Weaver Paint Stripping Question

Well, here's a suggestion...

Since Weaver was also the purveyor of Scalecoat Paints....now sold by Minuteman Scale Models....and that line of products has Wash Away (S56), a paint remover, perhaps it might be a solution (pun intended) to your problem.

Just a thought.....FWIW.

KD

If you can’t get the paint to strip with out harming the shell, I’d suggest scuffing the OE finish with fine scotchbrite (grey pad) and use that as your substrate. Any heralds or lettering that are paint on top of paint, I would blend out with fine paper, 800 or 1000 grit, blending into the surrounding colors...I know sometimes fine details like cast in details can get obscured, but getting frisky with chemicals on plastics can be Russian Roulette.......depending on your top coat color, you may or may not have to prime on the scuffed OE finish. Your results will have better longevity sticking to a properly prepped scuffed OE finish than something that turns into a mess.....quickly...hope that helps.........Pat

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

Steven, 

Loved your Dad! Rubbing alcohol often works the literature says.

I recently worked o n a lionel ore car and had to use mr. clean pads and brake fluid. It was a bit of a pain!

Hokie 71

Chief of Operations, Free Union, Blacksburg, and Albemarle Railroad (FUBAR)

I have a 5 year old bottle, lasting forever since I don't use a soak tub.  Amazon has a quart for 6.38 and you can reuse if you soak. I use Kroger $1 yellow gloves.

beware, This method  is guaranteed to cause cancer if you live in California.

Hokie 71

Chief of Operations, Free Union, Blacksburg, and Albemarle Railroad (FUBAR)

Weaver paints are much easier to strip than MTH painted items. As suggested above use the paint remover wash away or go-to your local hardware store and try a sample of paint remover that is stated to be safe with plastics. 

I used the brake fluid method once on a old  Williams  TM and while it eventually removed the paint, it took days of soaking to do so. Then one has to remove all the residue fluid as well...not an easy task.

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

I use DOT3 brake fluid. Find it at your local auto parts store. It is inexpensive. I have found that soaking a part works best. I have never had any project take "days" to remove the paint. Paints are very different. Some will actually fall off, some take a little scrubbing and some need to soak overnight. I have tried every thing anyone on here has ever mentioned but "Wash Away" (but I will give it a try the next time I need to strip paint) and I have found nothing works better or more easily than brake fluid. Say what you want, it has worked for me for 40+ years!

I would stay away from commercial paint removers! I have seen them melt plastic. Swim At Your Own Risk!

I will say this, if you have made the grave mistake of painting a plastic model with lacquer paint, you are on your own and you deserve the mess you have created! If you use a laquer based paint to paint plastic, you need to FIRST spray the piece with a sealer so the laquer will not attack the plastic.

20180207_083519[1]Best stuff that I have found, At Walmart or Auto-zone. Use it full strength for faster stripping or dilute, will not hurt plastic. Blackened aluminum horn on switcher shell that I let soak to long once. It's also bio-degradable. I'll never use anything else to strip paint off plastic.

Good luck,

Jeff

I did this same thing a few years back (also to a Weaver GP38-2) and had the exact problem with the alcohol.  Someone else answered with Easy Off Oven Cleaner (bought at HD or similar places).  Here is the thread: Stripping, Detailing, & Repainting Project (Weaver GP38-2)   On page two is where the Easy Off is mentioned.  I was afraid to use it at first, but it definitely worked and have used it multiple times for other train projects since.  

The only thing that "Super Clean", Purple Power", etc. ever took off one of my models was the thin red stripe on a silver Williams GG1. It never touched the silver paint and that was after soaking for three days! But I can confirm that it will take all of the oil out of your skin leaving it high and dry and in need of skin moisterizer!

Easy Off? Only made an ugly mess of things and damaged the plastic.

That's strange Big Jim, I've used it to strip postwar shells and strip painted plasticville with no problems. It really worked for me on a Mikes shell that someone painted but didn't hurt the original paint underneath, so maybe it doesn't do so well on some factory paint. That worked for me in that case because I was trying to save the original paint. You are right, it will kill the moisture on your hands!  Yeah Easy off changes the plastic, I just haven't had much luck with brake fluid, probably to impatient to wait long enough.

 

Jeff

I have a small paint stripping project that I need to do. I've been wanting to try the "Wash Away" stuff for a while now. So, I ordered some last night. It is EXPENSIVE (definately something the cheapskates here will moan about ), but, I'll give it a try. I'll report back on its results when I can.

