By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by CML

brake fluid as paint stripper.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
mightypeesh28/02/2015 13:06:09
avatar
679 forum posts
892 photos

Hi Ladies and Gents.

I thought I would just post this on here as it may be of use to one of you somewhere trying to restore and re-cover old air frames that have ABS or HIPS plastic parts or vac formings to remove the paint from. I am in the process of re-building a Carl Goldberg Ultimate that was given to me, and the cowling is a vac formed affair from white high impact polystyrene (HIPS) that had been given a number of very thick coats of what seemed to be a fuel proof enamel type paint applied with a 4" brush, and it was rock hard! I used to restore 'vintage Tamiya' rc cars from the 80's - before they re-released them all a couple of years ago and ruined the fun for me...... anyway, the bodies were that heavy white ABS plastic, and nine times out of ten they would have been painted by an excited twelve year old using the finest airfix enamels by the bucket load, which has then had 30 odd years in which to set into a bullet proof lumpy coating covered in stickers. The cure for getting this muck off is what I am using on the cowling today - good old brake fluid!

Tis a simple and painless process as follows

img_9943.jpg

Find a container big enough to hold the parts you want to work on, and pour over a pot of dot 3 brake fluid. Wearing protective gloves 'baste' the part in fluid 2 or 3 times a day for a couple of days (keep it somewhere it cannot get kicked over and that kids and animals cannot get to it.

img_9942.jpg

Small parts could be immersed in a pot, but for bigger bits just keep basting so it does not dry out too much. after a few days you should be able to peel off the paint easily. If it has loads of layers a light sand would help it to penetrate the paint.

img_9945.jpg

img_9946.jpg

as you can see it is a pretty easy task and has no nasty smell of solvents that would damage the plastic underneath anyway. You can re-use the brake fluid (not in the car please) for next time, and clean - up is easy with detergant and water.

_mg_9548.jpg

Here we are 20 minutes after starting to peel it off. The red primer was soft and came away with one of those cheap kitchen sponges with the scourer on one side in conjuntion with washing up liquid. nice and smooth, back to the original surface and ready for minor repairs needed.

_mg_9547.jpg

Not bad for a painless 20 minutes work.

genericwarning.jpg

Now here is the warning.

Be aware that when trying this at home that you will need to use gloves and lots of kitchen roll and that it can be messy. I therefore recommend that before taking a bucket of brake fluid mixed with lumps of aeroplane and slimy paint into the shiney new kitchen to use the shiny new sink with the shiny new taps that you ensure there is no chance of your good lady coming home and catching you in the act - you will be shot a dawn without chance of appeal!

Cheers, Simon

cymaz28/02/2015 13:28:24
avatar
8489 forum posts
1161 photos

From the looks of the sink , you managed to dodge the incoming fire!

kc28/02/2015 16:36:35
5901 forum posts
168 photos

and of course don't do it in the garage and splash it on your shiny new car!

Engine Doctor28/02/2015 17:16:51
avatar
2221 forum posts
21 photos

Just to add to the warnings . Wear some eye protection . I had some brake fluid squirt in my eyes from a defective replacement wheel cylinder years ago . I was totally blind for about an hour even after rinsing eyes with water . Sight gradually returned after a few hours and trip to hospital .Please be careful . But it does strip off loads of stuff very easily.

Stevo28/02/2015 17:23:53
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Phil - you will do anything to be pampered over by Nurses heart

Good advice , I usually use a big face mask, and stripstuff in an old bucket.

ken anderson.28/02/2015 17:53:09
avatar
8409 forum posts
772 photos

brake fluid!... horrible stuff...kulou

 

ken Anderson..ne....1.....health dept.

Edited By ken anderson. on 28/02/2015 17:55:22

mightypeesh28/02/2015 19:23:56
avatar
679 forum posts
892 photos

Yep I agree, brake fluid is nasty stuff..... I did consider lots of warnings about it but given the nature of our hobby I thought I could trust you all to be sensible. Now let me see the H&S nightmare in my workshop....... Cyano, dope, cellulose paint, thinners, resins, meths, plastic weld, soldering irons, scalpels, drills, kickers, ...... that would be for starters, none of which I would like in my eye, or many other places. smiley

Be safe folks

Cheers, Simon

Engine Doctor02/03/2015 16:15:58
avatar
2221 forum posts
21 photos
Posted by Stevo on 28/02/2015 17:23:53:

Phil - you will do anything to be pampered over by Nurses heart

Good advice , I usually use a big face mask, and stripstuff in an old bucket.

