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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Advice / removing paint over gel coat (16941 hits)
By Dan C 1936 Date 2010-01-07 01:59
i know this topic has probably been beat to death ..but, i have a 72 deserter that was painted yellow over the original green sparkle gel coat. is there/what is the best way to remove the horrendous yellow and get back to original. soda blasting? paint stripper? wheres the best place to get the work done? boat repair place or may be auto body shop specializing in vettes? any info would be greatly appreciated thanks
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2010-01-07 04:06
Last summer Mid America Motorworks had a "new" product that they were carrying in their catalog. Apparently it safely strips paint off without damaging the glass under neath. It's a vette thing. The product isn't really new though, just newly carried by MAM.

A guy I met said there was better stuff, and he had the experience to back it up. Wish I could remember the name of the product he mentioned to me, but it escapes me at the moment.

Apparently, its easy enough to buy the stuff to do it yourself. I have no experience with it though, so I can't comment on the process.

Just know that there are specialty strippers out there for removing paint from fiberglass.


By Rick M 333 Date 2010-01-07 12:39
Is it peeling? Can you scratch it off with a credit card? Or is it adhered pretty firm? If it's peeling and easily scratched, then you can use any commercially available paint remover - just follow it close and scrape it off when it bubbles. If it's adhered pretty well, you will need the fiberglass stripper. The stuff in the MAM catalog will work, or just go to your local automotive paint jobber and tell them what you need. Don't do it in a garage, though - you'll need all the fresh air you can get! And don't blast, even with soda.
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-01-07 14:34 sells this product:

I have never used it so I can't say if it works or not. Might be worth trying on a small area to see if it works.
By Paul Moran (DBA Architect) Date 2010-01-07 14:34
Iyave used the fiberglas stripper and if you let it sit too long, it eats into the gelcoat... Not long enough and the primer stays attached. The gelcoat was in such bad shape on my 69 Imp that there was no saving it... Good luck. Paul...
Chicago, IL
EMPI Imp 1002 ('69)/Subaru EJ20 Turbo/LinkPlus ECU
By Jeffrey P 655 Date 2010-01-07 14:50
The MAM product seems like the ticket then:

Again...I have never used it. I don't seem to be lucky enough to ever buy a project that isn't trashed so badly that saving the original gelcoat is even an option!
By Allison Daytona Ken Date 2010-01-07 17:01
I have never used the spra-strip, but have used aircraft stripper since the 70s, aircraft stripper is very harsh, you could probably go to lowes or home depot and get regular paint stripper that is not as harsh, it is almost impossible to keep from affecting the top of the jelcoat, you dont even know what type paint is on it, with acrylic enamel the stripper will bubble up, with laquer and base coat it will just melt the paint and has to be scrapped off, with a bondo spreader or plastic putty knife, if you use a metal putty knife ot razor blade scraper you will ruin it any way, you dont want to buy a gallon and it not work so get a quart and have water ready as it neutralizes the stripper, you brush the stripper on in one direction ( works best that way ) I would apply to a small area give it a few minutes and take the pressure washer to it, if that works for you you would have to dry the car off everytime you reapply the stripper, if you put to much on at one time it will dry and you will have hell getting it off, if you think you are going to strip off the paint regardless if you cant save the gelcoat and flake you are best off to go ahead and buy the gallon, dont mean to be negative but what you are trying to do is almost impossible, if you end up strippin the entire body you will not use the water till last, you will brush an area 3 ft  square or so then allow it to work for a few minutes and start scrapping off the paint, then repeat that step over and over till whole body is stripped, once you have done that  you have to wash throughly to neutralize the stripper, then it is time to start sanding, good luck and that will be 100 dollors for the info ha ha just kidding,             Ken...........
By Dan C 1936 Date 2010-01-08 02:57
i'm really not sure what my ultimate goal pipe dream of bringing this back to the original finish is slowly dying on the vine. the existing paint has spider cracked and is flaking off in some areas exposing the gel coat. it will definitely need attention.  but, it sounds like i see a trip to the body shop in this buggy's future. i don't want to make more work botching a stripping job or trying something that is probably impossible. this may be something better left to the professionals. it is not a pressing issue at the moment considering the bug is under a tarp and covered by a foot of snow. not to mention it needs a complete teardown and rebuild because its been laying in a barn for the last 15 years. i pulled the carb off it last weekend and found that mud wasps had made a nice little home for themselves in it. cant wait to see what i find when i drop the engine...mice in the tail pipes . snakes in the headers? army ants in the cylinders .. fun fun fun
By Allison Daytona Ken Date 2010-01-08 12:59 Edited 2010-01-08 13:06
" ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE "  I didnt mean it to sound so difficult its just that if you dont find a body that has been stored inside out of the elements there is really not much of a fix to save the old flake and color if it is fading with stress cracks and paint chipped etc, especially after it has been painted over, its one of those things that I would really need to see it to give my best estimate of what to do, Body shops arnt cheap so everything you can do yourself will be a plus for you, its not that difficult, you may even decide to sand and prime with a good primer, ( you can purchase a electric orbital sander ( DA ) If your air compressor is not big enough to run a air powered DA ) the sander will be your best friend !!! Taking the old paint off is usually the best method for long term, Post some good pictures and if I can help I will be glad to, as all of the good members here at the DBA do ! Sounds like first on the list is to call ORKIN to kill all the varments and pest. Good luck and post some pictures of what you have to start with,    Ken...
By Dan C 1936 Date 2010-01-17 04:24
the only reason i had it in my head that i can restore it is looking at the body they did a real crappy job at doing the paint in the first is flaking off in a dozen placed and it seems you look at it the wrong way and it peels
. that doesnt mean they painted it for a reason ..possibly  like major body work .and i realize that .. but the paint has to come off anyways , right ? before i get it repainted and/ or gel
coat fixed or resprayed.

