Introductory: Stripping/Removing Paint

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by REDLINE, Jan 28, 2008.

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    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

    Dec 2, 2004
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    An easy and most effective way to strip a transformer of its original paint is to use Isopropyl Alcohol. It can be bought at any retail store like Target, Wal*Mart, Walgreens... whatever is in your area that has a pharmaceutical area. Pour the Alcohol in a bowl, I personally use one of those plastic Glad disposable bowls that have the lids, either all or some doesn't matter because it can be stored to use again with the lid. Take the transformer apart like normal, and put all the pieces that you want to strip into the bowl and let them sit for at least 24 hours, but the longer you let it soak the better. After which time, the paint should just wipe right off. I personally use an old toothbrush to get into all the detail areas... some extra dipping into the alcohol may be necessary (the part, not you) but otherwise it should come right off. Sure its a little messy, but not near as messy as Goo Gone or even sanding.

    NOTE: This only works on factory applied paint apps.

    Now, lets say you have a piece that you repainted yourself using whatever paints you prefer, but it didn't quite come out the way you like and would like to start over. In my experience I have found that the Alcohol doesn't strip this very well although it does seem to weaken it. To remove that paint in a similar fashion to the Alcohol, I use Castrol Super Clean. Yes the stuff you find in the Automotive section, big purple jug. Follow the same directions as the Alcohol and there ya go.

    More awesome info from The_ONE:

    "Acrylics off Vinyl
    Use Lestoil! You can submerge the kit in it either full strength (gets expensive fast), or you can dilute it (takes longer to soften the paint). Let it soak overnight, or as long as you want, and then go at it with a stiff brush - no metal bristles. It doesn't affect the vinyl at all and if your paint job is recent it will come off even faster. Remember to thoroughly wash the kit before repainting.

    Lestoil is a cleaning solution, similar to Pine-sol, and should be available at any Wal-mart, Venture, Target, what have you. You may also wish to try Easy-off oven spray, or "Purple Stuff" from the automotive department of your local department store.

    Paint off metal
    Has anyone tried Easy-Off Oven Cleaner for removing paint? I have had some success on metal figures with this. I don't know what it would do to vinyl or resins. Maybe it gives off too much heat?

    Oils/Lacquers off Plastic, Vinyl and Resin
    Finally, an ally on the 'Easy-Off' front! Yes, I've been using it for years. On plastic (styrene, plasticine, polystyrene), vinyl and resin. Mostly on oils and lacquers, so I'm not sure what effect it will have on acrylics. Leave on for about 1 hour a coat (includes primer coat). Rinse off with warm water and dish detergent scrubbed lightly with a toothbrush. Only problem I've encountered is with incompatible paints. e.g. If I've accidentally painted a lacquer over an oil (with Krylon primers this is easy to do), then the Easy-Off takes a little longer to take off the "curdle" of paint (maybe a second application).

    Off Polystyrene, Squadron white putty and Model Master cement

    Go to Wal-Mart's Automotive section (or K-Mart) and look for 'Purple Stuff' (Castrol Super Clean). It removes paint quite well, and will most likely do the same for the primer. Allow the kit to soak in a bath of it mixed with water for a while, checking frequently. A toothbrush will help to clean it up as well. It does not harm polystyrene, Squadron white putty and Model Master cement. In addition, it is relatively innocuous and biodegradable. Probably would be endorsed by YOUR MOTHER." Acrylic off Vinyl and Resin

    Pine-Sol WILL work, I usually let it soak in a bucket for about 3 days. After that the paint usually comes right off with just tap water. I have used this tactic on vinyl, resin and kits with success. If you are in a hurry to remove the paint use Easy Lift Off from Polly S (I believe), that will remove paint in a hurry, just brush it on and brush it off!"

    Acrylics off metal
    Tip of the day: On this subject, for those who don't know: When stripping acrylic from metal minis soak the model for a hour in a) Pine-Sol (for my American brethren), a pine-based disinfectant or, b) Dettol or similar for European, c) scrub with an (OLD) toothbrush. Use a dentist's tool to clean out grooves, etc. Remember to wear rubber gloves if you don't want to leave a layer of skin behind you 24 hours later.

    Water-based paint
    Enamels off vinyl
    Paint off Polystyrene

    Surprisingly enough many water based paints will comes right off with alcohol. If you are stripping a vinyl kit and need to get off enamels you could just use lacquer thinner or acetone (though I suggest gloves and a respirator with these chemicals). You don't want to use harsh solvents on a polystyrene kit (your basic model car kit for example)."

    Thank you so much, The_ONE, for hella useful kitbashing tip goodness!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2010
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