Hi Stevo . Yep angel 2 but this time the nurse was a bit of a brute ,no sympathy,must have had a bad day.The eye irrigation certainly soothed the pain though. They even called the police as they thought it might have been some kind of attack surprise.so lots of explaining before I could go home .

As pointed out , looking around our workshops there are lots of dangerous chemicals . Didn't want to frighten anyone off , just beware .

Geoff Sleath02/03/2015 17:31:05
avatar
3253 forum posts
247 photos
Posted by mightypeesh on 28/02/2015 13:06:09:

Be aware that when trying this at home that you will need to use gloves and lots of kitchen roll and that it can be messy. I therefore recommend that before taking a bucket of brake fluid mixed with lumps of aeroplane and slimy paint into the shiney new kitchen to use the shiny new sink with the shiny new taps that you ensure there is no chance of your good lady coming home and catching you in the act - you will be shot a dawn without chance of appeal!

Cheers, Simon

Certainly brake fluid is nasty stuff. My days of extensive car maintenance jobs are long past partly because of age and partly because cars are so much more complicated than my AH Sprite was but I remember treating it with great care, mostly because I didn't want the paint removed from the car. Never thought of setting out to use it as a paint stripper though, so thanks for that. Is it safer and less likely to damage things than (say) Nitromors?

As for taking care not to be caught by one's wife - I did once get caught by my wife with a BSA Gold Star cyclinder head in the oven and the new valve guides in the freezer section of the fridge. We'd only been married a few months at the time so she forgave me. I'm less confident after 48 years

Geoff

Simon Chaddock02/03/2015 18:52:50
avatar
5391 forum posts
2818 photos

Nitromors (and similar) is not what it used to be as to meet the 'volatile hydrocarbon regulations' is it now largely water based and only half as effective despite the "new improved formula" advertising.

It doesn't even sting when you get in on your hands!

denis parkinson02/03/2015 19:12:38
avatar
145 forum posts
66 photos

Geoff, in my case, it was taking care not to be caught by ones mother. I was 17 at the time, when my mum caught me grinding in the valves on my BSA Starfire cylinder head. The problem was, it was on her polished dining table. ..I pointed to the single layer of newspaper that I was protecting her table with...Years later, the scratches were still visible

Prop Nut02/03/2015 20:22:02
avatar
336 forum posts
1 photos

I've used Wickes Non-Methylene Chloride Paint and Varnish Stripper to good effect on thick, hardened paint over various plastics. It's very benign, so you can use it safely and it doesn't harm the surface of the plastic.

Engine Doctor20/03/2015 10:27:26
avatar
2221 forum posts
21 photos

One thing I forgot to mention on previous post was that various chemicals /solvents can an do de-nature various plastics leaving extremely brittle. I once painted some flair scale wheels with silver Solarlac paint. A few months later the wheels shattered like egg shells on a gentle landing ! The replacements were painted white humbrol enamel and were fine some years later. The solvents were probably the cause but beware. Also beware if stripping fibreglass parts as some paint strippers will eat into or dissolve the gel coat. Any chemists out there who can offer an explanation about the embrittlment of plastics ?

jrman20/03/2015 12:02:45
338 forum posts
3 photos

Plastic embrittlement.

The V&A museum in London is suffering from this problem on a number of their exhibits and are researching the problem. As far as I am aware they have not found a solution but have seen 3 distinct types of failure: Crazing/cracking, oily deposits on the surface and crumbling into a silvery looking dust. One view is that the plasticisers are leaching out of the materials but I'm not sure they fully understand why. I'm sure there are more scientific descriptions but you get the picture.

John F20/03/2015 12:52:18
avatar
1318 forum posts
51 photos
Posted by mightypeesh on 28/02/2015 13:06:09:

as you can see it is a pretty easy task and has no nasty smell of solvents that would damage the plastic underneath anyway.

Please don't base your assessment of whether something will eat your components or not upon whether it has a smell. It is safer to check as irrespective of smell or not the substance can destroy an item in seconds if you get it wrong.