By Dan C 1936 Date 2010-01-17 04:32
ken L.. where are you located .. anywhere near MA? you sound like the guy i need to bring this sure you might have said where your from but tonight i have imbibed my fair share and forget ..please let me know thanks Dan
By Gert v 1620 Date 2010-01-17 20:22
Overhere in the Netherlands I know a company that cleans by 'dry ice cleaning' method. I guess it's done all over the world? They freeze Co2 and then can remove anything without any damage. A couple of weeks ago they've cleanded a VW bus for the owner who also wanted the original paint back. The results were amazing.
By Allison Daytona Ken Date 2010-01-17 20:42
Hi Dan, no I am in Rock Hill SC, If you have a good pressure washer start with that and see what you have from there, Dont know anything about the Netherland Gert, havent even heard about the dry ice here, sounds interesting though , all the stripping I have done is pressure washer, scraping, chemical or sand or media blasting.     Ken.........
By Gert v 1620 Date 2010-01-17 22:09
Translated with Google translator;

Dry ice
What is dry ice?
Dry ice cleaning method is a revolutionary dry ice (solid CO2 compressed) as blowing agent used. The process is a particularly environmentally friendly, effective and time saving alternative to traditional industrial cleaning methods.

The cleaning process consists of three phases:

Mechanical. The droogijskorrels acceleration in the flow and get the unwanted attack with high speed, then it is removed.
Thermal. The low temperature of dry ice (-79.5 C), the attack brittle, causing cracks, so the attack can be removed.
Sublimation. When droogijskorrels touch a surface, they sublimate from solid to gas. This is 700 times the volume increases, making the attack "explode".

The special thing about dry ice that looks like small granules (pellets), it is a completely natural product. It is a solid form of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the extracted air. After using "evaporated" and disappears again the CO2 in the air.
The emissions of CO2 will not contribute to the greenhouse effect on Earth, there is only carbon dioxide recycling. We borrow the CO2 of the same nature and give it back after good use.


What are the advantages of dry ice?

A dry cleaning process. Dry ice cleaning is a completely dry process, as it exists and thus CO2 from dry ice evaporates as it comes into contact with surface.
No waste. The process leaves no waste products behind. Only the attack is removed to be sucked or swept away.
Environmentally friendly. With dry ice, no chemicals used and it is therefore completely non-toxic.
Soft. Dry ice cleaning has no abrasive effect and is gentle to the surface.
Higher productivity. Downtime is reduced, because the time-consuming disassembly and subsequent assembly superfluous, since the machine usually on-line to clean. This will increase the effective production time.
Effective. With various speeds and cleaning spray nozzles are also less accessible places to clean.
Cost effective. Shorter downtime, increased production quality, clean without any disassembly, lower labor costs for cleaning and environmental burdens are unnecessary.
By Allison Daytona Ken Date 2010-01-17 23:48 Edited 2010-01-17 23:50
"WHAT THA DROOGIJSKORRELS"   OK enviromental safe COOL, no clean up but what is blasted off COOL. I bet its not cheap to get the set up, I would love to see it on u tube, QUESTION If it blast off paint how does it blast off the outer layer without damaging the undercoat ? What effect does it have on rust ? plastic media blasting doesnt clean up rust as sand or oxides do, and any way how many cars, trucks, boats, buggys etc have been painted over that had good paint on them in the first place DUH I would say not to many unless someone didnt like the color, even then it should have been sanded so the new primer, paint etc would stick. I am not trying to be negative, if it takes a car all the way down to the metal or gel coat with no waist and that safe to the enviroment I am all for it.             Ken.........
By Rick M 333 Date 2010-01-18 03:20
Yikes... First I've heard of that. I've heard of soda blasting (bicarbonate soda and water) as being one of the safest methods, but dry ice.... I'm not sure that fiberglass should be subjected to the -109 degree temperatures in a rush. You can do that with metal - it'll expand or contract to absorb the differential, but fiberglass.... don't think so.
By Dan C 1936 Date 2010-01-18 05:22
i've done a little more research on this dry ice blasting and it does not seem to be for removing paint as much as it it for a deep cleaning. it looks like its more attuned to soot removal grill cleaning. i found a site on dry ice blasting and this is what they list for uses:
Uses for Dry Ice Blasting:

Mold Cleaning
Rubber and plastic surfaces
HDPE and PET containers
Reaction foam

Electrical Equipment
Motors--winding, armature
Switch gears
Circuit boards

Core boxes, including screens
Permanent aluminum molds

Automotive Parts Manufacturing and Assembly
Equipment cleaning
Robotic welding equipment
Painting systems cleaning
Mold cleaning
Tire/rim assembly equipment
Rubber from test and alignment equipment
Windshield and body sealants
Baking and Food Processing
Baking ovens
Wafer oven plates
Conveyors, mixers

Press cleaning
Gears, decks, guides
Anilox rolls

Aviation (FAA Approved)
Landing gear
Brake components
Engine cleaning

General Maintenance and Compliance Cleaning
Surface preparation for inspection and testing
Plant and equipment (complete removal of oil, grease, adhesives, etc.)
Fire restoration
Mold remediation [black mold]
By Brad H 1498 Date 2010-01-18 14:19
Sort of how the air force used to use liquid R-12 (refrigerant) to clean out air craft cockpits. doesn't leave residue, just a big hole in the ozone layer. We use dry ice for getting rid of tarboard sound insulation out of cars that we are going to roadrace, dump in a 10 pound bag and grab a hammer. works slick as goose grease. just don't breath inside the car!!!!!! and do it outside on a windy day.

Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy Build Advice / removing paint over gel coat (16941 hits)

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