The interior of the Free Stamp was cleaned by high pressure water blast to remove loose paint, corrosion and dirt. Additional corrosion was removed by hand and power tool cleaning. Crevices and hard-to-reach areas were coated with a penetrating sealant formulated for use on minimally prepared surfaces. All interior surfaces were then sprayed with epoxy primer.
The exterior was also cleaned by high and ultra-high pressure water blast to remove loose paint, corrosion, and delaminating body filler. It was resurfaced where necessary with body filler and sanded to recreate the smooth appearance of lacquered wood. The entire surface was coated with a sandable primer to fill surface pitting, followed by complete sanding. The finish coat was polysiloxane applied in 3-4 coats.
The letters were removed from the face of the stamp to be repainted separately from the main body, and to allow painting of the surfaces covered by the letters. The aluminum letters were primed with industrial wash primer, and top coated with polysiloxane. When the letters were reinstalled, neoprene spacers were used to allow for airflow behind the letters and into the interior. The sculpture was originally designed with this feature to reduce the build-up of high humidity inside the stamp.
Color matches were obtained from Lippincott Inc, original fabricators of the sculpture, and recreated as closely as possible by Sherwin-Williams, industrial coating manufacturers.
The treatment was carried out by Thomarios Inc, of Akron OH and overseen by ICA-Art Conservation.