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  1. DMC 12's Avatar
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    Jun 1, 2012, 7:46 PM - How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #1

    Hi, I've got an AMT Enterprise E that I built a number of years ago, albeit quite badly. And I want to give it another go without paying for a new kit. So does anyone know a way of stripping the paints from plastic without damaging it?
  2. robn1's Avatar
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    Jun 1, 2012, 10:12 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #2

    Easy Off oven cleaner, brake fluid, Simple Green and Purple Power have all been used to remove paint. They can affect plastic, but the paint will come off long before that happens. I've only used Easy Off myself, it needs about an hour to take affect. I've heard some of the others are quicker.

    I don't know what brands you need to look for in the UK, but I'm sure there are equivalents.
  3. DMC 12's Avatar
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    Jun 1, 2012, 10:59 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #3

    Ahh great thanks for the advice! I thought I'd heard something along the lines of that before. But always good to be sure. What use would there be in a melted enterprise?
  4. robn1's Avatar
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    Jun 1, 2012, 11:46 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #4

    DMC 12 said: View Post
    ...What use would there be in a melted enterprise?
    ST3 self destruct diorama?
  5. BTTFSpencer's Avatar
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    Jun 1, 2012, 11:53 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #5

    I've tried oven cleaner on Enamel and it doesn't work. Try soaking the parts in Brake Fluid overnight and then scrub the paint off with sandpaper.
  6. Chara limit is way too sm RPF Premium Member Nwerke's Avatar
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    Jun 2, 2012, 7:03 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #6

    Your oven cleaner was probably non-caustic. You want caustic.

    Another option is caustic soda itself. Just buy a container of granulated caustic soda, drop a couple of tablespoons into a bucket of warm water, stir, and soak your parts.

    Do this outdoors, wear rubber gloves, don't breathe the fumes.
  7. Too Much Garlic's Avatar
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    Jun 2, 2012, 7:24 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #7

    BTTFSpencer said: View Post
    I've tried oven cleaner on Enamel and it doesn't work. Try soaking the parts in Brake Fluid overnight and then scrub the paint off with sandpaper.
    If it is a styrene kit, then brake fluid will potentially damage the plastic.

    Gastrol Super Clean (Purple Power) works better. It may soften the styrene, but just let it dry and it goes back to normal stiffness. For straight pieces you want to support it so it stiffens in the right shape instead of sagging. The thinner the piece the more likely it will soften. Larger supported pieces may not be affected like that.
  8. division 6's Avatar
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    Jun 2, 2012, 8:55 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #8

    I've used Super Clean to remove 20+ year old enamel off a few models.
    Let is soak in a plastic tub a day or so then us an old tooth brush to scrub the surface.
    Some of the paint will probably stained the plastic.

    Easy Off works also.

    You may find this article on removing paint from models useful.
  9. Smiling Demon's Avatar
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    Jun 2, 2012, 11:26 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #9

    I agree with the guys above. Castrol Super Clean is the best. You can get a gallon of this stuff at Walmart for around $8.

    As stated above, I used it to take a really thick, brushed on paint job on a model car I did when I was a kid.

    Kenny
  10. ZOMBIEREPELLENT's Avatar
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    Jun 2, 2012, 11:54 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #10

    I know bleach works well for stripping chrome plating from plastic parts, but I've never tried it for removing paint. It might work. However the amount of money you'll wind up spending on various things to strip it, and the cost of new decals, might set you back more than just buying the round 2 re release that came out a couple years ago.
  11. DMC 12's Avatar
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    Jun 2, 2012, 1:52 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #11

    It seems Castrol Super clean isn't available in the UK... Does anyone know of an alternative?
  12. Contec's Avatar
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    Jun 2, 2012, 2:09 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #12

    I use Mr muscle oven cleaner Mr Muscle - Kitchen Care & Windows - Oven Cleaner
    Put the model part in a Zip bag and spray a thick layer on the model and zip up the bag for a hour or so...then take out the part and clean it with water and a toothbrush...repeat if needed... Warning : This will take away the chrome on model parts.
  13. BTTFSpencer's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2012, 12:23 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #13

    Too Much Garlic said: View Post
    If it is a styrene kit, then brake fluid will potentially damage the plastic.

    Gastrol Super Clean (Purple Power) works better. It may soften the styrene, but just let it dry and it goes back to normal stiffness. For straight pieces you want to support it so it stiffens in the right shape instead of sagging. The thinner the piece the more likely it will soften. Larger supported pieces may not be affected like that.
    Nah dude. It doesn't damage the plastic at all. Maybe over time, but the paint would be long gone by then. I've used this method to restore many kits...and I've never had it damage the plastic at all.

