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Retrobrighting test with pop bumper caps


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I was looking at my assorted brown bumper caps and was wondering if the retro-bright process would work on them. As I had some remaining after replacing them with new in my Dracula, I thought I'd give it a go.  If it does not work or fails spectacularly, no loss as they are likely to sit in a bag for years and then get thrown out..

These are clean, but yellow/brown. As the one on the left is somewhat darker, I will use it as the test subject.

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I put it in a sealed bag with some 40vol (12%) hydrogen peroxide cream and left it in the sun for the day - a warm sunny day. I kneaded it often to ensure no air bubbles remain settled on it which can lead to "marbling". I have a UV exposure unit I will try in the future to be a little more dialed in on exposure times.

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So at the end of the day, a rinse with water and the results:

 

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It is MUCH brighter - but there are some issues with this process. The heat stamped image (skull) was not impacted. The red starburst that is spray painted on has been lightened and is soft - it can be scraped off with a fingernail.

On the underside, the "spot" from the GI bulb is still brown, but I also didn't spend a lot of time with it upside down.

The plastic itself looks fine, no texture change to it. It still sounds the same when tapped as an untreated one so it looks like the plastic was not harmed.

 

I have access to a small vinyl cutter so can cut a stencil and re-spray - that is something I will try later but in no hurry.

 

Summary: It can work, however paint will get damaged and most likely need to be re-done. It may be fine for simple re-work like these caps - or disastrous with something detailed. I hope this is of interest to someone else out there.

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