In my porch I have the original Victorian tiles. The clear vanish is starting to peel off. What can I use to get all the vanish off these tiles without damaging them. Once the vanish is removed what can I use to bring out the colour of the tiles. Some look duller in colour than others and then what can I use to re-vanish the tiles. Any advice on the following would be helpful.
Exterior tiling should not be sealed – if the area is open, sealing the tiles can lead to frost damage as moisture is trapped below the sealed surface.
If the finish is peeling, then it is likely that someone has applied some kind of varnish, or perhaps the “metalised” polishes that were available 20 years or so ago. The best way to remove either of these is with a liquid paintstripper (e.g. Nitromors Craftsmen, in the yellow can). It is best to tackle a small area at a time, using a plastic scourer to avoid any damage to the tiles. Please follow all the safety instructions on the paint stripper can and DO NOT kneel in any paintstripper residue – it can cause chemical burns. Guess how I know that!
This is going to be quite hard work, and several applications may be necessary to remove all the residue. Once it is all removed (or as you finish each session of cleaning), make sure that you remove all paint stripper residues with plenty of clean water. When the whole job is complete, you will then need to give the tiles an intensive clean – use HG Remover or a similar product.
If the porch is enclosed (and frost cannot get at the tiles) you can reseal with a removable water based polish such as HG Golvpolish. If the porch is open, just wash regularly.
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