If in doubt do a spot test first.

Wear gloves - Butyl, Nitrile PVC gloves are all OK but will eat through them after a few hours.

One word of warning - do not use any kind of cleaning spray with a high bleach content bleach or any bleach based product to clean up spilled brake fluid. You will get a lovely fire!

mightypeesh20/03/2015 15:46:24
avatar
679 forum posts
892 photos

Ahh Nitromores. I remember the glorious day 25 years ago that my soon to be wife and I decided to strip the old pinetable we had with the stuff. Dressed head to foot in rubber and goggles, aprons and who knows what... and the blooming stuff still found its way onto your skin in impossible ways. I can still feel the tingle before it started to burn. Never ever again, nastiest stuff i have had the misfortune to come across. Table still looks good though smiley

Bad sentance construction on my part regarding the smell and the solvent. I meant that it had no particulally nasty smell, and also had no agressive solvents to turn that type of plastic into a gelatenous puddle after an hour! All I can say is that it has worked on many plastic parts for me, particulally 1980s vintage stuff like one of my early Rough Riders below

Before.....

getuserimage.jpg

.....and after...

getuserimage (1).jpg

Still cannot work out where the CofG goes though!

Cheers, Simon

John F21/03/2015 07:22:55
avatar
1318 forum posts
51 photos

Nice update on the Rough Rider.

I had the 1981 Sand Rover and it still had all the original parts, inc tyres, as well as the rechargeable battery, which still held a charge after 30 years (!) until I sold it a couple of years ago. I regret it slightly now as it was my first every RC model and my Dad and I used to drive around the school playground in the evenings.

**LINK**

mightypeesh21/03/2015 08:15:09
avatar
679 forum posts
892 photos

My hobby before the all consuming advent of rc aircraft was to buy old and decrepid Tamiya models from ebay and completely strip and restore them to gleaming glory, then I would sell them on to collectors to fund the next project. I do not particulally enjoy the driving of them though, nor to have a room full of 'shelfies', I just enjoyed the restoration aspect. When they started to re-release the 80's stuff it killed my interest, though I still have an original Rough Rider and enough parts to build a couple more. The sand rover is one of my favorite looking, though it is a shame they put it on such a nasty chassis. Here a few of my favorite builds all long sold. I promise not to post any more pics of non flying stuff, but I just had a look at some of my old Tamiyaclub stuff and just had to show it off.....

Wild Willy's Jeep

getuserimage (4).jpg

getuserimage (3).jpg

SandRover

getuserimage (5).jpg

getuserimage (2).jpg

Sand Scorcher

getuserimage (6).jpg

1/16 Tiger 1

getuserimage (7).jpg

getuserimage (8).jpg

Cheers folks, Simon

John F21/03/2015 09:02:10
avatar
1318 forum posts
51 photos
Posted by mightypeesh on 21/03/2015 08:15:09:

. When they started to re-release the 80's stuff it killed my interest, though I still have an original Rough Rider and enough parts to build a couple more. The sand rover is one of my favorite looking, though it is a shame they put it on such a nasty chassis.

I don't know; the chassis on the Sand Rover suited it fine as it has to cope with a fair amount of abuse, especially when kids try to drive it over kerb stones!

The new release of the Rover is awful with the new tyres. Glad to see you kept the original ones.

I want my Rover back now!!

mightypeesh21/03/2015 19:32:10
avatar
679 forum posts
892 photos

Yes, looking at my Tamiya stuff is making me think about an unfinished XR311 project that is on the back-burner.... I might need to get it out and do some 'plastic bashing'. Mind you it will have to get past the Ultimate, Katana md, YT Corsair, 1/4 scale DR1, own design projects and repairs that are on the building board - Oh, and maybe even finishing the bathroom!laugh

Cheers, Simon

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E! 

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Pepe Aircraft
electricwingman 2017
Revoc
Wings & Wheels 2019
Motion RC
Slec
Gliders Distribution
CML
Advertise With Us
Sarik
Latest "For Sale" Ads
Does your club have a safety officer?
Q: Does your club have a safety officer, or is the emphasis on individual members to each be their own safety officer?

 Yes we have a SO
 No, it's down to everyone

Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us