Stripping paint
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Thread: Stripping paint

  1. #1

    Default Stripping paint

    Hey everyone. Fairly new here, and trying to absorb all the information and knowledge from you guys that I can (seeing how I'm like an Idol-contestant that has been told they're good, but once they face the jury things are different ;P) to improve my painting.

    I can however only find three threads on stripping paint here, and since I wanted to reuse some old minis for practice rather than screwing up my nicer stuff collected through the years (mostly Reaper) I need some advice on stripping the paint from them. Any and all advice are welcome. I have no experience stripping paint whatsoever.

    Best regards.
    On the other hand you have different fingers.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by finnpalm
    I can however only find three threads on stripping paint here...
    What did you search for? I can remember more than three and there are a dozen or so in the Sticky Thread of much stickyness.

    Einion

  3. #3
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    short answer: It depends.

    Metal minis are much more able to withstand caustic chemicals than plastic or resin minis.

    Metal:
    Paint stripper (doh). Nitrocellulose based, very caustic, cannot be had in all locations, not suitable for use around young children.
    Oven Cleaner. Get the older smelly type, spray on, wait an hour or two, rinse in water. Toothbrush helps.
    Brake fluid. I've never had any luck with this one.
    Acetone: Similar to paint stripper.
    Simple Green. Soak overnight to a week and paint might come off.

    Plastic minis...
    You'll have to get help from someone else....

    ***
    Tools:
    Rubber gloves. Careful, some of the chemicals will eat the cheaper gloves, get the blue chemical ones.
    Toothbrush: Obviously not the one you are currently using. Use your soon-to-be ex's. Acetone, paint stripper and other chemicals may eat the bristles or the handle.
    Dental picks/Toothpicks: Something to get into those tight places that the paint really likes to be. Sometimes it is better to leave it there.
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  4. #4

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    Not sure if its available in your part of the world but Fairy Power spray (an oven cleaner) is the best i have used. Works just as well on metal or plastic. Spray on mini, leave for 20 minutes and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush. Repeat process if necessary, then a final soft scrub with dishsoap/washing-up liquid

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  5. #5

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    simple green works. so does oven cleaner. used both on GW plastic models - no issues

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    What did you search for? I can remember more than three and there are a dozen or so in the Sticky Thread of much stickyness.

    Einion

    I searched for "strip paint" minus the quotation marks in the search box. One of those threads was also tagged with "stripping" so I clicked the tag but still no go. Thanks for the link though. I found it helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    short answer: It depends.

    Metal minis are much more able to withstand caustic chemicals than plastic or resin minis.

    Metal:
    Paint stripper (doh). Nitrocellulose based, very caustic, cannot be had in all locations, not suitable for use around young children.
    Oven Cleaner. Get the older smelly type, spray on, wait an hour or two, rinse in water. Toothbrush helps.
    Brake fluid. I've never had any luck with this one.
    Acetone: Similar to paint stripper.
    Simple Green. Soak overnight to a week and paint might come off.

    Plastic minis...
    You'll have to get help from someone else....

    ***
    Tools:
    Rubber gloves. Careful, some of the chemicals will eat the cheaper gloves, get the blue chemical ones.
    Toothbrush: Obviously not the one you are currently using. Use your soon-to-be ex's. Acetone, paint stripper and other chemicals may eat the bristles or the handle.
    Dental picks/Toothpicks: Something to get into those tight places that the paint really likes to be. Sometimes it is better to leave it there.
    Yeah common sense dictates plastic doesn't fare well in caustic solvents. I have four metal minis, two of which are painted twice (painted and repainted) with GW acrylics. And two which I think have been painted using old Humbrol oil based paints.

    I actually have a few chemicals at home so why don't I try different ones and post pictures of results here, and maybe we can make this thread useful (rather than just showing how bad my search-fu is)? I will call the minis "skeleton" (painted with oils), "elf" (painted with oils), "wizard 1" (GW acrylics) and "wizard 2" (GW acrylics). Here they are in that order:



    Skeleton is marked "HHG", but I can't for the life of me recall what company that was. Elf is Grenadier and I think wizard 1 is Grenadier. Wizard 2 is Grenadier as well. Basically pretty old stuff.

    Chemicals I have at my disposal at the moment is denaturated etanol (EU-number 200-578-6) and oven cleaner:



    Greetings from Sweden!

    I also have birchwood toothpicks. I reckon they'll be soft enough to not wear down the minis any more than they already have been.

    I'll do wizard 1 and 2 with these chemicals and get back to the other two once I get some paint stripper and some "Simple Green"-substitute.

    Wizard 1 is treated to a bath of etanol, suspended from a linen thread to make sure the etanol touches as much of the surface as possible. I have no idea if this makes any difference but better safe than sorry.



    Wizard 2 is somewhere in all that lather. Oven cleaner at work.