The alcohol method requires some elbow grease, but avoids messy and caustic chemical strippers that will require an alcohol bath anyway to produce a paint ready shell.

Leave the shell submerged in alcohol for a day then scrub with a tooth brush.  Repeat for the inevitable hard to get places, then a final alcohol rince and let dry. Result is a sealer/ paint ready shell undamaged by coarse abrasives.  Scuffing pads and paper are a definite way of removing fine detail relief and should be avoided.

Bruce

 

Completely designed with your mind in mind.

I know that when I did this, I let the shell sit in 91% alcohol for about two days and it didn't make a dent in the original Weaver paint.  Afterwards on different threads I read that Weaver did something different with their paint at one point (at least I think that's what it was).  All I know is that it may as well have been sitting in water for that long.  The only thing the alcohol did was remove the RR logos...

The Easy-Off I wasn't really keen on using, looking back now, I wish I would've just started with that and didn't by 3 jugs of the alcohol.  Yes, there is a little bit of a chemical smell, but in my split level house, the smell didn't leave the area I was working in.  Much easier and faster than the alcohol for sure.

My order for "Wash Away" came in. After hearing about this paint stripper here, I have been wanting to give it a try.
Here are the unscientific results of what I found:
First of all, it is very expensive. $18.95 for 16 oz. Plus another $11.33 for shipping.
I had a couple of small pieces to try it out on to see how it compared to my age old stand-by DOT3 brake fluid. If you haven't been following along, nothing else that I have tried ever came close to stripping paint from plastic as well as DOT3...NOTHING!

Upon opening the bottle, I was greeted by what I thought was a familiar smell.
The instructions to "Wash Away' say to soak the part for ten minutes, remove and scrub vigorously under warm water with a fine bristle brush. Rinse thoroughly. Repeat if paint remains tiny crevices.
Before doing that, I wanted to see how it worked on lettering.
PC1

I took a Q-Tip swab, soaked it in the solution and started rubbing. Each set of lettering came off in less than five minutes. With the lettering removed, you could still see the remains of heat stamping. 
PC2
PC3PC4

I then took the car and soaked it for about a half hour. Scrubbing with a toothbrush appeared to take off what little paint there was on the car along with the heat stamping. I am guessing that there was only a clear coat on the car as this is the color of the plastic. Doing this hands on, I was also greeted by a familiar feel to the solution.
PC5

That was pretty easy, so, I proceeded on the the next piece that had much more paint to be removed.
This is a partial shell from a Williams Lackawanna FM. Sorry, in my haste, I forgot to take a before picture. There was a Lackawanna logo under the headlights. I first tried to use the swab to clean it off and quickly found out that it was actually a sticker! I peeled that off, then laid the hood in the solution and rolled it over and over to coat the hood, then let it set for about twenty minutes. After soaking, I again started in with the toothbrush. The red was the first color to come off. With more soaking and scrubbing the grey started to come off. Hmmm, this is again very familiar. The paint was coming off with the scrubbing except for the yellow stripe. Not unusual. Things like this tend to be a bit stubborn at times. So, I took the solution and put it in a glass so that I could get the entire hood under cover and walked away for about forty five minutes.
FMH1FMH2

When I came back, more scrubbing took most of the yellow stripe off. It just needed some time to get under that yellow paint. As you can see, the hood came out very clean with the exception of a few hard to get at places where the yellow paint wants to stick. I clean those spots up with a hobby knife later on.
FMH3FMH4

Now, remember that I said there were some familiarity's while I was doing all of this?
Well,  I don't know what kind of solution this "Wash Away" is, however;
it smells very much like my DOT3,
it feels very much like my DOT3,
and, it performs very much like my DOT3.

My conclusion is that it works.
It works safely with no harm to the plastics involved in my unscientific test.
It works just as well as my DOT3.
And, it works better than all that other stuff that you guys try to strip paint with!

One other thing. Don't waste your time letting your parts soak for just ten minutes and the wash them off like the instructions say only to find that all of the paint hasn't come off and you have to go back and do it again and again. Let the part soak a while, then start scrubbing with your toothbrush while the part is still in the solution. Work with it until all of the paint is off, then, go clean up with soap and water.

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Big Jim, thanks for undertaking this product test for us; absorbing the costs, shooting and editing the photos; and, posting the results here for our collective benefit.

Did the product come with a Material Safety Data Sheet?  Or have you tried to secure one?  Might make for an interesting comparison to your DOT3 product.

