How to clean my press?

Hi. I just got this metal bookpress. As you can see in the picture, it has some rust in the plates and other areas, and some places retain the original green paint. What is the best way to clean it? Any other comment would be appreciated. Thanks.

image: Bookpress.jpg


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To remove the paint, use a paint remover. To remove the rust, use a rust remover.


Thank you Gerald. Should I remove the paint or just leave it alone? Now for the rust, I guess it’s fine just to use a power tool and try to remove it? I really appreaciate any comment since I’m very new

Hi again.

You can leave the paint or remove it and re-paint it. There may be rust under it as this does not look original. Nice looking copy press by the way. I love the balls.

Don’t use a power tool. Go to your hardware store and ask regarding various paint and rust removers. I’m not sure if Zip-Strip is around anymore (for paint) but Naval Jelly will remove the rust, as will Rust Bomb.


I’d strip it, too. You might even discover some original paint under the green. Some copy presses were pin-striped, too.

I have a similar press with the balls on the handle and another with a wheel. I cleaned rust off them using a vinegar/lemon juice solution which you can find, along with many other suggestions, here on Briarpress by searching “rust removal” or “press cleaning”. After soaking in a tub of the vinegar/lemon solution, I lightly scrubbed with clean-brite sponge and applied rustoleum undercoat, then black. I used gold highlights on one of the presses but left the other plain black. I use one of them for pressing paper sheets (homemade paper) and the other for printing linocuts and embossing. Both are very attractive pieces which attract immediate attention from visitors to my studio. I will post photos in a subsequent post. Good luck.

Here are the photos:

image: press 2.jpg

press 2.jpg

image: press 1.jpg

press 1.jpg

Thank you so much. You are wonderful people! I will clean it just as you suggested.
The pictures of the book presses that you posted are beautiful. I appreciate your help.