Question: What are alternatives to painting press?


I recently purchased an intact Kelsey Excelsior, 6x10, Model A (rust bubble in the area). My press lived in a shed and/or garage near the beach for over 5 years.

I followed the instructions from an earlier discussion to remove the rust. (Minus the trip to the car wash.) I started small…chase, chase bed, platen screws, roller hooks and springs, grippers, and other easy to remove small parts. I’m amazed at how well the rust dissolved. I’m terrified by how much paint came off. I’m going to move forward with soaking the entire press to remove the rust. Gotta face my fears!

Will I need to paint my press, if the majority of the paint comes off? What are alternatives to painting my press?

I never planned to paint my press, but I’ll do what it takes to properly restore it. Any and all advise appreciated.


image: Oiled press and rust

Oiled press and rust

image: After soaking

After soaking

Log in to reply   6 replies so far

The alternatives to painting it are:
Not paint it
Wax it.
You paint the press for the same reasons you paint your house.
Either to make it attractive or to preserve what is underneath the paint.

As You imply You are down to base metal perhaps the following may help.

For several decades now, (U.K.) we have used nothing but *U Pol* acid etch primer as the base coat/primer and then conventional Coach Enamel - ends up almost hard enough to bounce hammers off and comes close to factory finish, which was probably baked on, in the past,
traditional Aerosol (style) Auto spray (cans) almost unlimited choice of colours, for some strange unclear reason (author) tend to use British Racing Green, our restored working, Cropper Minerva Platen was/is B.R.G.

*U Pol* as its name implies, literally etches into the surface of the material and gives a perfect Key, far better than the original Red Lead/Red oxide primers, and being aerosol propelled & with care and the ability to turn the machine every which way, when spraying, can go everywhere, including the underside of the base.! !

One little gimmick/trick, whether Spraying or Hand painting, all oil holes/oiling points, roller tracks etc., etc., plugged or taped over when coating/painting.

One extra tip, just before pressing the machine into service (maiden voyage) if possible, mix a little Copper Slip grease, with 50/50 light oil, 30 W. and oil/lubricate everywhere possible, for the first few impressions watch the mixture leech out and bring the remnants of rubbish with it. - - Good Luck.


Thanks for the info!

Wax is probably the fix for my situation. I’ll start researching a wax to use. I’m guessing I shouldn’t use Turtle Wax.

Mick Hopper,

Thanks for the info and well wishes!

I’m definitely going to follow your advice and use the oil recipe for my maiden voyage.

I watched a couple videos of U Pol in action…amazing stuff. I’ve decided to leave the paint for the professionals. It would annoy me forever to see lint or dust trapped in the paint/primer.

Inky suggested wax, so I’m going to figure that option out.

Khristy P. Thank You for the *nod* it was only from a U.K. perspective although based on a long time and many experiments.
Corroborating Inky,s post, Yes Wax is a good option, but as You imply NOT Turtle Wax, usually - Finnegans or Hammerite - WAXOYL (proper spelling)

Perhaps look them both up on the Web the Spiel is generally quite accurate, We used the standard Waxoyl and the Black Tar based option (Finnegans)
A. Pumped into the chassis members of our classic cars (autos) &
B. Painted on all of the outer surfaces of the Chassis rails, mostly on (authors case) MK. II. FORD Zodiacs = U.S. Dearborn Inspired, but U.K. built of course with the obligatory U.S. 8 Track sound system. Mick U.K.

Whilst I do recall that a lot of presses were some sort of green,
not to bright as B.R.G. , more like British Railways Diesel rolling stock Brunswick Green. Albions on the other hand definitely had a black coating called Bitumen Black, the pigment of which was a sort of brownish powderf before mixing and applying a good thick layer which dried black and lasted .. oh .. maybe a hundred years. Mine certainly was like that. .