Stripping paint off old frame

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by drmullins, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. drmullins

    drmullins New Member

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    I want to restore an old circa 1990 Trek 420 but don't want to spend money on new components without putting the frame out to a framebuilder for repainting.

    I've found a good local framebuilder who would do the painting for a good price (less than $150 US) but he won't do stripping and wants the frame given to him stripped of paint.

    Earlier postings on Cylcingforums and other places on the Net mention something called 'Aircraft Remover' and things of similar names available at auto shops which can be used to strip paint, but the stuff seems really nasty and I don't know if I would want to use it.

    What are the problems with this kind of chemical remover? I know that you should wear latex gloves and eye protection, but is it like breathing benzene or maybe even worse? What kind of waste or runoff is produced when you use it and what do you do with it? Is this really a sensible thing to do on your own?

    Any and all advice appreciated.
     
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  2. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    Jeez, that sounds exspensive to me. There's a guy down here (Melbourne) who does a plain, one colour job for about $70US, which includes stripping any everything. He does pearl colours (whites, yellows, etc) for about $90US, and slightly more for more elaborate work -- once again, this includes stripping, sanding...the lot. To be fair, he does have connections with automotive panel beaters.

    I've done the stripping myself using the thick paint stripper, which is a bit of pain in the ass, and is very messy. Then there's always a little bit that won't come off, so you've gotta do some sanding.

    I'd be looking for someone else.
    :)
     
  3. TommyGunn

    TommyGunn New Member

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    Mate, i stripped back my old aluminium CAAD3 a few years back, and for all the mess and trouble and countless hours it took to get it to an acceptable "repaintable" standard, i should have taken it to a professional resprayer.


    If you get your work done through a reputable painter, if something goes wrong (ie paint chip) he cannot turn around and say it was due to your preparation...

    You may pay more, but the peace of mind (and the quality of the job) is better.....:p
     
  4. drmullins

    drmullins New Member

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    I live in Tokyo, one of the world's ten most expensive cities, and the best I've found so far go about $300US.

    What is 'thick paint stripper' exactly? I had a similar problem in finding 'rubbing alcohol' recommended for removing and replacing rubber MTB grips (works like a charm, BTW, use a dropper to squirt it under the grips and they come off easily and the alcohol dries almost instantly after the grips are put back on) because it's sold under chemical names (ethanol, isopropanol) here. I had to explain that I was looking for the stuff a doctor rubs on your arm when giving you a shot to find the right stuff. Any kind of information of that type would be useful in looking for the right kind of paint remover in, say, an automotive parts store.

    Have also tried auto body shops myself, but haven't found one willing to do the stripping yet.
     
  5. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    On the tin it says "Paint Stripper".

    It's very thick and gooey clear stuff that is methylene chloride based (870mg/Litre, apparently). It looks like the glue or paste (aka "clag") that kids use in primary school to stick paper cut-outs onto cardboard. It's about the same consistency as jam (sorry, "jelly" :) ).

    I suppose if you're gunna save a stack of money then it's not too much trouble. It works quite quickly but is kinda messy to use, and requires a few applications. It also burns your skin!!

    I'm trying to think....the last time I did a whole frame took maybe a couple of hours by the time I got all the paint off the hard to get at spots. The last tin I bought was from Kmart.
     
  6. shleppy

    shleppy New Member

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    I have stripped a few bikes over the years and the best product that I know of to accomplish this is a product manufactured by JASCO. I think it's just called just plain old "jasco paint remover". It a product that is readily available at your local home improvement store. The stuff is pretty toxic and you absolutely don't want to get this stuff on your hands (use gloves for sure) but it works like magic. It's a gel like substance that you paint on your frame and after about 10 to 15 minutes it bubbles up the paint and you can scrape it off really easily with a brush. This is industrial strength stuff so you definatley need to use it in a well ventilated area and make sure not to drip it on anything because it will remove paint from just about anything.
     
  7. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    I haven't tried this deliberately, but if you're already set on removing the paint there's little harm in trying...

    Ordinary car brake fluid is fairly aggressive to (some) paints while being rather harmless for limited skin contact. That MIGHT do the trick and it's easily accessible. At a pinch you could even simply whet a brush in the brake fluid reservoir on your car and apply on your bike. The loss of fluid related to a single dab with a brush is negliglible to your car.
     
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