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How do you clean up old horse shoes to make house decorations?

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  • How do you clean up old horse shoes to make house decorations?

    How do you clean up old horse shoes to make house decorations?

    I just got some old shoes, just removed, from a friends huge warmblood. I want to do a simple shoe over the back doorway of the house and such. But the shoes, even though just off, have lots of black stuff that doesn't come off.

    I don't want to paint the shoes, I want to keep them natural but besides the regular soak and scrub, how can I clean them up a bit/get the black off?

    What is the black, anyway?


  • #2
    Take a wire brush to them to get the black off.
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

    Member: Incredible Invisbles


    • #3
      Just posting as I'm interested in the responses, as well. Have a bunch of shoes from my farrier that my hubby wants to weld into bookends, coat racks, etc. Wondering what works best to get them clean!

      (on an aside, I had a friend who grew up on a ranch and used to talk about submerging old rusty machinery parts in tubs of Taco Bell hot sauce... She said it works as well on that stuff as it works stripping grim off a penny! Just not sure how I'd procure that much sauce - eww...)


      • #4
        You can use anything slightly acidic, such as vinegar or lemon juice. But you will want to seal the shoes with some kind of sealer because they will rust on you.
        Laurie Higgins
        "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."


        • #5
          Originally posted by Twiliath View Post
          You can use anything slightly acidic, such as vinegar or lemon juice. But you will want to seal the shoes with some kind of sealer because they will rust on you.
          Or Coke!


          • #6
            Originally posted by sk_pacer View Post
            Take a wire brush to them to get the black off.
            Or put a wire brush attachment on a bench grinder. Much easier.
            "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
            the best day in ten years,


            • Original Poster

              Great. Thanks all.

              Suggestions on a clear sealant?


              • #8
                Originally posted by mp View Post
                Or put a wire brush attachment on a bench grinder. Much easier.
                I did that and it worked really well. I used to make decorations with old horseshoes gluing dried flowers on and threading a ribbon through the holes to hang up. If you want to hang it, I suggest gluing felt to the back side.
                Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                • #9
                  one word:



                  • #10
                    I have used the standard spray craft sealant from Joann/AC Moore/Michael's on many horseshoes with good results.
                    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


                    • #11
                      If you have a lot of them and can find a welding/machine shop that does sandblasting, it might be worthwhile, depending on what they charge. Just be prepared to put a protective coating on them very quickly because they WILL rust. A light coat of oil will suffice until you get ready to seal them.

                      Incidentally, "sandblasting" often uses other media than sand. Walnut hulls, glass beads, etc.
                      The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                      Winston Churchill


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mp View Post
                        Or put a wire brush attachment on a bench grinder. Much easier.
                        Yes, it is, but not everyone has a bench grinder, much less two, like I have
                        Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                        Member: Incredible Invisbles


                        • #13
                          Like the others above, I use a wire brush to clean up the horse shoes that I sell at craft fairs. I have a bench grinder, but some elbow grease will work just as well. A dremel attachment is handy for gettting in the nail holes and crevices. If you use a bench grinder, be sure to wear gloves and HOLD ON TIGHT. And they will get hot if you use a grinder, so don't burn yourself.

                          After I get them as clean as I want them, I give them a coat of clear, Rustoleum to keep them from rusting again. *Really* old horse shoes (old, hand forged iron shoes) often have a beautiful patina once they are polished with a wire brush.