Best way to remove paint from plastic?

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by John Hubbard, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. John Hubbard

    John Hubbard New Member

    What's the best way to remove paint (unknown type) from a plastic loco shell? I have one that a previous owner painted and I want to strip it without damaging the plastic.

    Also, what's the best way to remove factory-applied lettering without damaging the plastic?
  2. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    you might like to try break fluid, as it wont deform most plastics, but it will some of the softer ones, I have soaked LL, bachmann, atlas, and gf, and one kato with no ill afects. Welcome to the gauge.
    I hope this has helped you... have a good one..steve
  3. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member


    There is a product from Polly Scale called Easy Lift Off (ELO)that is great for removing paint & decals/lettering...It cleans up with water, & will not harm plastic...I highly recommend it! :thumb:
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I have also used full strength Pine Sol with great success. If you leave it soaking too long, it will deform the plastic, but we are talking a day or so for "too long". If you soak it for 10-20 minutes and then brush the plastic with a soft scrub brush or old tooth brush, the paint comes off without problems to the plastic.
  5. Relic

    Relic Member

    I wouldn,t advise using Polly Strippa, it eats plastic. I tried it on a retired F with factory paint. On the other hand(I have a wart) Imay have left it on too long although I washed off as soon as the paint started to move
  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    What's "Polly Strippa"?

    (I think I mighta met her when I was in the army! ;):D )
  7. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    It`s a polly that strips paint :D
    From the makers of polly filler etc.
    I just know you are gonna ask "what`s polly filler" :D
  8. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    years ago model railroader ran a article on using potassium hydroxide(lye) for stripping plastic tried it on a old athearn F unit worked well and diden't damage the shell.can't say what it would do to newer plastics.
  9. John Hubbard

    John Hubbard New Member

    Thanks for all the ideas. So far, I've tried Polly Scale ELO and brake fluid. The ELO took off some paint, but did not affect the factory lettering at all nor did it remove some of the other paint. I only let the brake fluid have about 15 minutes to work, but got no effect at all. Any suggestions on how long I should let it work without damaging the plastic?
  10. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    i have used brake fluid - but it needs to soak for a few hours. I used an old toothbrosh to rub the loosened paint off. Make sure to wear dishwashing gloves, as brake fluid will suck the moisture from your hands. I noticed no ill effects on older athearn shells, no weird warping or dissolving of the plastic.

  11. Relic

    Relic Member

    I,ve had trouble with break lluid on car paint, it took the paint off after awhile but seemed to get right into the metal and new paint would,t stick.Have you tried rubbing alcohol?

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