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What do I use to finish a tin mirror frame from Mexico?

January 7, 2009

Hi, I have a tin mirror frame from mexico. (It is tin with holes punched in it to form designs. Many examples of this typical kind of Mexican craft can be found online, if my explanation is too vague. I can send someone a link if they need it.) On the back and the sides there are a few spots of rust. I would like a suggestion of how I can treat the mirror, or seal it, finish it, etc, to make sure that it doesn't rust any further. Please let me know if there are any health concerns about using any of the finishes you might suggest. Thank you for your help. Best, Catherine

Catherine Elton
novice, amateur - Belmont, Massachusetts

January , 2009

Hi, Catherine. Tin doesn't rust; if it's rusted it's not tin. It may be tin plated steel sheet metal. Simplest would be to spray Krylon or similar clear spray on it, assuming it's kept indoors. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 10, 2009

Thanks so much for your response. Before I spray it, is there any need to remove the spots of rust already on it? You cannot see them, so from an aesthetic perspective, it isn't necessary. But I just wondered if from a corrosion perspective, I should get rid of it? Thanks again for all your help; I really appreciate it. Best Regards,

Catherine Elton
- Belmont, Massachusetts

January 11, 2009

You might try an aluminum paint or a zinc-bearing "cold galvanizing" paint for touchup first. It won't exactly match tin, but should be close enough for small spots, and it will deter further rusting.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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