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Ansonia Iron Case Refinish

Savageblunder

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2019-11-05_19-19-28_364.jpg



Hello,

Ansonia iron case clock. Was repainted poorly at some point. Looking for best way to refinish at home. Current plan is paint stripper, sand & 0000 steel wool, prime, 3 coats of satin black spray paint for case. Possible fine sand & polish after paint cures. Has anyone refinished one at home? Case currently disassembled & sitting in stripper. Thanks.

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Bruce Alexander

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If the original finish is destroyed and the Iron is starting to corrode, by all means remove the rust and protect it with a new finish, otherwise clean the original finish, polish and wax it. It's a very hard enamel paint. Much tougher than anything you'll likely apply at home. Treat it like an old car finish.

Look in the Forum that Dave suggested. There are a lot of good threads in the Archives which you'll find to be very informative.
 

Savageblunder

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The original finish was painted over (poorly) by someone who had the clock before I did. I considered trying to remove just the “new” finish to try to keep the original; but figured since it was painted the same exact color - the original finish likely wasn’t great. I couldn’t see someone painting something black that is already black with a decent finish.

Anyway, it’s stripped down to bare metal. No rust or damage. I’m going to prime & paint it with satin black; then maybe wet sand & polish.

the case on this thing likely could withstand a bomb hit.
 

JTD

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Bruce is right when he says the original finish was extremely hard - it's almost like stove enamel. You won't get that original finish with just a couple of coats of satin black, and the original finish was more 'gloss' than 'satin'.

You may have to experiment a little to get the finish you want but it should look good when you're finished.

JTD
 
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Bruce Alexander

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The metal ornamentation looked as though it had been refinished so I'm not surprised that the black finish had been touched up as well.
I've seen these cases refinished with a glossy black powder coating. I think that resembles the original finish (which I believe was baked enamel) fairly well if it isn't too thick. These clock cases will often have "incised" scrolling which is filled with gold paint for nice accents. If the black paint fills the grooves (when present), you'll have a lot of trouble getting the gold accents properly placed and sharply defined. One might decide to strip and start over or just forego the gold accents.

Here's an example, the Ansonia Rosalind which appears elsewhere on the Message Board:

img_2460-copy-jpg.jpg

This is just FYI. Judging from the Catalog illustration you've provided it doesn't look like your Ansonia "Bangor" had any of the incising.

Good luck with your restoration project.

Bruce
 

Savageblunder

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No incising on this one. Stripped the case down to bare metal, which was no easy feat. 1 coat of primer & 2 of satin black. I've used powder coating services before, mainly for aluminum car wheels. I prefer to not do that on projects like this, because I feel like you increase your skills more if you do the whole project yourself start to finish. Powder coating is very durable, but doesnt necessarily provide a low texture finish and is not as easy to correct as paint IME with automotive applications
 

Savageblunder

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Case is ready. New dial. New glass. Polished brass. Left case figurines as I found them & antiqued them a bit with black chalk paint. Very happy how it came out.

Ended up using 1 coat of Rustoleum primer & 2 coats of their satin black. Finish was texturally flat - so didn’t sand paint. Worse part was removing all of original finish. Used a variety of methods.
 
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Savageblunder

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Good job!

Uhralt
Thank you. There is a lot of brass on these old clocks. I’m new to clocks. My preference when working on antiques is to mirror polish pieces that are visible & solid brass or copper (usually).

I guess to some this “ruins” the patina. I’m wondering if this is generally considered passé or a bad move in the clock world; or just preference? I picked up a wood mantle clock & was considering leaving the bezel unpolished.
 

shutterbug

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Do what you like on your own clocks. Some collectors are very fussy about originality, so always ask before doing much on customer's cases.
Your clock looks great. You should be proud of what you accomplished!
 
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gleber

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Great work!

My go to answer is whether it complements the whole clock, and how it will look when finished. I refinished the Bailey & Company Black Marble case and decided I had to do the bezel. It just didn't look right with the case shiny and the dull bezel. I wish I took an in-between photo - Where is Photoshop Bruce when you need him? I have another clock where I left the bezel alone because it had some discoloration. I figured polishing it would only accentuate the problem.

