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Tiki Central Forums Collecting Tiki Tiki Repair and Restoration 101: Coco Joes
Tiki Repair and Restoration 101: Coco Joes
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 447
From: Dayton, Ohio
Posted: 2004-08-08 9:38 pm   Permalink

After a exchange of $1 and some (rather rude) words to a toothless vendor, I purchased a Coco Joes Kanaloa figure (#16-043)with one blue eye.

His stickers are still intact on the back. (How, only he knows.)

But this guy is rough...with a capital R. His lava or paint or whatever, is flaked off on his arms and in various spots all around him, exposing a lead or gray metal look underneath. Not quite resin looking...but what the hell do I know?
He actually looks like he's been kicked around in a parking lot and abused.
(Roughed up a bit comming out of a eastern Kentucky bar perhaps...He didn't have any cash on him when I found him. And I am leaning towards robbery as a possible motive in my investigation.)

I'm wondering if anyone has any idea on how to properly restore this little guy.

I'm sure a small, blue costume jewel can be found at a craft store or something. (If not, he will wear a classy eye patch!)
But what about the paint?

Should I use a flat black? Or is there something special I should use? Any idea about primer? None appears to have been used on this guy - perhaps that is a partial reason why we are experiencing the flaking.

If anyone has had any experience in this type of reconstruction / restoration project, please advise.

Regardless of the outcome (and my wifes persistance that he was not worth the $1 that I paid), he will be in a better home, I can tell you that.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 447
From: Dayton, Ohio
Posted: 2004-08-17 8:38 pm   Permalink

Hello? Is this thing on? *tap-tap-tap*

What..no one here has ever tried to restore a beat up Coco Joes tiki?!

Am I being 'black balled' here or what?

I am beginning to feel a little alienated.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 08, 2004
Posts: 357
From: San Diego
Posted: 2004-08-17 8:59 pm   Permalink

I'd love to help you, but I don't know anything. Maybe since this has returned to the top, someone who knows will see it.
Can you post a picture?

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Doctor Z
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2002
Posts: 1617
From: The Hale Moana Lounge, Torrance, CA
Posted: 2004-08-17 9:49 pm   Permalink

This may be sacreligious or something, but what I've done to restore a black CoCojoes figure is simply color in the missing areas with a black Sharpie. Sharpies have a glossy finish, so as soon as I color the area, I wipe it off again, leaving a more 'matte-like' appearance. Now I've never had to fill in more than basically specks of color - no big patches, chips or missing pieces, so I can't really offer any tips of that nature, but for small areas, a black Sharpie works fine.

BTW - I actually collect THAT particular piece (6" Kanaloa, #16-043, w/blue eyes). I've got seven of them at this point and am always looking for more. I went from zero to 4 of them in one weeks time: I accidentally bid on (and won) two different auctions for the same piece - both arrived the same day; a few days later, a friend brought one back from Hawaii that his grandmother had given him; the next day, Johnnie Velour gave me one at his wedding.

I've since added 3 more to my collection, all with blue eyes, although it does come with red eyes and no (i.e. 'jewel-less') eyes. If you happen to find a match for the blue eye that you have, let me know, as I also have one of the 'no-eyed' ones that would like to join his brethren in my "Kanaloa Army"!!

Oh, and should your wife insist that his days in your home are numbered, he is more than welcome here!

Doctor Z
Mix-maestro of the Castaway Lounge,
Redondo Beach, CA

[ This Message was edited by: Doctor Z on 2004-08-17 21:50 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2004
Posts: 913
From: Shinola, California
Posted: 2004-08-17 10:31 pm   Permalink

There is a product which may help your problem, but it's not cheap. POR 15 epoxy body putty. It comes in what looks like two candy bars that you cut pieces from and kneed together. It's water soluble until it cures, so as you work it, if you don't like what you've done, you can just get it wet, and start re-working it.

It's very tough stuff when cured.

It wasn't designed for crafts use, so I don't know the specks on it's shrinkage. I made 80 beetles from it for a set of sculpures, each had wire legs and mandibles. None of them cracked from shrinking.


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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 19, 2004
Posts: 58
From: Birmingham, UK
Posted: 2004-08-18 04:14 am   Permalink

I don't think that resin will shrink. We have something similar in the UK called Milliput which is designed for all sorts of purposes, including craft use.
It's great for moulding and can be sanded when cured.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 23, 2003
Posts: 833
From: KS/MO
Posted: 2004-08-18 04:33 am   Permalink

I'd think one option would be to look at trolls, cats and other jewel-eyed creatures contemporary with Coco Joes. I say this because it seems not entirely unlikey that manufacturers would have been ordering from a limited amout of companies that made little glass jewel-eyes. I could be completely mistaken, but its worth scanning your thrift stores and flea markets. If you find a suitable doner, be it kitty, troll or owl, be sure to tell the checker that you are ripping its eye out to sacrifice it to a Hawaiian god...could be a nice moment in your day.

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tiki junkman
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2003
Posts: 148
From: Kava Lava Lounge, Aurora, IL
Posted: 2004-08-18 8:53 pm   Permalink

I also had to do a minor chip repair on one of my coco statues. I used a black sharpie marker like Doctor Z. It worked fine on the small area for me. Can't even notice it. Good luck with the restoration!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 447
From: Dayton, Ohio
Posted: 2004-08-18 9:03 pm   Permalink

THANK YOU! Now THIS is what I'm talkin' about...some brainstorming!

Actually, the eye is not my biggest problem. Although I cannot locate a rinestone jewel that is 'diamond shaped' for lack of a better word, I have located a suitable subsitute that is a flat rinestone of about the same size. (May take a little filing down). These were found at a large craft store.

When restoring any "artifact" it seems imparative that it remain as close to its original form as possible. Otherwise its not restoring, but altering and recreating. Which really isnt a BAD idea, I guess.

And, yeah, if I had a few of them, I would not hesitate to do something a little more artistic with him and maybe put him in my '48 Ford. But these Coco Joes guys are a little more scarce around these parts.

The actual 'sculpture' is in good condition, with very few nicks - none of which would be noticeable unless closely inspected.

But the paint or whatever is flaking off and has already done so in large areas of the body.

MY IDEA: Brush and bathe the front of him and get all the remaining lava or paint removed without bothering the stickers on his back. That is gonna be the trick.

But then what? I don't think that the resin material will be neccessary. I'm looking for more of a flat black spray paint that would be as close to the original material color and texture.

So, my original question should have been:
What kinda of paint or material is painted on the figures? Where can I obtain it?
Does anyone know?

And yes, if it becomes too costly, then a spray can of flat black from Odd Lots will have to do...OR we go the more artistic route.

Thanks to those who have taken the time to reply. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

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