Model Paint Stripper

by Jerry Ben

There are a number of ways to strip paint from models. Through experimentation, I found the use of Easy Off oven cleaner spray as the most effective way to strip paint. It works on acrylic, enamel, lacquer, and other model paints.

Before you begin, you will need to follow some safety precautions. Easy Off is a caustic material and it will burn your skin. It also has a strong odor. Please wear safety eye wear, disposable rubber/latex gloves, and a respirator while working in a well ventilated area.

Please read the following steps when using Easy Off to strip paint: Place painted model or parts to be stripped in a container, preferably a sealable container. Spray on Easy Off oven cleaner, thoroughly coating all painted surfaces. Seal your container so Easy Off does not dry out. Parts must be kept wet in order for Easy Off to soften the paint. Depending on how thick the paint is, I allow the parts to soak for at least two hours. Remove parts from container and with a toothbrush scrub each part to get into all the nooks and crannies. Then, while scrubbing thoroughly, rinse your parts under running water. All your paint will be removed exposing the bare plastic part you started with. Water neutralizes the effect of Easy Off, so if any paint remains, you may have to reapply Easy Off and repeat the process. Easy Off does not harm polystyrene plastic, so it may be applied many times even on bare plastic. With two applications of Easy Off I was able to strip 99% of the paint from a 15 year old model painted with enamels. The rest had to be scrapped and sanded away.

Remember to wash, rinse, and dry parts thoroughly before proceeding to model building and painting.

Materials required:
Easy Off oven cleaner (spray can)
Sealable container
Toothbrush
Safety glasses
Disposable rubber/latex gloves
Respirator