masonry with
polyethylene backer rods and polysulfide sealant. Joint
shall be concave with smooth finish.
F. Fill all holes, depressions and cracks with metal filler
and sand to conform with surrounding contours. See
05010-12-R for guidance.
G. Prime and paint all surfaces. Brush apply two finish
coats of paint.
1. Apply material evenly without runs, sags, or other
defects. Work each coat onto the material being
coated at an average rate of coverage recommended.
Cover surfaces complete to provide uniform color
and appearance with a minimum of dry film thickness
of 2 mils. Make edges of paint adjoining other
materials or colors sharp and clean, and without
2. Drying time: Minimum time as recommended. Do not
apply succeeding coats until the undercoat is
3. For guidance see 05010-13-S "Primers and Paints for
Wrought Iron, Cast Iron and Steel", 05010-18-R
"Applying a Sacrificial Coating to Wrought Iron,
Cast Iron and Steel", and 09900-07-S "General
Guidelines for Painting Exterior and Interior
A. Cleanup: Remove all paint where it has spilled or
spattered. Do not drip any paint on stone. No chemical
A. Protect cleaned or final finishes from damage during
building or project cleaning period by use of temporary
protective coverings approved by RHPO. Remove protective
covering at time of Substantial Completion.
END OF SECTION