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How did you strip the paint off your car?

How did you strip the paint off your car?  

22 members have voted

  1. 1. How did you strip the paint off your car?

    • paint stripper
      10
    • wire brush
      1
    • stripping wheel
      2
    • other - please state in a post
      9


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Paint stripper!

I had to go right back to bare metal so it was the logical choise! I then used a random orbital sander to get rid of what the paint stripper didnt!

You may want to add bead/sand blast to that list too

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I'm going to use a combination of paint stripper and media blasting on my latest project.

I'll use paint stripper on the large flat panels of the exterior body, I'll then use an orbital sander to get those panels to complete bare metal. I'll avoid seams, nooks, crannys, etc. where the stripper can hide.

I'll use the media blasting for everywhere else. I hope doing it this way will minimize any potential excess heat caused by blasting.

Good luck with your cars!

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I used chemical stripper to get the majority of it off. Then I went back over the areas where patches of paint remained with a 3M Clean & Strip disc on my drill. Those work pretty good. Make sure you get ones with the metal arbor; I've recently picked some up that have a plastic arbor that breaks right off after one second of use (frustrating). Also, a wire wheel works well to remove old bondo.

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for really bad old paint

We use a product called: "Strip it dry" at the shop, works pretty fast, it comes out of the can in a jelly form and is pretty easy to apply, using some cheap paint brushes. its super strong so DONT get it on your bare skin...you will feel it burning within a few seconds..

Ive seen it eat through tennis shoes...so pay attn when applying it.

the key to using this stuff is preparing the area... like Bruce said avoid those nooks and crannies, if you miss cleaning up a little of that stuff, it could really mess up your paint job...we just Mask off the outside edges of whatever we are stripping, so we have a buffer zone so to speak, between the stripper and where we dont want it to go. once applied, let it do its thing for 30 minutes or so, then come back with a soft scraper like a "bondo" spatula, and a cardboard box, and scrape it off...into the box for easy disposal. after cleaning it off the work area, then go over the area with your

desired abrasives, then clean surface again with a final cleaner, (prep solvent of some sort) or alcohol wipes, then etch prime the area.

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I got my shell dipped in a non acidic (basically I think it was like a big drum of brake fluid but not oily). There is no damage to the underlying metal, and the residue left behind will dry to a white powder that can just be blown off the car. It means that a few nooks and crannies will be hard to get paint back into, but overall it means that I know exactly what the base car is like. I think there are some pictures in my gallery of it how it came back.

Chris

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I have 3 layers of color on my '72, and I want to go to bare metal before I repaint. I tried rattle can paint stripper - DID NOTHING, I tried the 3M disc, it works well, but way too slow. I tried the wire wheel, same thing.

I got POR-STRIP and tried that. It worked great on the first layer. The paint flaked right off after 2 coats. I still have to go re-apply to the other layers, but I expext it to work on them too.

This is a pic of the door about 8 minutes after I sprayed 2 wet coats on.

post-7211-14150797657004_thumb.jpg

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After many hours of chipping out the tar mats inside and taking a propane torch to the undercoating, I decided enough is enough. My Z was loaded on a trailer and taken to American Stripping in Sacramento. They specialize in media stripping all types of cars.

stripped_04.jpg

It may have cost $1000.00 but was worth every penny. They take pride in their work and do it right.

http://www.americanstrippingsacramento.com/home/

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John;

First question again as always is why are you stripping the paint? How much time and money are you looking at putting into this project. What are you building? A driver, a show car someplace in the middle. Is the car solid, what kind of rust repair needs to be done. Is the paint on it now sound, checked, or cracked?

Stripping the paint off is not always the best answer. If you remove it by using a DA sander you can see where the little damaged spots are that will need further attention later. Another plus is you get some of the lows to fill as you sand the paint off. You then can either leave the solid paint seal it and paint over it or continue to remove the rest of the paint after noting the lows and highs.

By the way the paint on mine had all the above listed conditions some place on it. Oh yeah i am just building a daily driver.

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I dident strip. I used a DA and sanded and prepped . Some places needed to go to bare metal but not the whole car . If you can get down to good paint. There is no need to strip. This will save a hell of a lot of work. Gary

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To add to Jackboxxx, I've spoken with paint shop and they don't like chemical stripper mainly because it's messy and they don't have full control over where it goes. Now the dry stripper that he mentioned is probably a product to overcome the problem of gooey stripper/paint residue. I'm letting the paint shop strip mine.

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i like paint stripper and 3m clean and strip wheels use the paint stripper on the big areas and clean strip wheel to clean up and do edges

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Thanks for the replies everyone - they are really helping with the decision making :)

I am planning to do all the preparation work myself so sandblasting is not an option really. I think I will be using chemical paint stripper on large flat areas as some have suggested and for hard to reach place I think I will be using a wire brush as opposed to stipping wheel because it gets used too quickly from my experience. Do you think wire brush will scratch metal deeply or is it safe to use?

Cheers,

John.

PS My car is going to be a very clean daily driver, but I want high quality finish anyway.

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wire brushes want scratch the metal I used them in some place found the ones that fit onto 4" angle grinders work really well can get in all sorts of places and strip quickly

As for the clean and strip wheels if u use them on flat and areas with no edges they will last a lont time soon as u start on edges they will rip down but i still reckon there worth usung to clean up with and do the areas where u dont wnt to use chemical paint stripper

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When I read Theianmonster's reply of using a razor blade, I thought, there's a crazy idea!!!