 

Carl

Pingman posted:

Did the product come with a Material Safety Data Sheet?  Or have you tried to secure one?  Might make for an interesting comparison to your DOT3 product.

No data sheet. Just the standard instructions for what to do if a Californian wants to drink it to get high! 

We seem to get on the topic of stripping paint two or three times a year I posted this back in July of last year. It is relevant to this discussion.   j

Rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol will both work. Both are flammable.  Acetone is too aggressive and will dissolve many plastics.  Not to mention it has a high vapor pressure and a low flash point, not a good combination. Would be my last choice.   I use Lye, sodium hydroxide which is the active ingredient in oven cleaner.  In an old 5 gallon sheet rock mud bucket I add about 4 gallons of water and 1-1.5 cups of lye crystals stir till dissolved.  Tie a nylon cord to the body shell and lower into the solution, every 6-8 hours scrub with a soft nylon brush most paint will be off in a day or two. I keep the snap-on lid on the bucket while soaking.  Use rubber gloves and eye protection though this weak solution would give you plenty of time to rinse your eyes with running water should some splash in your eyes.  Old clothes !    I use a brand called ComStar Commercial Lye that a small independent hardware store near my house stocks.  $6-8 for a life time supply. Once all the paint is off wash well to remove all the stripping solution. The best thing about using lye is once you mix a bucket it will last for years and overall is the cheapest method.   The old Lionel shells hold paint just fine but the new water based paints don't stick very well.  I scrub my shells with a soft brush, soap, water and a lot of BonAmi scouring powder. till all the shine is off the plastic.  Now you have enough tooth that most paint will adhere.  I have a stock pile of original Floquil model RR paint it is no longer made and works fine on the Lionel F3 shells.  I use Floquil's water based PolyS paint but don't like it quite as much as the old solvent based stuff.   Forget using spray cans you will never get the paint on thin enough not to hide much detail.   I have been known to spray out of a can into a jar and then use it in my airbrush.  That is the only way I use spray cans on models.  There are infinite ways to get your F3s a good new paint job this is just the way I do it.  BTW;  The lye solution will strip the remaining chrome plating off old chrome plated cars, such as the Flyer passenger cars.   j 

Another post about paint stripping from  11-26-17

Several substances will remove paint from Plastic and not attack the plastic,in most cases.  The rate you dilute them will determine how fast they act and how much control you have.  If you wish to completely strip down to the bare plastic 91% isopropel alcohol will remove the paint using a soft brush to help it along. It is easy to find and relatively safe. Lettering can be removed if you use a soft brush to coax it along faster than the rest of the paint on the model.  My favorite because it is really cheap is Lye, Sodium Hydroxide.  Use Goggles it can scar your eyes though you would have to leave it without rinsing for some time. I used to use Red Devil but they stopped selling lye some time ago, Some drain cleaners are pure lye I have a two pound can "ComStar Commercial Lye" that I bought at a local hardware store for $8. Last time I bought Red Devil it was .79 cents for a one pound can that lasted me almost ten years. Some drain cleaners have metal chips in them so look and if you see little bits of silver or gray it is not pure Sodium Hydroxide.  There is a learning curve as to the dilution that will get the job done.  I used to dump the full 16oz can of Red Devil in a 5 gallon plastic bucket the kind sheet rock mud comes in with a snap on lid. Then fill the bucket with water around 80% full.  Once I bought an American Flyer passenger set at a garage sale that someone sprayed the cars with silver and since the aluminum in silver paint reacts fast with the sodium hydroxide I was able to remove all the silver with hardly any effect on the green factory paint. I have also removed decals with little effect to the paint. And last as GRJ mentioned is Brake Fluid it is particularly good on water based paints and won't attack most plastic or metal, which can't be said about Lye. But it won't remove all paints at least in a timely manner. Oven cleaner contains lye and I have used it. Guess there are numerous substances that will work but which ever one you choose experiment on something you don't care about and try it on something you want to completely strip first. Before you go trying to remove lettering or decals where there is some finesse involved.  And then there are Air Erasers that are basically sand blasting in miniature. They use a fine powder likely pumice to remove graphics and lettering. I have had one on my wish list for years but don't own one yet.   I have watched a friend make a rubber cement mast and remove graphics with an air eraser. After a dull coat you could not tell where the graphics were and I would guess 80% of the paint underneath was untouched.        j

Steven Michael posted:

Anyone have experience with stripping paint from older Weaver units? I have an old GP38-2 (the first design with the horizontal can motor) sitting in 91% isopropyl alcohol right now, but after 20 hours the paint still seems rather unaffected. Any suggestions?

