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Paint Removal - any experience out there?  Rating:  Rating
 Posted: 10-13-2007 10:15 pm
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1st Post

Joined: 03-16-2005
Posts: 23
My 1975 Healey has a horrible Maaco-quality, very thick paint job on it. The job itself was relatively dodgy and as there are a few cracks and flakes appearing here and there, I will eventually have to repaint. However, repainting over this thick mess would be a travesty. Does anyone have experience with doing or having this job done? I would think a chemical process would produce the best result, but I'm not sure what's out there that really works. I'd expect to have someone else remove the paint, then I'd do the repaint job myself, though I'm not completely averse to removing it myself it its only elbow grease and time involved with no weird gotchas...

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 Posted: 10-14-2007 02:21 am
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Art DeKneef

Joined: 03-12-2005
Location: Mesa, Arizona USA
Posts: 303
I believe this has been discussed before in the forums.

You have three ways to strip paint off a car. Media blasting, dipping the whole car in a chemical tub, or sanding.

Depending on the media used it can remove just the paint or paint and then the rust underneath. Care must be taken not to be too aggressive removing the paint or the metal can heat up and warp, causing bigger problems. Can be done by yourself if you have the equipment. Usually done by a shop that has the equipment and room.

Dipping the car is done by a company and removes everything from the metal. Usually leaving a pretty clean car. You will need to take everything off of the car and/or its parts for this process.

Sanding the car using something like a 7" or 8" sander and 80-grit paper you could probably do the whole car in a weekend. Except, obviously, those areas where you can't get into. Then chemical strippers or media blasting can be used.

Each has its pros and cons. Most revolve around time and money. I have heard prices for media blasting a car the size of the JH of around $500 -$600. I know it will be different in other areas. Depends on how much work is needed.

I have no experience with dipping a car. There is a place about ten miles away that does this process. I went over and they had a lot of work there. The stuff I saw looked clean after the dipping process. Cost was based on what what teh object looked like. I took the passenger front fender and was told about seven days to strip it and $75.00. Might seem expensive, as I first thought so, but after thinking about it some, it didn't seem too bad considering that a gallon of chemical from the hardware store will cost about $30.00. Figure in your time to do one side with just the paint. Will one coat of the stripper work or will it more another? What about the inside that has the black protective coating on. Probably will take two trys. Then there is the disposal of the chemical stripper and the smell. Need to be in a well ventilated area.

What I have done is do the sanding on the big outer surfaces. Using a slow speed so as not to clog the sandpaper by melting the paint yields goor results. For those areas where I couldn't use the sander I have used the chemical stripper. For the rust areas I have used a wire wheel, sanding discs, and media blasting for small areas. I have a small compressor that limits my ability the media blast. Plus it's a hassle trying to contain the media for reuse and then cleaning up around the yard.

Others will jump in with their preferences but this should give you some information.


Any questions will need to wait until I get back in a week. Vacation time.

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 Posted: 10-15-2007 12:17 pm
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Brett Gibson JH5 20497

Joined: 03-17-2005
Location: Hilton, New York USA
Posts: 748
I stripped mine with Stripeeze regular old paint remover, painted it on, waited till it bubbled up, and scrapped the paint off, thick areas of paint and body fillers take longer, takes time and elbow grease.

If I was to do it again I'd think about the media blasting approach, seeing once you get the paint off you'll probably have to do some sand blasting as well, just to clean it up, media blasting would do it all in one go, but keep in mind you will always get a piece of the media dropping from some little hole or crevice for as long as you own the car afterwards.


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