Paint stripping

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by mhdishere, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    I know, another thread on paint-stripping. I've searched the archives, both here at RR-Line, and have a couple questions.

    First, background, I bought a bunch of Harriman cars from MDC on their clearance sale and want to strip the paint. I contacted MDC and, after telling me I should have bought undec's (which weren't on sale) they told me (a) the paint is acrylic and (b) to avoid any kind of solvent. So, I've heard of using brake-fluid, alcohol, pine-sol, and laundry detergent as well as commercial products that are intended to be paint strippers, but which of these are "solvent" based. The MDC rep did recommend against alcohol.

    If anyone has actually stripped an MDC car (they're molded in black plastic, btw) your comments are especially appreciated. I don't really care how long they have to soak, but I don't want to mess up any cars if I can help it.

    As I often do, I'm posting both here at RR-line, so if you already answered there no need to answer again!

  2. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    I have had success with the brake fluid on both Athearn and Mantua cars. It does take a while, and in a few cases days, but it did work with no damage.
  3. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I've used brake fluid, pine-sol and other cleaners like 409 and thunder blaster.
    I prefer to use the brake fluid because I,ve ruined a few shells with pine-sol and the other cleaners don't work on some types of paint.
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I recently stripped a Walthers SW1 using "Chameleon" I don't see how anything could do better. Well, ok, brake fluid and cleaners are cheaper. I paid $10.79 for 16 ounces. But very little was discarded after stripping the loco. I let the shell soak for 15 minutes, then removed it to a sink where I brushed it with an old toothbrush. I was surprised how much paint came off and how easily! When I removed it it had looked unaffected, no paint had leeched into the cleaner. One more soaking and some determined scrubbing got the last bits of paint from grills and such. It's non caustic and water soluble. It is made specifically for styrene.

    I also used it, painted on with a small brush, to remove paint from the metal sill of the loco,(without removing mech) it came off more easily than it had off the styrene. The bottle says it can be used on wood as well. I haven't tried it. Imagine that, you can strip wood. I guess this tip should go over in the strip wood thread!

    I think you should give it a try. I got mine at my LHS, F&M Hobbies in Denville. I imagine it's easily available.


    PS You know you aren't far from me, PM me if you'd like to come over and we can strip it here.
  5. McFortner

    McFortner Member

    That sounds promising, but is it safe for septic tanks? I'd hate to have to have my tank pumped because I "poisoned" it.

  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Michael, I at least have no reason to believe it would cause a problem. It is water soluble. I don't have it in front of me to check, but I don't think there is even a California warning about cancer. Which probably means you can drink it. Seriously, it has no smell but please don't drink it! I kept all but a capfull or so. I just poured it in my waste basket on top of some paper towels. Good thing I don't smoke, huh? I don't know if it is flamable, again no warning.

  7. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Gary, is there any hint on the label about the chemical contents of that Chameleon stuff?

    Your description sounds very interesting, but I am quite sure that we don't have this brand 'Chameleon (R)' of paint remover here in Europe. Now if I knew something about its chemical composition, this could help... ;)

    (And after all, we got a chemistry dept. in our school! :D :D :D)

    TIA, Ron
  8. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    Sounds like interesting stuff, I'll see what I can do to find some.

    I've also read about soaking in a mixture of laundry detergent and water, so I might give that a try too since we just went to Costco and bought a BIG bottle of detergent! I'd imagine that would be safe for just about anything.
  9. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Ron, Hope this means more to you than it does to me.

    Contains: 2 Propanol; Dimethyl Carbinol
    CAS #67-63-0
    2 Butoxyethanol
    CAS #111-76-2

    That's it folks.

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