Good Questions: Cleaning/Whitening ABS Plastic?

Good Questions: Cleaning/Whitening ABS Plastic?

Gregory Han
Nov 3, 2008

An AT reader from Germany sends us this query:
I bought a Steen Ostergaard Cantilever 290 chair a few days ago. The chair is in a great condition, just the white isn't so white anymore. So I'd like to know if there are any (DIY) ways to make the white pop again? -Sascha

Got a good question you'd like answered? Send your queries and a good image or two here and we'll see if the ATLA team or our readers can help you out.

We're so envious you were able to find these vintage Steen Østergaard's chairs...they're absolute stunners. The bad news is that the ABS has likely discoloured due to natural aging via UV light exposure (yeah, even furniture can get a tan), and this change cannot be reversed. Note, please do not try to re-whiten using bleach...this will ruin the material further.

One option is to have the piece painted with a plastic specific spray. You might want to even inquire with a local auto body shop/painting facility and see if they can apply a plastic enamel; but if you insist on a DIY solution, remember to repaint after sanding gently and apply several thin coats to get the best and most even finish. Otherwise, learn to live with your beautiful pieces, stains and all...

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