    I don't think it even softens the plastic much. It works really well if you soak it for 24 hours, you can literally wipe most of it off with paper towels.
  14. BTTFSpencer's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2012, 12:27 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #14

    Nwerke said: View Post
    Your oven cleaner was probably non-caustic. You want caustic.

    Another option is caustic soda itself. Just buy a container of granulated caustic soda, drop a couple of tablespoons into a bucket of warm water, stir, and soak your parts.

    Do this outdoors, wear rubber gloves, don't breathe the fumes.
    I've tried caustic. It's pretty damn weak on my paint jobs...works great for stripping chrome though...
  15. ZOMBIEREPELLENT's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2012, 12:57 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #15

    BTTFSpencer said: View Post
    Nah dude. It doesn't damage the plastic at all. Maybe over time, but the paint would be long gone by then. I've used this method to restore many kits...and I've never had it damage the plastic at all.

    I don't think it even softens the plastic much. It works really well if you soak it for 24 hours, you can literally wipe most of it off with paper towels.

    That does make sense since brake fluid reservoirs are plastic.

    If you do use brake fluid, make sure you wear gloves. This stuff really irritates the skin.
  16. xenobiologist RPF Premium Member Leigh's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2012, 2:37 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #16

    I recently stripped 4 layers of enamel paint from my Monster Beetle shell, some of the paint was as old as 20 years.
    I went to Boot's pharmacy, Bought Caustic Soda for less than 2.

    3/4 filled a bucket with cold water, added the Caustic soda crystals, stired & left the shell in there over night.

    WARNING do not add water to caustic soda!! Always only add the caustic soda to water!! & ware rubber gloves!! its real difficult to wash off, slimey soapy feel to it.

    In the morning most of the paint had fallen off, I used nothing more than a stiff brush to get the rest off. No damage to the shell what so ever


    Heres the stripped shell:





    HTH
  17. Chara limit is way too sm RPF Premium Member Nwerke's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2012, 7:16 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #17

    Yeah, that's the kind of result I get. Just layers of the stuff coming off at once leaving more or less clean plastic.

    BTTFSpencer, you might have made your solution too weak maybe?
  18. DMC 12's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2012, 2:53 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #18

    Ahh that's great, I'll have to give that a go
  19. Member Since
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    Jun 3, 2012, 3:40 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #19

    I'm gonna have to try this at some point. I've got a 1/144 falcon that NEEDS to be redone. I did it as my first model and it's a total botch job
  20. CB2001's Avatar
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    Jun 3, 2012, 9:02 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #20

    I've used the 10-Minute version of Easy-Off, which has done its fair share of stripping paint off of a couple of models. But it also depends on how thick the paint is too, (by having multiple layers, you end up having to do multiple rounds in order to remove the paint off). If you're going to us Easy-Off, make sure its the real deal and not the local store generic brand (I bought Dollar General 10-Minute Oven Cleaner to try, which didn't do anything).
  21. Member Since
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    Jun 3, 2012, 10:43 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #21

    The cheap stuff is really weak. Walmarts is okay.

    Try putting the piece in a bag after spraying, as mentioned before.

    I hate the feel of brake fluid and avoid it. And it's a pollution hazard.
  22. BTTFSpencer's Avatar
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    Jun 4, 2012, 7:39 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #22

    Nwerke said: View Post
    Yeah, that's the kind of result I get. Just layers of the stuff coming off at once leaving more or less clean plastic.

    BTTFSpencer, you might have made your solution too weak maybe?
    It would seem so.
  23. tk1608's Avatar
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    Jun 5, 2012, 5:02 AM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #23

    Just to add...I would agree with Contec, I've tried the Mr Muscle in a can and it does work without any damage...
    Thought I'd add a satisfied customer from the uk...it's a bit scary dropping precious parts into a bag of chemicals, we need reassurance there won't be a bag of soup in a few hours..

    Cheers

    Phil
  24. Contec's Avatar
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    Jun 5, 2012, 1:12 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #24

    tk1608 said: View Post
    Just to add...I would agree with Contec, I've tried the Mr Muscle in a can and it does work without any damage...
    Thought I'd add a satisfied customer from the uk...it's a bit scary dropping precious parts into a bag of chemicals, we need reassurance there won't be a bag of soup in a few hours..

    Cheers

    Phil
    On some of the old models that i have bought and taken apart for rebuilding it seems like the Mr Muscle makes the old glue more brittle and makes it much easier to take the parts apart after a Mr muscle "bath"
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    Jun 8, 2012, 2:53 PM - Re: How to remove enamel paints from plastic kits? #25

    Caustic Soda works but can be brutal and you must protect your skin. Fairy Power Spray (UK) is a saucepan/baked on grease remover which has always worked for me. It's a thick liquid, so flows into nooks and crannies. I normally seal the parts/ model in a polythene bag and leave somewhere warm.

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