Rather than attempt to strip a good factory finish, I've just scuffed it with 1000 grit sandpaper and went on considering it as primer bonded to the plastic. Out of ALL the issues I've had with trains, never had paint peeling from Atlas, Lionel, MTH, Weaver, Sunset, etc.

JohnActon posted:

And last as GRJ mentioned is Brake Fluid it is particularly good on water based paints and won't attack most plastic or metal, which can't be said about Lye. But it won't remove all paints at least in a timely manner. 

What a bunch of hooey!
If you read my post above, that took less than a few hours and it would have been less if I didn't have other things to do. It has removed all of the paint from any model that I needed to strip. And, it won't eat the skin off of my bones.

"Tie a nylon cord to the body shell and lower into the solution, every 6-8 hours scrub with a soft nylon brush most paint will be off in a day or two."
That is nuts!
Lye:
When lye is mixed with water, heat is released, so the container used to mix lye in has to be able to take that heat. Lye can burn the skin and damage the eyes in the dry or wet form. It also releases fumes, when mixed with water, that can harm the lungs. If swallowed, lye will burn the esophagus and can cause death. Children and pets should not be allowed around lye.

Folks, be governed accordingly!!!

Big Jim posted:
JohnActon posted:

And last as GRJ mentioned is Brake Fluid it is particularly good on water based paints and won't attack most plastic or metal, which can't be said about Lye. But it won't remove all paints at least in a timely manner. 

What a bunch of hooey!
If you read my post above, that took less than a few hours and it would have been less if I didn't have other things to do. It has removed all of the paint from any model that I needed to strip. And, it won't eat the skin off of my bones.

"Tie a nylon cord to the body shell and lower into the solution, every 6-8 hours scrub with a soft nylon brush most paint will be off in a day or two."
That is nuts!
Lye:
When lye is mixed with water, heat is released, so the container used to mix lye in has to be able to take that heat. Lye can burn the skin and damage the eyes in the dry or wet form. It also releases fumes, when mixed with water, that can harm the lungs. If swallowed, lye will burn the esophagus and can cause death. Children and pets should not be allowed around lye.

Folks, be governed accordingly!!!

I have been using lye for over 50 years never melted a plastic 5 gal pail that sheetrock mud came in, or any plastic drain pipes for that matter.  The very first time I attempted this when I was about 16 I did warp a test piece.  Since then I let freshly mixed solution sit till it is room temp. However one or two cups of lye in 4gal of water hardly gets warm.  You think denatured alcohol or rubbing alcohol works better great for you, just don't spill either near your hot water heater. The consumer products safety commission must think sodium hydroxide is safe for an adult of average intelligence or they would be crying get this dangerous child and pet killer off the market, before we kill all the children and dogs. You can rest assured that none of these materials discussed here for stripping paint off plastic are any more dangerous or toxic than the smoke coming out of your toy locomotives, when used with some common sense.  So I agree,  "Govern yourself accordingly."          j

I've used most all chemicals listed above over the last 40 years stripping paint off model trains and now my method of choice is a blasting cabinet using soda by Amex. Cleanup is simple esp. compared to disposing of used chemicals and yes Dot 3 brake fluid will burn your skin..and I've seen it delaminate plastic on certain train products.

 

 

C. Jones

Back in the 70's when I was repainting dirt cheap 2343 Santa Fe's I would mix up a really strong solution of TIDE and water.  Soaking overnight usually made the paint fall right off with little effort.  However I don't have a clue how it would work on newer paints and plastics.

I have used all the above except the blasting method that Casey is speaking about though I have used bead blasting to clean metal. I do plan to purchase an air-eraser at some point.  My great hesitancy with blasting is removing and rounding edges of small detail. But touching back on the topic of DOT3 brake fluid. I have used it and like it for some tasks but if you are worried about the health hazards of sodium hydroxide to pets and children you should be doubly worried about brake fluid it is mostly diethylene glycol. It is sweet, dogs and cats will lap it up just like they will ethylene glycol, and it will kill you, DEAD. Often with no symptoms till you were beyond the point of helping.   When I had dogs and cats they never showed the slightest interest in sodium hydroxide solutions where if I spilled brake fluid or antifreeze I had to hose it down before the pets found it.      All HOOEY aside I always try and use the tool that best suits the task and all the discussed methods have their merits.          j

https://www.poison.org/articles/2016-sep/brake-fluid

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