    I will leave wizard 1 overnight, and rinse wizard 2 in a couple of hours. I also covered both glasses with plastic wrap so I don't wake up drunk and blind tomorrow from the fumes. :P

    To be continued..

    ps. I'm only responsible for the painting of the two wizards. They are from my "yellow period".

    pps. I found two more minis that I will add to the four. The first is apparently called Neferata and seems to be an old Games Workshop mini. The second is Bastet and is also an old GW mini. I have no idea what kind of colours they have been painted with, but I'm guessing acrylic. I will call them "vampire" and "cat" respectively and they look thus:

    Last edited by finnpalm; 01-18-2012 at 07:58 PM. Reason: capitalization
    On the other hand you have different fingers.

  7. #7

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    After about two and a half hour I rinsed wizard 2 in warm water and soap. The paint refused to come nicely and I had to scrub quite hard with a toothbrush to get it off. Also couldn't find my wooden toothpicks, but instead found plastic picks which helped somewhat with the creases. So far oven cleaner is not satisfactory. Perhaps it needs more time.



    Not wasting any time I instead put wizard 2 in a cleaning spray similar to Simple Green (opened the bottle and poured some into a glass), and since I have two different (at least by scent and colour), one for kitchen and one for bathroom, I drowned the cat in the other one.



    Now, time for bed.

    To be continued..
    Last edited by finnpalm; 01-18-2012 at 09:50 PM.
    On the other hand you have different fingers.

  8. #8

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    Dettol

    easiest thing I ever worked with.

    Stripped plastic with it too

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by finnpalm
    I searched for "strip paint" minus the quotation marks in the search box. One of those threads was also tagged with "stripping" so I clicked the tag but still no go. Thanks for the link though. I found it helpful.
    Tags aren't fully implemented here - people often forget to add them (I know I do). Plus they weren't around until relatively recently so most older threads don't have any.

    The way to search for threads about a specific topic is to use Advanced Search. Click on the Search Single Content Type tab at the top, type in your search term(s) with the option Search Titles Only selected, make sure Show Results as: Threads is the option selected further down, click on Search now. If you do this with the word stripping you get nearly two full pages of results.

    Great to see photos of your tests Oven cleaner will generally work very well for this, just leave it in longer or do it more than once.

    Einion

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    Oven cleaner will generally work very well for this, just leave it in longer or do it more than once.
    Yeah, I can tell that some of the chemicals need more time. I just thought "why not try short and long times both", and for such a short time I would say that the oven cleaner did plenty.

    So did denaturated etanol to wizard 1 after a little over twelve hours:



    Even more mechanical removal of the paint was required here to get it to come off. I didn't dare scrub more because I remember these early minis being so soft you could easily rub the face flat like that.

    Denaturated etanol - not satisfactory for short term. Like the oven cleaner it needs more time as the paint was clearly bubbly on the surface when I took the mini out.

    Those darn basecoats seem to stick really well. I'm just gonna finish my tea, and then I'm going down town to look for a painted stripper.

    I really want to see what skeleton looks like underneath all that paint..
    On the other hand you have different fingers.

  11. #11

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    Great news! We have Simple Green in Sweden, albeit under a different name:



    The bottle reads:

    Paint solvent

    Effectively solves dried paint from brushes or miniatures.

    - Environment friendly
    - Non-hazardous
    - Water solluble
    - Effective

    It also says "based on Simple Green", and in the product info it's quite clear that this is.. Simple Green. Someone seems to have decided that the minipainting hobbyists in Sweden needed a better paint stripper and started importing Simple Green, selling it as paint solvent.

    I will put two minis (one oil and one acrylic) into this right away and post results once I have them. By the way, had anyone tried removing oil based paints with Simple Green? If so, did it work?

    I have two more chemicals on my list that I want to try out. One is a brush cleaner that is supposedly very strong and effective according to the girl in the paint store, but still quite kind to hands and eyes and such. The other is xylene.
    On the other hand you have different fingers.

  12. #12

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    Alright. Wizard 2 and cat are back from their baths in kitchen cleaner and bathroom cleaner respectively for about 20 hours. Both did actually let go of some paint and given more time the results probably would have been fairly good. However again I was forced to remove it mechanically with a toothpick. I guess if you lack other chemicals you can at least get some result with regular spray cleaners.

    Oh look. Sandra Garrity sculpted for Grenadier before she went over to Reaper!



    Or maybe Reaper just bought her moulds after Grenadier went bankrupt. If there is anyone here that didn't know this, when one mini-manufacturer goes bankrupt the others flock like vultures over a carcass and buy off the very expensive-to-make-moulds, which is why sometimes you can find "remakes" of old minis many years after the original makers are gone from the market.

    Ok, they go in the Simple Green as well.

