The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by elba, Feb 25, 2021.
What is to best way to remove all of the paint from a car ? Down to metal !
Best is to get it media blasted by an experienced company.
Depends on what your criteria for "best" is. There are lots of ways to do it, they each have advantages, and disadvantages. Such as, can you do it yourself? how expensive is it? Where do you have to take the body to have it done? What condition does it leave the metal, how much clean up is required afterwards? Will it remove all the corrosion protection in places you can't reach?
I used a Harbor Freight pot blaster with a five? horse two stage compressor, I did virtually all of the Studebaker, just not all at one time. In my case I had areas that needed metal work (replace the floor and trunk corners, fenders plus parts of the lower cowl) so I would blast an area that I was going to work on, repair that area and then go to another area. It was not an afternoon job. Not the only way to do it. Good luck on whatever direction you go.
EDIT.....after I read several of the responses after this post I'd better add that on the Studebaker the red primer covered virtually no paint but surface rust. If your paint is still solid, other methods may be better.
I have used paint stripper in the past. Starts off messy, paint scrapers, steel wool etc. but you can control it.
Having said that, I don't believe you can get the good old stripper over there any more.
I've used this many times, and it works very well. It even worked on some powdercoated wheels I did awhile back.
Get somebody else to do it!! what? He asked what the best way is?
Dare I say "elbow grease", In all seriousness there are many ways of doing it, and how much you want to spend, Media blasting with a product such as baking soda is the gentlest way of stripping, an experienced operator can use this method to remove paint layer by layer with no panel damage.
When I stripped the paint off of my 56 f-100 I used a cheap Harbor fraight 4 1/2 angle grinder and Norton Rapid strip blue wheels.Didn't have much money in it, just time and work.This was just for many layers of paint.If it's pitted and rusty you should probley use some sort of media blasting.
My last two cars I stripped to bare metal using paint stripper pads on my 4.5" angle grinder.
I buy these pads for about $5 ea. and two will strip a car. It took me about 5-6 hrs. to get mine entirely stripped, and was very little effort to do so. And these pads are easy on metal. They wont remove the metal, or warp it like a flapper disc will.
I like not having to haul it to a shop, or have all the mess of media to clean up here. I wont strip with paint stripper, or blast them myself.
Park it outside for a while....................
This one is almost done.........................
These work very well if it is a DIY job you want.
Thanks for all the tips!
I know quite a few guys who have used a razor blade and elbow grease.
It isn't cheap and the abrasive wheels aren't cheap either but the Eastwood contour I have will take paint off in a hurry and like The disks that Grumpy 65 showed don't get into the metal unless you use the one intended for it.
How many layers you are taking off has a lot to do with it though. The more paint that a rig has on it the more work needed to take it off.
I strip a lot of paint, and i still use aircraft stripper. Yeah, it's not as good as it used to be, thanks to someone that apparently didn't heed the warnings on the can, but it still works. Followed up with a spray bottle of water to neutralize it and a handful of rags. Follow that with some 80 grit on your da sander. I also use a wire cup brush on my grinder. And on cars with cowl vents I'll use my small propane torch and the ol hand operated wire brush.
Whatever you use, just remember that excessive heat will distort metal. If grinding, sanding, or torching, don't focus in one area for too long. You gotta keep moving over a larger area and remove the paint uniformly. This is not any slower than working deeply on smaller areas, and will save the heartache of warped metal. Wobbly panels are a real pain in the hole.....................
Need more details.
What is the current condition of the paint?
I like to strip the flat panels with stripper. I don’t like what happens to them when blasted. I will blast the jambs and wheel wells.
I’ve worked on some that will DA easily with 80grit. Some that had to have 40 grit.
I’ve had paint that stripper didn’t really help.
I’ve razor bladed off lots of paint.
Sometimes you blast, strip, sand and scrape.
The easiest and most expensive method is dipped and e-coated.
I had always used the Aircraft paint stripper in the past. A couple of years ago the EPA required the removal of methylene chloride from all paint strippers. The newer stuff doesn't work as well as the old stuff and cost more.
My brother took a '65 pony car down to Santa Rosa just north of Pensacola and had that car media blasted and epoxy primed. It was a good way to go.
That shop is reputable and there was stuff there from all over the country. You have to pay for that service but think of the cost of stripper, of tools, media and all the trips to the store.
If you don't have many tools and not that much time, a shop like this may be a good option.
SEARCH! There are already 6+ pages of "Paint Removal" from everything from steel to fiberglass and alot of these people already answered and gave the same answers. Learn how to work.
Easy there big guy, it's all good. The OP did say thanks in post #13...
There are very few subjects that can be considered 'virgin and untouched' on the HAMB. If noone asked any questions any more, what would we all do around here.................
I’ve been planning on a mix of stripper for some panels and low grit DA for others.
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I have used aircraft paint stripper many times on cars and aircraft. It is still the best way to go other than having it dipped. The stripper will save you alot of money but will take some time and its messy.
I will say that I also use a DA with various grits depending on what I'm working.
I need to add once the stripper is on cover it with one of those disposable plastic drop cloths to keep the chemicals from evaporating. And wear goggles and gloves.
Call Dustless blasting they will come to your location you put some plastic down and park the car or truck on it and they take it to bare metal and it also treats the metal against flash rust for days. After they are finished just roll up the plastic and no mess . Cost me $ 700 to do a long bed Chevy p.u. and he was finished in less than 3 hours.
Or use any of the methods described in the previous comments.
Did you spend a lot of time cleaning out residue?
We had one dustless blasted and the rockers, wheel wells and several other hard to reach areas was covered in blasting residue.
Spent a bunch of time cleaning that mess out.
Grumpy65, maybe I had too much to drink when I read the post, opened it, saw the usual posters with the same responses. And a quick search of the topic led to a minimum of 6 pages full of the same question. That alone is what set me off because when I say something a minimum of three times you should begin to get the message. Granted some people learn slower but at least try. Maybe I should chance my Avatar to this and add GOS below it.
For those that do not know it is the Combined Service Spec Ops insignia.
GOS=Grumpy Old Soldier.
For a DIY method, I like a buffer (not grinder)with a 7" backing pad and 80 grit paper. The lower speed of the buffer prevents most of the paper clogging problems. Old lacquer in particular when sanded with higher speeds will clog quickly. The buffer speed, especially with a variable speed model, will work much better.
Of course that is only good for larger areas. The paint stripper pads mentioned earlier work well on jambs and other tight areas especially when held on edge.
No easy ways, just some that work.
I used a pressure washer and an air hose it wasn't too bad to get the residue out. No more difficult than sand blasting residue.
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