Tom

pre_purchase.jpg primary.jpg
 

Bruce Alexander

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Left case figurines as I found them & antiqued them a bit with black chalk paint
Never heard of black chalk paint before. I agree that your case ornamentation looks much better than you found them.
Nice job and thanks for the tip. I'll have to check out the chalk paints.
 

Savageblunder

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Never heard of black chalk paint before. I agree that your case ornamentation looks much better than you found them.
Nice job and thanks for the tip. I'll have to check out the chalk paints.
They have black chalk paint. I cleaned the gold stuff up on the ornaments and left the gold how I got it (repainted). It was way too bright.

Something I commonly do with stuff like this I want to look a bit aged is get black or brown chalk paint & mix it 50/50 with water. Paint it, then wipe it down. It settles in the details and less on flat surfaces giving an aged look.
 
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Bruce Alexander

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They have black chalk paint. I cleaned the gold stuff up on the ornaments and left the gold how I got it (repainted). It was way too bright.

Something I commonly do with stuff like this I want to look a bit aged is get black or brown chalk paint & mix it 50/50 with water. Paint it, then wipe it down. It settles in the details and less on flat surfaces giving an aged look.
I'm familiar with the technique. You can use it with a variety of paints and waxes. I just hadn't heard of chalk paint before.
Some folks like bright metallic colors on their ornaments, using gold, or imitation gold leaf finishes. Depends on the model and one's preferences.
Again, nice job.
 

lylepete

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When doing cast iron clocks i recommend either duplicolor or vht engine enamel. As it is very durable and designed for use on cast iron. Also its resistant to chemical's. If it holds up to a v8 engine in a car, a clock is easy.
William
 
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ezed55ontime

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I have restored several Iron cases before. Also, I have found that the best method to remove the original enamel finish; if the original is too far gone. Completely disassemble the case. I've had access to a beads blaster (pecan or walnut shells) in an aircraft hangar. The beads blaster works amazingly. You never want to use a traditional sand blast method. Then I used steel wool to the bare iron. Place in an oven at 300 degrees, to remove any moisture in the iron for about half an hour. Steel wool one more time for possible surface rust. Be ready to pack all the iron in cloth. I took my clock case parts to a friends auto body shop. They sprayed the parts, while hanging on trimmed coat hangar wire with their auto primer. After the primer cured, the parts were sprayed with (my selection) Honda Accord Black Enamel Paint. Then, when I took the parts home I let the paint cure, for about three weeks. Still disassembled, I used Meguiar's Deep Crystal Carnubu Auto polish, of several coats. Carefully reassemble the case, and buff for fingerprint smudge with a soft clean tee shirt. The case looks like it had to of been when new. Right from the assembly factory. Never any complaints, all compliments. I tell people that if you saw the clock before, you wouldn't give it a second look. I will be doing this again on a cream white Ansonia iron case soon.
 
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lylepete

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Make sure you have a respirator I'm sure that cream white is lead base. As far as the black I have no idea whats in it. I'm sure your restorations are near perfect. I used to strive for the perfect finish, but not anymore. I go for an original look. I have six ansonias with excellent original finish, and its not so good. I can find dirt, runs and even ripples in it. Now I try to add them to the finish. The other thing I've noticed is it appears the the finish was applied after cases were assembled. Personally I like to do one piece at a time. Anyone have a good way to do the faux mardle sections?
William
 

JTD

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I'm sure that cream white is lead base
I doubt it. Lead in paint has been prohibited in USA and many European countries for many years. Or are you talking about very old paint?

JTD
 

lylepete

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I was refering to the previous thread with restoring a white ansonia. If it original white the its lead white esp if its creamy white.
 

Sax6M

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I just picked up an Ansonia that has been poorly repainted. I had to pry the back plate off, and the door was painted black. Your project is exactly what I have in mind to do to this piece.
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lylepete

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Thats an easy one just remember to get a good replacement dial. My pet peeve is a bad replacement dial. I can deal with a poor original but not a replacement.
William
 
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