    I'm going to let all the minis soak in it for a day or two. If there is still paint that won't come off after that I'm gonna try mixing etanol with white spirits. I have a hunch they work well together. If that doesn't work I'm getting some stronger stuff from a paintshop, like xylene and/or that brushcleaner.
    Last edited by finnpalm; 01-21-2012 at 09:34 PM. Reason: spelling
    On the other hand you have different fingers.

  13. #13

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    Wow. After only a few hours in the bath of Simple Green I poked the minis a little with a ruined brush and the paint came off in little clouds in the solvent. Even from the oil colours.

    EDIT: This is just crazy. And it smells almost nothing at all, like diluted dishwashing liquid. I must say however that I got this serious buzz last night when going to bed, that stayed for a few hours. I felt completely hammered like when I have had too much to drink, but without the nausea, my head was spinning and I was stumbling around bumping into things. Today I feel a little better but still my coordination and balance is off somewhat. I can't type as fast as I'm used to on the keyboard for example. It came last night after I poked my head in the container with the minis and the Simple Green and poked around with a brush.

    Coincidental? Perhaps. What are the odds of getting a virus that stays for a few hours on your balance centre right after having sniffed chemicals?

    We'll see..
    Last edited by finnpalm; 01-20-2012 at 08:52 AM.
    On the other hand you have different fingers.

  14. #14

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    Holy mother of.. Purely amazing. After approximately 24 hours I took the minis (I dropped all of them into the Simple Green) and rinsed them off. I hardly even had to use a toothbrush. Out of six minis two were completely clean, two had a little paint left in practically impossible to reach areas, and two went back in the bath to soak a little more.



    I will not even waste time with the stronger chemicals at this point. Maybe later, but right now this is just.. I'm not getting payed to say this by the way. :P

    So if you're in Sweden and need a good paintstripper, go to an art store and look for this (but please make sure you don't breathe it in. Keep in sealed containers or make sure you're in a well ventilated area):

    Last edited by finnpalm; 01-21-2012 at 09:33 PM.
    On the other hand you have different fingers.

  15. #15
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    Congratulations, you hit on the right stuff for you.
    Ebay will become your friend or fiend. Those "Pro Painted" pieces you feel so sorry for can have a second chance.

    As to the dizzy / spaced effects a lot of strong cleaners warn about odour ingestion, spazzed myself on acetone once so I sympathise.
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonsreach View Post
    Congratulations, you hit on the right stuff for you.
    Ebay will become your friend or fiend. Those "Pro Painted" pieces you feel so sorry for can have a second chance.

    As to the dizzy / spaced effects a lot of strong cleaners warn about odour ingestion, spazzed myself on acetone once so I sympathise.
    Heh. Well put. I might come back and necro this thread in the future. I still feel like trying out those other chemicals. About that buzz, I have carefully re-read through the product info and there is nothing about that. The only thing to find is a part about how it can be irritating on nose and lungs.

    Very strange.

    And now, off to practice on the newly stripped minis.
    On the other hand you have different fingers.

  17. #17
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finnpalm View Post
    About that buzz, I have carefully re-read through the product info and there is nothing about that. The only thing to find is a part about how it can be irritating on nose and lungs.
    In that case you might be one of those people susceptible to absorbing chemicals easily. A filter air mask might be a worthwhile investment for you.
    I have Menieires Syndrome (in a remissive state), the symptoms of which match those you described.
    Eliminating Salt out of my diet has worked as I haven't had an attack in close to 4 years now.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonsreach View Post
    In that case you might be one of those people susceptible to absorbing chemicals easily. A filter air mask might be a worthwhile investment for you.
    I have Menieires Syndrome (in a remissive state), the symptoms of which match those you described.
    Eliminating Salt out of my diet has worked as I haven't had an attack in close to 4 years now.
    I've never before in my life had a "buzz" from inhaling chemicals. Not more than feeling a little heavy headed. Unfortunately filter masks are made for protecting against particles. To protect yourself from chemical fumes you need one of those masks that blow air in front of your face creating an over pressure, or an air-tight mask with air tubes.
    On the other hand you have different fingers.

  19. #19
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by finnpalm View Post
    I've never before in my life had a "buzz" from inhaling chemicals. Not more than feeling a little heavy headed. Unfortunately filter masks are made for protecting against particles. To protect yourself from chemical fumes you need one of those masks that blow air in front of your face creating an over pressure, or an air-tight mask with air tubes.
    Not quite...
    A (in the US) NIOSH approved organic vapor mask (purple filters) will do the trick. Supplied air is better as you don't have to worry about lack of O2 or excess in other gasses.

    http://www.amazon.com/3M-Organic-Res.../dp/B0019D5H32
    Less than $20 US.
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  20. #20

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    The problem I have isn't from the fumes of chemicals affecting me - it's the other half who has the problem! Struggles if I use too much poly cement and cleaning the airbrush is a nightmare. Not sure if she'd be too amused if I offered her a filter mask whilst she's watching the telly though

    Need to try and find some simple green or similar in the UK...

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