Stripping/dissolving enamel paint


Sr Member
Hi all

I have one or two decrepid Ertl Star Wars kits that I built hastily a few years ago and now I'd like to overhaul and repaint them.

Question is, is there a method of removing enamel paint at least enough for an improved paintjob? I'd rather not sand it off as I'm worried about destroying detail and erasing apnel lines.

Any help would be great.



Well-Known Member
Try Strip-A-Kit:


Well-Known Member
I've also had very good luck w/both Easy-Off™ Oven Cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles.

If you go w/the Easy-Off™, be aware that it's rather caustic, tho not immediately upon contact w/skin. You'll want to work with it in a well-ventilated area, wear some sort of mask and goggles, wear gloves of the kind used for cleaning ovens/cleaning your bathroom and wear old clothes. Apply the Easy-Off™ liberally on the model and then put in to a ziploc bag or other container that you can seal - tho the seal doesn't have to be hermetic in nature. Allow it to set for a while before working - I recommend overnight if at all possible. When you're ready to clean themodel, spray a bit more of the cleaner on it, then use a toothbrush or something similar to strip the paint off.

An interesting side effect of the Easy-Off™ is that it tends to break down the bonds of some glues, mostly model-cement tube glues. It has, however, broken down bones on some types of CA, as well.

I've had good luck w/Easy-Off™ on a variety of models, to include resin kits. Sometimes multiple applications of the Easy-Off™ is necessary, but it works best when it's "wet" with the stuff. I also can't stress enough how much you need proper ventilation for the stuff.

Scrubbing Bubbles, however, isn't nearly so caustic, tho I still recommend the same items to be worn above, tho the face mask isn't nearly so important. It's not nearly so caustic, but you'll still need to keep it out of your eyes, as well as off any clothes you want to keep in pristine condition. Again, an old toothbrush is a must for getting all of the paint out of nooks and crannies.

Anyhow, hope that helps.

Too Much Garlic

Master Member
Originally posted by Griffworks@Dec 7 2005, 06:44 PM
Here's a warning that just occured to me to pass on:

Do NOT Use Berryman Brake Cleaner To Strip Paint On Your Models...  :angry

Well, I guess someone didn't know the difference between brake fluid & brake cleaner.

Brake fluid is what strips paint off models without attacking the plastic, whereas brake cleaner apparently strips both the paint and melts the plastic.

So, a word of caution: use BRAKE FLUID and NOT brake cleaner.

Though brake fluid can react with the plastic if left on for longer periods of time I advice only to brush it on and leave it on for no more than an hour before wiping it off with a dry cloth and if the paint hasn't peeled off completely, don't rub, just brush on a new heavy layer and leave it for another hour before wiping it off - do this until all the paint has stripped. To get a better result, it works faster if the object which has to have the paint removed is placed inside a plastic bag or wrap, though, if you do this I would advise you to check the model every 30 minutes instead of the full hour, just in case.

- Brake fluid doesn't melt plastic, but can soften it, so it is prudent to rub the model over with house hold alcohol afterwards to clean off the brake fluid. Also, don't leave it on over-night... wipe it off, as much as possible and then re-apply the next day.

Hope this helps.
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