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Paint stripping

Q: I have a Johan 1968 Cadillac convertible that’s basically unbuilt though someone painted the body white with a lot of disappointing orange peel. 

I tried Easy-Off oven and grill cleaner to strip it, but had no luck whatsoever. I’m not quite sure what kind of paint it is. I’ve heard of using brake fluid but I’ve never tried it Any suggestions?

-Derek Ward
Ontario, Canada

Ken: Paint stripping questions come in quite often. Brake fluid should work to loosen up the old paint without damaging the plastic, but there’s no  guarantee.

To be sure, take a piece of scrap sprue and submerge it into a container of brake fluid. Leave it for a day or two and see what happens. If there’s no damage, the car should be OK.

Most modelers have their favorite paint stripper, from Westley’s Bleche-Wite whitewall cleaner to other automotive degreasers such as Purple Power and Simple Green.
Coincidentally, we received another similar tip from Mark Culberson on striping paint. Read on…

Tip: I use Hot Shot floor stripper.  It can be found at most cleaning supply or home improvement stores. It will strip parts overnight without harming the plastic.
Some scrubbing may be required to remove stubborn residue from crevices and inside corners. It even removes the yellow clear coat under chrome. It’s water soluble, environmentally safe and doesn’t leave any residue to react with paints I have used.


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