• How to Remove Car Paint Safely

    There are two different ways in which you can remove car paint. One involves a lot of sanding and can take a lot of time and the other uses chemical stripping. No matter which car paint removal procedure you choose it is important to be safe. You can easily work on stripping paint a little bit at a time if you cannot do the entire car at once.

    Materials and Tools Needed:

    • Gloves
    • Eye Protection
    • Car Stripper
    • Clear Plastic
    • Plastic Sheet
    • Stand
    • Paint Brush
    • Scraper
    • Variable Speed Sander
    • Sanding Disks
    • Sand Blaster

    Step 1 – Cautions for Paint Stripper

    Before you even begin to use the paint stripper, read all of the safety warnings. There are several different types of paint strippers and while they all do the same thing, they may use different chemicals which have different warnings. The chemicals will have fumes, so make sure you remove the paint in a well ventilated area.

    Step 2 – Applying the Stripper

    If you can, remove the body panel of the section where you want to remove the paint. Put this part on a stand and use a paint brush to apply the stripper. You want to be wearing gloves and either old clothing that you can ruin or an apron and other protective clothing. Do not skimp on the stripper – apply plenty of it. To make the stripper work faster you should cover the area with clear plastic, as trapping the fumes will speed up the process.

    Step 3 – Removing the Paint

    Leave the stripper on for about 20 minutes and get rid of the plastic. Stand back, as you may get a face full of fumes. Use a paint scraper or putty knife and scrape the paint off of the car body piece. In order to neutralize any remaining stripper you want to rinse the panel with chilled water. You can reapply stripper if there is still some paint remaining. Because the paint will still contain stripper, you want to collect all of the scrapings on a plastic sheet placed under the panel.

    Step 4 – Sanding the Paint Off

    You don’t have to use chemical paint strippers if you don’t want to, as they are messy. You can strip paint off of a car quickly and on a budget using hook and loop sanding disks with a variable speed sander. You can remove the paint on 90% of the car using this method. You just sand off the paint. You can remove the color coat or strip the paint all the way down to the metal. This normally takes about 8 to 12 hours on a mid-sized car.

    Step 5 – The Last 10%

    You will need to use a small blaster or small sander to remove the final 10% of the paint on the car. It is best that when sanding, no matter which size sander you use, you want it to rotate slowly. Don’t set the sander above 1,000 RPM. If the sander rotates too fast it can melt the paint or heat up the metal. If you are going to repaint the car, an 80 grit sanding disk is the best because it puts a scratch on the metal. This scratch makes it very easy for the primer to stick.