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Paint removal for stubborn paint

6 replies
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  • Member since
    March, 2018
Paint removal for stubborn paint
Posted by AlexNM on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 1:46 PM

Hi modelers.  I purchased an original 1958 model Ford Fairlane.  It has soaked in Simple Green for 2 weeks and took off the yellowing clear coat, but not the any paint.  I have been able to scrape some of the paint off on the edges, but not much.  I'm not sure when the model would have been painted or what type of paint was used.  I am afraid to just try anything in case I damage the model.  I am tempted to try brake fluid or oven cleaner, but a little unsure about that.  Any suggestions or experience or advice with this would be appreciated.

  • Member since
    September, 2017
Posted by Big Gary on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 2:37 PM
Always had good luck with the purple stuff .I've tried 91% alcohol, which is slower .
  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 3:38 PM

Brake fluid or oven cleaner will not harm the plastic.  91% alcohol will remove lacquer paint.  I have used 91% alcohol and oven cleaner with good results, but I have never used brake fluid, although many swear by the stuff for removing paint.  Try using sandpaper to help loosen the old paint.

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On my bench-1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409; Ford Transit Mk2

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Portland Oregon: Tree Country. Most beautiful area on the West coast.
Posted by Treehugger Dave on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 7:20 PM

There is no one stripper that works for everything.

I have around 5 different chemicals I keep handy for "Unknown" paints that come with builders I get on Ebay.

Having an arsenal to choose from pretty much guarantees you'll have something that works eventually Thumbs Up.







  • Member since
    May, 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 7:29 PM

I've said it a million times!

Super Clean!! Big Smile

Seriously, I've used all of the above.

Super Clean, (the cheap knock offs like Purple Power & Simple Green don't work nearly as well) oven cleaner, brake fluid, Bleche White, etc.

The best, by far, that I have encountered is Super Clean.

Just this past week, I stripped a Johan '65 Plymouth Fury that had been painted with several primer coats, at least 4 color coats & probably 5 clear coats......all automotive lacquer!

I submerged it in Super Clean for about 3 days & the paint sheds off in sheets.

Now this depends a lot on how you're painting your projects & the type of paint you're using, but enamel is no match for Super Clean & lacquer strips well over time as long as it was primed first.

I have had some issues with removing some flat paints & primers with Super Clean, but a quick soak in IPA after the paint is gone will take the remaining primer off in a very short period of time.

There are several other advantages of using Super Clean over most of the others as well.

It can be saved in a "soaking container" ready to be used at any time & can be used over and over again, unlike oven cleaner.

It is biodegradable & is easy to dispose of when it's usefulness is used up, unlike brake fluid.

Oven cleaner is very caustic requiring a mask while working with it.

Super Clean is nowhere near as harsh.

You can soak styrene in Super Clean for literally months with absolutely no adverse affect to the plastic.





  • Member since
    August, 2016
Posted by mini man on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 7:58 PM

I use  this,it doesn't hurt plastic and smells nice.Cool




  • Member since
    March, 2018
Posted by AlexNM on Thursday, March 22, 2018 3:50 PM
Thanks, Steve. I am going to go with your advice. Here's hoping. Alex


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