Paint stripping

Inkaneer Apr 15, 2018

  1. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    I know this topic comes up quite often but things keep changing so what used to work either doesn't anymore or some products are no longer available, etc. Chameleon was my 'go to' paint stripper but I have not seen it anywhere. I have used brake fluid as well as 91% alcohol with varying success. My immediate concern is what to use on a couple of Walthers SW9/1200's. I am going to be painting these all black. I don't have to strip the entire shell as they are mostly black to begin with But I do have to remove the road name numbers and safety stripping. Any suggestions?
     
  2. bman

    bman TrainBoard Member

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  3. wpsnts

    wpsnts TrainBoard Supporter

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    Alcohol works just fine.
     
    Ghengis Kong likes this.
  4. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I agree with Dave, alcohol works, just be gentle. Oh, and use the 91% if you can get it.

    I too am a big fan of Chameleon. Have one unopened bottle left so didn't know it is getting hard to find. That is not good news.
     
  5. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    Plastic is funny stuff. It can float for generations in the ocean and survive relatively unharmed, and yet try to strip paint from it! Brake fluid is scary stuff. yes, it will strip paint, note the warning on the can to avoid letting any drip on your car's finish. And still it works well on some types of plastic. There's two problems here: Shells don't come complete with descriptions of the exact content of the plastic, and brake fluid manufacturers don't say which to avoid.

    I haven't had the need to strip lately, but in the past, I discovered that it was easier said than done. I read somewhere about using Pine-Sol, and tried it. Kato and Atlas shells survived in a jar of it overnight unharmed with the paint all gone. The bad news is you must use only the original formula, not the newer scented ones. They will destroy a shell, don't ask how I know.

    The only flaw is that it will make your house smell like a public rest room.
     
  6. zinker55

    zinker55 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I just goy done stripping a LL SW8...Used 91% alcohol left it in glass jar about an hour.....Came off EASILY.....no damage to shell
     
  7. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    A long time user of Chamelon but it has been hard to find for the last 8 years or so. 91% alcohol also works fairly well. I have saved old olive jars or anything long enough to fit an 80 foot shell into and tighten the lid. Olive jars are narrow enough to fit in my ultra sound bath. One trick I have used is to put the jar with the lid on into a sink filled with hot tap water. That is about 130 deg F. water. It accelerates the action. I keep old worn tooth brushes around to scrub the shell with. And mentioning ultra sound baths, I also put that olive jar with the stripper and shell into the bath filled with water. The vibration helps loosen paint.
     
  8. tgromek

    tgromek TrainBoard Member

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  9. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Follow up on my results. I got a quart size glass Mason Jar and some 91% alcohol. Removed the shell from a LifeLike UP GP20 and placed into the jar. Then sealed the jar. I also got a battery powered toothbrush from the Dollar Store. I figured for a buck you get the brush and a battery so not a bad deal. I would never use this on real teeth but for paint removal, it's okay. Anyway after letting the shell soak for about two hours the paint practically washed right off. The reason I used the UP GP20 was because of the yellow paint. Previously, yellow was always a difficult color to strip for me. But the shell came out with all of the paint removed. I hardly had to use the electric brush but it too worked well especially around the hand rail and step areas. I got a total of four of the GP20's when LifeLike was getting rid of them. Going to use two of them as GP20's while the other two mechanisms will be used to repower some old LifeLike GP18's.
     
  10. Ghengis Kong

    Ghengis Kong TrainBoard Supporter

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    I use isopropyl as well with excellent results. And like you, I have found that Life-Like paint is some of the easiest to strip in the alky.
     

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