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FAQ: Removing Paint - Paint Stripping


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#376
Razblood

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Had some good stripping from Dettol, especially metal models.

It will even loosen super glue and poly cement if you leave it long enough, also it doesn't damage the minis even if you leave them swimming for a couple of weeks :D

A word of warning though, only use actual Dettol as the cheaper knock offs are totally useless!

Have also tried Fairy Power Spray and found it quite effective, although it's very pricey :D

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#377
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I use Mr. Muscle oven cleaner for metal models and it works a treat! Just put the model in a sealable container (a lidded jam jar works for me) and cover the model in the oven cleaner - best to do this outside as the fumes can play havoc with your lungs. Seal the container and leave for a couple of hours (overnight is better) then simply rinse the model off under cold water (if you leave the model in the container and rinse, it's easier and less caustic and painfull to your hands) and then simply scrub with an old toothbrush.
I've had mixed results with plastic models but will give brake fluid a go.

#378
slyfox.uk

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Cheers for all the suggestions everyone - has been a great help to look through.

Bit of a personal update for people on the use of Dettol - despite my earlier skepticism about its quality as a techique it is in fact superb. I've now left my test model in the dettol for around 48-58 hours ( not sure the exact time frame ) and with minimal work a huge amount of the paint has come off along with the base-ing. I intend to attack it tomorrow with a brush and fully expect I'll be getting 95-100% of the paint off judging by it's current state.

I'll try and get hold of a comparison photo of it compared to a model in need of stripping to show it off.

#379
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Gave brake fluid a go and it was a total failure.
Fairy power spray is extremely slow working and so far has taken about 3 applications.

#380
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Gave brake fluid a go and it was a total failure.
Fairy power spray is extremely slow working and so far has taken about 3 applications.


Hmm, i soaked my minis in fairy power spray overnight and then in the morning i just brushed the paint away..

#381
Tellos05

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I use break fluid all the time. Its worked like a dream every time on both metal and plastic minis. I usually leave to soak in a little container for a couple of days. Hope it helps.

#382
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I use dettol for both plastic and metal - I usually leave the minis soaking for several months (as I'm lazy.....). No adverse effect.

The best technique that works for me is to remove the mini from the dettol (using nitrile examination gloves) and pick the worst of the blobby paint off with a cocktail stick/metal probe. I then give the mini a blast of fairy power spray and attack it with an electric toothbrush (see.... lazy....) in a bowl of warm water.

This combination pretty much shifts anything - I have had problems with the matt black undercoat on plastics - my belief is that the black paint somehow attacks the plastic slightly - but I manage to get a good 80% or so of it off on plastic models.

Hope this helps

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#383
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Tried Fairy power spray for the first time on an ebay dreadnought this afternoon and I think the results were pretty good - especially considering there was ALOT of paint on the bugger! There are a few BIG advantages using this over Dettol, I have to say: No horrid stink, for one; you can wash off the goop with tap water instead of faffing with an extra bath of the stuff, for two, and finally; you don't have to wear gloves, whereas with Dettol it'll make your hands feel soapy from (very) slight corrosion if you don't put on marigolds (or whatever). ;)

Actually... my hands smell kind of nice, right now... :P
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#384
Koremu

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What kind of brake fluid? There are different chemicals used in different types
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#385
Jimmy Carmine

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I've been helping a housemate strip down his old Blood Angels, and we have got a system that seems to work.

You will need the following:
  • A pair of resealable plastic tubs.
  • A toothbrush, best make it a spare one as folk may not appreciate you borrowing theres. :)
  • Dettol brown antiseptic liquid.
  • Hot water.
  • Washing up liquid.
  • Rubber gloves.
  • Some music or the TV to entertain you.

First thing you need to do is put the the models in your reasealable tub and then completely cover them in Dettol. Put the lid on and sit it out of the way overnight.

Drain the tub to get to the miniatures, the dettol can go down the sink but be paint chunks floating in it will clog your pipes so you will want to flip the lid over and use it to drain the liquid while trapping the paint crud which can then be binned.

Fill your second tub with hot water, add some washing up liquid and then chuck the miniatures in the hot water.

Pull on your gloves and grab your toothbrush as it is scrubbing time. The washing up liquid should stop the paint gunk from sticking to your brush and the models and should sink to the bottom.

Once you've scrubbed them take them out of the water and put them aside to dry. Once dry check to see if there are sticky, if it is then it needs to go back in hot water for some more scrubbing to get the last of the paint off.

Acrylic paint comes off dead easy with this, but the spray primer can put up more of a fight and does sometimes discolour the surface of the plastic but doesn't effect the detail. Especially thick paint may need another overnight soak in some fresh dettol.

Rinse and repeat until you are done and you will end up with paint free models ready for a fresh undercoat and painting.

Edited by Jimmy Carmine, 27 May 2011 - 10:25 AM.

