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MG TD TF 1500 - Removal of knob patina

Has anyone come up with a technique for removing the brown patina that seems to form on the plastic/bakelite knobs for the panel switches, headlight switch and brake handle? I have tried mothers mag polish to no avail. I have not tried very fine grit sandpaper but I thought I would pick this board's collective brain first. Thanks for any thoughts you guys might have. Art
A. R. Todd

Hi Art

Yep.. Get some plastic polishing rogue and use a table grinder mounted polishing wheel with a light touch. It may not get all it off, but have not found anything that gets it any better.
Bruce Cunha

Thanks Bruce, I suppose That it could also be done with a Dremmel tool with a felt buffing wheel and jewler's rouge. I don't want to take them all off if I don't have to and I think I could get at most of it if I carefully mask the dash off. Art
A. R. Todd

I polished the centre plastic horn/hub of a steering wheel (it was a Morris and the brown plastic) with 0000 steel wool, then put a couple of coats of 100% Tung oil... still looks good after a couple of years?

The best so;ution you will ever find is made by a fellow MG enthusiast, Syd Saperstein, who owns a TC.

Go to the web site of his company Pensbury Manor ( and scroll down to Great Knobs.

This stuff really works.

Mike Francks

Mike, Thanks for the tip! I have a bottle on order. Art
A. R. Todd

I hope you will be as happy with the "Great Knobs" as I have been. I take one of my daughters cheap small paint brushes and put two or three coats on the Bakelite as needed. Brushes on almost like water. The knobs turn out looking very well.
Patrick Earles

Have had good sucess with pipe (smoking) polish and judicious buffing. Paul
Paul Gaynor

I just sprayed the knobs with clear lacquer many years ago and it has held up very well.
Jim Merz

Thanks everyone for your input! I think I'm headed down the right path now. Art
A. R. Todd

I have the plastic rouge from Eastwood. It polishes all types of plastic up to a high luster and authentic color (usually black). Also used it on carb spacers, voltage regulators, etc with beautiful results.

Allen Bachelder


Use of a cotton Polishing Mop preferably mounted on a Pedestal Buffing electric motor gives absolute light pressure control when polishing up items such as instrument knobs.I use the Green coloured Buffing Soap on the Buffing Mop.

The knobs shine will be preserved for another
50 years.Just occasionally wipe over with a
soft cotton material.

Rob Grantham
Rob Grantham

Just an additional note here,if the knob surface is at all imperfect or pitted, before
commencing the buffing process,a light sanding with 800 to 1200 Wet/Dry abrsasive paper is recommended.With TFs,the white lettering can be reinstated after the final
buffing phase using a EEE art brush.

The advantage of the above processes over a top clear coating,is that the surface never chips and that lustre always looks 'right'on
well restored cars.

Cheers for now.
Rob Grantham
Rob Grantham

This thread was discussed between 24/04/2010 and 25/04/2010

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