Then I went down to the car and tried it, works great. The left side of the picture was stripped with paint stripper, took 15 minutes plus the cleanup. The right side of the picture took about one minute, a little vacuuming and no odors.

After this worked so well, I tried a number of other areas that weren't as flat, same results.

post-7867-14150797663494_thumb.jpg

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wire brushes want scratch the metal I used them in some place found the ones that fit onto 4" angle grinders work really well can get in all sorts of places and strip quickly

As for the clean and strip wheels if u use them on flat and areas with no edges they will last a lont time soon as u start on edges they will rip down but i still reckon there worth usung to clean up with and do the areas where u dont wnt to use chemical paint stripper

So what areas wouldnt I want to use paint stripper on and why? My car is getting stripped completely so the chemical cant damage anything.

And what is the advantage of usinga clean and strip wheel against the wire brush? Wire brush can be used over and over, whereas strip disk will wear out, I think I will stick with the brush.

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blue leaf,

Sometimes the problem with chemical strippers is that you don't get it all off and then end up painting over top of it. After awhile, the paint can start to lift and flake off. Others here can explain this better than I can but that's the jist of it.

With all the work/cost involved in prepping and painting a car you wouldn't want some chemical residue ruining things.

Good luck with your car.

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I used 36 - 50 grit sandpaper on a disk sander.

I DO NOT recommend that method.

The car is covered with small grind marks that I have been filling with bondo now that I am re-painting it. It has taken a really long time, and two cans of bondo so far. What a mess.

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the best idea with chemical is to keep it away from anywhere u will have trouble cleaning it back out of

and if you just repairing to tidy up and panel is straight with bondo sand it and leave bondo in place keep chemical away other wise your just redoing what someone has already fixed

the clean and strip wheels will move a lot more paint quicker than wire wheel

wire is better on edges in cracks and hard to get places i found

mick

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I really don't understand the point of stripping a whole car. The only reasons I could think of is a bad previous paint job (chips easy) or to repair body work that was possibly done wrong. IT really doesn't make much sence to me. My brother is an autobody painter and he is working on a 1940 ford that was in a wreck. The only spots that went to bare metal are the parts that needed body work, metal work, or the parts with rust. These are the only reasons that makes sense to me. Bare metal is alot of work for little reward.

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Yikes Walter....

You can use 36 grit on a D/A sander and get rid of paint VERY quickly, but you should always follow that with 180 and then 220 to reduce those scratches. If you used a rotary disk sander (i.e. NO random orbital) with only rotational movement....YIKES! No wonder you're battling the scratches.

Blue Leaf:

JackBoxx owns and operates a Maaco franchise and the first line of his post says : "for really bad old paint" . Believe him in that what he means is REALLY bad old paint, i.e. cracks, chips down to the metal, burnt through to the primer and below. and last but not least, weather beaten to the Pool Cue Chalk stage.

On paint that hasn't reached that stage, you might be better off using a D/A sander to smooth the body as A7DZ and Beandip mentioned. Sometimes the best base for a new paint job IS the old paint job.....IF ..... you prepare it properly.

Remember, any and ALL of the prior dent / blemish repairs will have to be replaced if you get stripper on them.

Stripper works by using various acids and other nasty solvents. Most that I'm familiar with will give you a real nasty chemical burn if you get it on your skin.

They will seep into the tiniest of cracks and crevices and dry up....waiting for you to paint and then they'll react with the paint and leave you with blemishes in your new paint job. All of them will destroy and permeate any Bondo / plastic filler you may have on the car, rendering it impossible to paint over. Want a paint shop to refuse to paint your car? Tell them you used stripper and you "saved" the bondo by only scraping off the top layer.

The razor blade method might seem faster....until you STILL end up having to sand the body smooth, except now you're sanding hundreds of little uneven depth scrapes....talk about setting yourself back a couple days. Even if you scrape to the metal, there's going to be dozens of scratches from the razor blade on the metal that will need to be addressed. That is, if you have any feeling in your hands afterwards.

For a good looking daily driver paint job that doesn't cost an arm and a leg...D/A sander to smooth and prepare the surface for the sealer and then the paint.

OR

Save yourself a bunch of hazzle, clean-up and a bunch of other stuff and take it to Jackboxx's or one of his fellow franchise owners and have them do a job that will leave you quite satisfied. Remember, unless you currently DO own the tools to do the job right AND have the experience and knowledge, you might find it cheaper to have it done professionally.

2¢

Enrique

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John;

First question again as always is why are you stripping the paint? How much time and money are you looking at putting into this project. What are you building? A driver, a show car someplace in the middle. Is the car solid, what kind of rust repair needs to be done. Is the paint on it now sound, checked, or cracked?

Stripping the paint off is not always the best answer. If you remove it by using a DA sander you can see where the little damaged spots are that will need further attention later. Another plus is you get some of the lows to fill as you sand the paint off. You then can either leave the solid paint seal it and paint over it or continue to remove the rest of the paint after noting the lows and highs.

By the way the paint on mine had all the above listed conditions some place on it. Oh yeah i am just building a daily driver.

you are correct, stripping is not always the answer...true a lot of older cars we work on need a portion of the vehicle stripped, (being in CA.) we mostly see roofs, hoods, fender tops, and trunks needing this from sun and smog damage. usually the sides of the car can be taken care of with a DA sander.

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