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#386
Damion38x

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What kind of brake fluid? There are different chemicals used in different types


I just use a Halfords generic bottle, before that i think i had shell....
It works all the same :)

in response to earlier that it didnt work... how long was it left in? and do you know what paint? if someone used an enamel model paint, the Brake fluid wont take that off.
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#387
momosgarage

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I use acetone free nail varnish remover for my stripping, it works wonders and loosens the paint off in a matter of seconds. Works fine on plastics and metals, doesn't melt the plastic at all, although it does seem to count on where you get it from.


I don't know why people use Dettol, Acetone or Brake Fluid as their first choice. Dettol and Brake Fluid should be someones LAST choice and Acetone should never be an option. Acetone WILL destroy plastics, just because someone was careful about the process doesn't prevent damage, onced soaked the damage is done.. Degreasers are MADE to strip paint and they do it effectively. Simply use at full strength and soak until the paint loosens (could be a couple of hours, could be a week, just have some patience and wait). I'll repost what I said earlier:

The active ingredient in Dettol is Chloroxylenol. Its not meant to strip paint, which is some of the reason why the chemical reaction results in a sticky mess. I have said it a million times and I will say it a million more times, use a degreaser to strip your models. If the Superclean brand of degreaser is not strong enough, buy something else, just make sure it is a degreaser. You should be looking for something that has a high concentration of LYE, also called sodium hydroxide. It is NOT acetone. Acetone and Chloroxylenol were not made to stip paints from platics. LYE can be made to work in this way, so thats why it has a lot of industrial applications. I don't understand the fascination with Simple Green or Dawn Power Dissolver either, they are simple household degeasers and not strong at all, just use something stronger like Superclean.

I still can't understand how people are not able to strip paint with a real degreaser. Degreasers are used to strip heat resistant paint off engine blocks that get very hot, but somehow can't strip paint off plastic models! What's going on here? Is anyone here using a stiff kitchen brush with plastic bristles to scrub with? Somtimes a toothbrush won't cut it.

Mr. Muscle, Dawn Power Dissolver and Purple power are all types of degreasers, but to strip many types of paint consistently, on different types of metals and plastics you need the have "2-butoxyethanol" as a main ingredient. As far as I know Mr. Muscle, Dawn Power Dissolver and Purple power don't have it.

Edited by momosgarage, 06 December 2011 - 10:33 PM.

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#388
Jacinda

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You should be looking for something that has a high concentration of LYE, also called sodium hydroxide.

Lye is a very strong base. As such it is caustic and can be hard on metals (it is especially reactive with aluminum) as well as your skin. It is commonly used to accelerate the decomposition of carcasses such as animals taken to a landfill or the ubiquitous CSI plot murder victim. Short exposure is safe but some "bleaching" will occur over time. If you get any on your clothes, wash them as soon as possible.

All in all, I would recommend a less harsh degreaser and patience.

#389
momosgarage

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I would recommend a less harsh degreaser and patience


All real degreasers have lye in it. Regular old gloves work just as well for simple green or Superclean. Makes no real difference healthwise, just less paint stripping headaches if you use a good strong degreaser. Plus there are plenty of professions that use strong degreasers daily, having a litre in your house to soak models in occationally isn't going to cause any problems what so ever.

Lighten up, I didn't say to use toxic waste (BTW, strong degreasers are much safer than brake fluid or easyoff).

Edited by momosgarage, 06 December 2011 - 10:39 PM.

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#390
Jacinda

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FWIW, Easy Off's universal degreaser uses lauramine oxide as its surfactant. The most common use for this chemical is shampoo and bubble bath. But that is not the product you were referring to. Easy Off oven cleaner uses Sodium Hydroxide a.k.a lye. This product was the first thing that entered my mind when you recommended "something that has a high concentration of LYE" so I hope you cn see my concern

#391
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It is commonly used to accelerate the decomposition of carcasses such as animals taken to a landfill or the ubiquitous CSI plot murder victim.


Have you ever worked with pure lye? Superclean has lye in it, but believe me its nothing like working with pure lye.

FWIW, Easy Off's universal degreaser uses lauramine oxide as its surfactant. The most common use for this chemical is shampoo and bubble bath. But that is not the product you were referring to. Easy Off oven cleaner uses Sodium Hydroxide a.k.a lye. This product was the first thing that entered my mind when you recommended "something that has a high concentration of LYE" so I hope you cn see my concern


Yes and No, Easyoffs major ingredient is Diethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether, WHICH IS ESSENTIALLY BRAKE FLUID. You are correct to an extent, there is Lye is in Easyoff, but its not the main ingredient. There is more butane and Monoethanolamine in Easyoff then there is Sodium Hydroxide. So my point still stands, any strong over the counter Sodium Hydroxide based degreaser is safe, effective at stripping paint and easy to dispose of. You aren't supposed to pour easyoff or brake fluid down the drain in the USA.

This is a topic I am very certain about. I've been playing 40K since rogue trader and was an avid model builder of of tanks, airplanes, general sci-fi, gundam and ships for decades (I even made some money re-selling my work at hobby and comic book stores for a time in the late 90's when it was popular). I have tried EVERYTHING available over the counter for paint stripping. There was one product sold at hobby stores many years ago that was marketed as a paint stripper for models and it was slightly better than using a kitchen degreaser, but it was so expensive it wasn't worth it. I can't remember the name, but they don't make it anymore anyways. Just review my old posts about degreasers here on the B&C. Its pretty much case closed, I have yet to see someone recommend something new I have never seen or tried. Superclean is cheap and proven to work, from models kits all the way up to engine blocks. You can't go wrong with this product and it can be diluted with water. It ain't broke, so why are folks trying to fix it?

