Everything Old Can Be New Again by William Rice

Restaurant Facility Business July/August 2008

Certainly one of the most important concerns a restaurant manager can have is what kind of image his building conveys to the public. Is it clean, bright and shiny? If your facility may be starting to show its age or is just a little less than it was, restoring and maintaining a positive image is easy and inexpensive with clear coat surface rejuvenation. Everyone accepts the psychological value of great "curb appeal" - but, you probably aren't aware of the value behind the concept of "Don't Repaint or Replace...Rejuvenate."

Everything that is exposed to the elements deteriorates from the combination of ravages of sun (ultraviolet radiation degrades the color and gloss), moisture corrosion, temperature extremes, industrial fallout, mildew/algae, salt air (if you are near the coast), airborne pollution, bird droppings (which become like acid etching the surface), and everyday dirt and grime. Whether it is the roof, exterior siding, display signs or vinyl, fiberglass or copper awnings, the dingy appearance sends a message to your customers. All these surfaces ca be restored and given long term protection with reduced maintenance by a quality clear coating. It's easier, quicker and less expensive than repainting or replacing the surface with far less inconvenience to your customers.
How does it work?

Surface Preparation
The process of achieving a great looking finish begins with applying a cleaner-degreaser. This should be brushed on to give the surface the benefit of both chemical (the degreaser) and mechanical (the brushing) cleaning. This removes the oxidation, dirt and any contaminates from the surface so the coating gets good adhesion.

Any areas not to be coating (usually only the glass people see through) are masked off. Once it dries, simply spray on one or two coats of the clear rejuvenator to finish the job. It's really that easy. Any commercial painter will love the ease of application.

A Little Olive Oil
Pigmented surfaces begin to age the day they go up. Pigment molecules that are initially a perfect marble-like sphere begin to dry and degrade to a pebbly golf ball and eventually to a worn tennis ball structure. Anything clear that returns the moisture to pigmented surfaces will "wet out" the pigments, returning their color and restoring their structure to microscopic marbles so light can be reflected as specular

Bob Evans Rejuvenation
Example of wood composite
siding that has been restored on a Bob Evans Farms Restaurant.

gloss. If you want proof of how easy it is to restore color and shine to anything faded, get a bottle of olive oil from your kitchen, and pour a little on a faded surface. Presto, it is instantly restored! And it will stay like that for a day or 2, until the olive evaporates.

You can see from the olive oil demonstration that restoration of color and shine is easy; it's the maintaining a like-new appearance that is more difficult. A well formulated polymer clear coating does that very well, keeping the pigmented surface looking new for years. A coating that has extended wear resins, fortified with organic ultraviolet light absorbers and stabilizers, augmented with the latest UV absorbing inorganic nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will do the job nicely. Nanotechnology is currently a popular buss word and its promise is somewhat over hyped. However, when used properly, the nanoparticle size is so infitismal that it becomes invisible to the eye. And, the IV absorbing qualities of zinc oxide and titanium dioxides have long been well established. There is even an energy saving property as some clear coatings effectively reflect some of the sun's heat energy away from the surface, resulting in a 3% to 5% reduction in air conditioning bills.

Of course, a clear coating will eventually fade away. Nothing last forever. But, when this becomes apparent, it's simply time for another application. Fortunately, this is easy to do. Washing and then spraying the surface again will restore the color and luster while providing

effective weather protection that will keep your property looking it's best for many years.

Facility Facelift
A faded, dull oxidized or even chalky finish of any surface on your facility can be restored or rejuvenated to a like-new color tone with original or better luster. You can deliver a fantastic "cosmetic facelift" to any surface by a clear coat that is very easy to apply. By simply putting a clear coat on the faded surfaces (much like the clear coats used to protect your car's finish), you can instantly restore a vibrant appearance to even the oldest facility that brings back the color and rejuvenates the luster.

Protection From the Elements
The clear coat gives that dull, dingy restaurant a new look and, at the same time, acts to weather protect it. The clear coat should be one that has a "non-stick" surface to shrug off all forms of dirt and contamination so it's a snap to keep clean. Just hitting it with a hose or having it pressure washed periodically will reap real benefits, not only in appearance maintenance but also in extending the protective life of the clear coat. The cleaner the surface is, the longer the clear coating will keep the rejuvenation looking fantastic.

Front view of Bob Evans Farms
Restaurant after its paint color was Restored.

Investigate Before Investing
If course, you should investigate any product before starting a restoration program. Judge the toxicity and required safe handling of the product. Find out how easy it is not only to apply but re-apply when it becomes time. Determine whether the company makes its own or private labels the product from a third party (and will tell you who that company is). Critically evaluate product test reports. Consider how many years the company has been in business. Finally, get a feel for the level of support the company will give your program in deciding which product you should use. All clear coatings are not the same. You must carefully choose which one you use. But, the important point is, with clear coat rejuvenation, you have a quick, first class look that will last a long time, be easy to maintain and at a very inexpensive price.

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