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Rust Removal on a Camo Helmet

Article about: I was lucky enough to acquire this incredibly rare example of an m15 Adrian helmet, hand painted camouflage for the First World War. It is, however, covered in rust. I would like to remove i

  1. #1

    Default Rust Removal on a Camo Helmet

    I was lucky enough to acquire this incredibly rare example of an m15 Adrian helmet, hand painted camouflage for the First World War. It is, however, covered in rust. I would like to remove it so that I can properly display its camouflaged pattern, uninhibited by rust, but, being so exceedingly rare and expensive, I'm cautious and worried I'll damage the camouflage paint. Can anyone with some experience in de-rusting helmets give me some advice? I've heard oxalic acid is the go-to, and I've seen it used to good effect on Adrian helmets before, but I'm unsure of its effects on this paint, being as it was done by hand and not baked on like standard paint was, meaning its likely not on as strong. The rust also appears to be only surface rust. I can't see any pitting, and it rubs off all over your hands when you touch it. Thank you for time and help

    Rust Removal on a Camo Helmet
    Rust Removal on a Camo Helmet
    Rust Removal on a Camo Helmet

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  3. #2

    Default

    It would be extremely foolish to use oxalic acid. If it were mine... and it is a process I have used with great success in the past... I would go over it very gently with very fine wire wool dipped in beeswax polish to lift the surface powdery rust. Be warned that doing something like this carries the risk of ruining the item you are trying to improve, so you have to decide for yourself if you are willing to take that risk. But whatever you do, steer clear of any acid treatment!

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  4. #3

    Default

    First, I'd take a bristle brush and wash it with soap and water gently first, and see what happens.

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