My old B&C posts on paint stripping:

http://www.bolterand...mp;hl=degreaser

http://www.bolterand...mp;hl=degreaser

http://www.bolterand...mp;hl=degreaser

http://www.bolterand...mp;hl=degreaser

http://www.bolterand...mp;hl=degreaser

http://www.bolterand...mp;hl=degreaser

If someone wants to get really advanced with thier paint stripping, the only thing left to do is using an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner with degreaser in it. The store Harbor Freight Tool sells them very cheap.

Edited by momosgarage, 07 December 2011 - 05:21 PM.

The Demiurg are "Space Gnomes" because the Squats were "Space Dwarves" and Ratlings are "Space Hobbits"

#392
Jacinda

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Have you ever worked with pure lye?

Yes. Extensively. At one time on a daily basis as a chemical lab tech. You can shove your arm in a bucket of caustic soda with little effect at all ... as long as your hand was dry. Mixed with water the results are profoundly different.

That job was also one the main reasons I changed majors. Dropped chemistry and went Math.


Mono, I am not trying to refute your arguments or declare your chosen method of paint stripping as invalid and I reeeaaaalllyyyy don't want to go down a discussion on the various different glycols, ethanols, alcohols and spirits. All I want to impart is the same thing people need to know for any chemical they are dealing with. One should know what it does and what precautions you should take.

#393
Catastrophe

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I started using a product called Wesley's Bleech-White after reading this post:

http://denconresin.p...i...ad=6&page=1

It can be found in auto parts stores for about $6 US for a bottle and I've used it on metal, plastic and resin parts. No damage or discoloration at all. I've only soaked models overnight so I haven't timed it, but the paint comes right off just washing the model under water and an old toothbrush. No hard scrubbing at all. I do use a sewing needle to pick out old paint from deep recesses where the toothbrush can't get to.

I'll never use anything else after using Bleech-White. It's actually spelled that way on my bottles.
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#394
frenchydrums

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I don't know if anyone has posted this product or not (and I'm not about to read 16 pages to find out ;) ). I use a cleaner called Purple Power, purchased at WalMart for around $5 a gallon. The gallon is a concentrated strength where the spray bottle is a bit weaker, I've used both and both work well. It's safe on metals and plastics. I soak the painted pieces overnight and use a cheap electric toothbrush from the dollar store to get in the details. The paint pretty much comes off the metal figs under running water, the plastics need a little help (that's where the toothbrush comes in handy). The metal figs look brand new and the plastic figs end up about 90% clean.

#395
Tellos05

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Im the same as damion38x Ive always used halfords own brand. I always leave to soak for a couple of days then scrub the paint off with an old toothbrush. But for some of the deeper recesses you might need a toothpick or something similar. Then wash in luke warm soapy water then rinse with clean water. Then your ready the put your new paint on your mini. Just bare in mind when you strip the model its NOT going to be like it was out the packet. Hope this helps you out.

#396
araekyus

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I use Dawn Power Dissolver. great stuff, assuming you can find it. under 3 bucks a bottle. only thing is that resin will drink it so only soak it for about 10 minutes and scrub. otherwise, resin will become rubbery. no damage to metal or plastic though.

#397
momosgarage

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I don't know if anyone has posted this product or not (and I'm not about to read 16 pages to find out ;) ). I use a cleaner called Purple Power, purchased at WalMart for around $5 a gallon. The gallon is a concentrated strength where the spray bottle is a bit weaker, I've used both and both work well. It's safe on metals and plastics. I soak the painted pieces overnight and use a cheap electric toothbrush from the dollar store to get in the details. The paint pretty much comes off the metal figs under running water, the plastics need a little help (that's where the toothbrush comes in handy). The metal figs look brand new and the plastic figs end up about 90% clean.


I did mention this product, its a degreaser as is dawn power disolver.
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#398
chaotic tigermarine

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i have heard simple green works well, but i need to kow what is most easily available, easy to clean and everything, themodels are metal and have two coats of primer on them please help me.


I'd say watch the simple green as it can weaken the plastic if you leave it in there too long. This also has to do with the strength of the cleaner used.

Another way to strip paint is to use PineSol mix it to about 1 part cleaner, and 3 parts water, and soak for about 1-3 hours. Wash, and use an old tooth brush to remove the paint.

could just use nail varnisher that is if you can scrub it real hard

#399
Res Ipsa Loquitur

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In the UK, Wilkinsons sell an acetone-free nail polish remover which goes for £1 for 250ml and which will remove paint from metal and plastic (not used it on Finecast) miniatures in less than ten minutes with absolutely no damage to the miniature at all.

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#400
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Has anyone here tried stripping Finecast yet?

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