Hellsgate

Stripping paint off minis

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Does anyone have any advise in stripping the paint (and primer) off a mini, bear in mind I have a limited budget. What I’ve tried worked for the large areas but the paint in the crevices, still won’t budge. Some far I’ve tried almost all methods available in my house, including turps and chemical cocktails from the laundry (one of these turned a dark green model bright blue), and the most effective thing I’ve found… a refreshing dip in a mug of boiled water before a scrubbing with a cheap and nasty 30c paint brush.

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One of the -mostly safe- dead on ways of getting paint off a pewter mini is a bit of Castrol Super Clean. $5 USD or so for a 16 oz. spray bottle around here, and it will eat most anything that isn't metal (will make your skin tingle too so you may want to wear gloves).

 

After it soaks in pretty good, a stiff bristle brush and warm water cleans up the rest of the bits.

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I just use acetone. You can get a bottle of 100% acetone at Walmart near the fingernail polish for a few bucks. I quick soak in acetone and a brush off with an old toothbrush will clean almost any paint off metal, just soak it in a glass or metal container. Don't use an acrylic container, trust me. Acetone can and will desolve acrylic, including most "super" glues.

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I usually pick up a bottle of acetone nail polish remover at the dollar store, soak the mini in it, scrape the cracks and crevices with something pointed, soak it a bit longer, then use a brush to get the rest. It works pretty well.

Something else that works is to soak the mini in very hot soapy water, use a brush to get the majority of paint of, then soak in acetone. The acetone gets the remainder of the paint off much quicker this way.

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Acetone will melt plastic, so keep that in mind for minis and the container.

 

IMHO, acetone, brake fluid, nail polish remover and the like are not really good options when taking into account the effectiveness, smell, amount for the money and other uses beyond stripping minis. In my book, Simple Green is the best. Concentrated, very effective, smells decent, won't hurt metal or plastic, and for very little money you can make gallons of good, all-purpose home & auto cleaner out of it.

 

I've stripped about 15 minis of various compositions, old & new, metal and plastic, painted and primed (only), in one case more than 20 years old, just in the last week. No problems, no re-do's. A couple of swipes with an old, soft-bristle toothbrush under warm-running water and you're good to go. I spent a few extra minutes with a toothpick, dental tool or other handy bit for the really deep crevices and details, but I'm picky that way.

 

Don't take my word for it, though...

 

Linky 1

 

Linky 2

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So Acetone and Simple Green are my best bets. Is simple green a brand or just a general name, like green stuff, cause i haven't noticed it before (not that i was looking very hard) and if it is a brand.made by a single company than it may be alot harder to find over here. And thanks for the fast help.

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So Acetone and Simple Green are my best bets. Is simple green a brand or just a general name, like green stuff, cause i haven't noticed it before (not that i was looking very hard) and if it is a brand.made by a single company than it may be alot harder to find over here. And thanks for the fast help.

 

Pine-Sol. Actually I use Stop & Shop brand, its 19.9% pine oil, which is what you want. Drop some mini's in a plastic cup, pour in enough Pine-Sol to submerge, let soak 24 hours, then under hot water, scrub the hell out of them with a toothbrush. I've removed 14 year old paint off all my old Ral Partha minis this way. It's not caustic, it smells somewhat strong but not unpleasant, and it shouldn't irritate your skin.

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D'Oh! Sorry, I blindly missed the AUSTRALIA source of inquiry. :down:

 

Simple Green is a brand name of a line of household & automotive cleaning products. A website browse lists Australia as a 'global partner'. A quick phone call might generate a list of stores in your area, mail order, a similar product or brand name, or a more detailed website.

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Something to remember about Pine Sol and Simple Green is that a "more is better" attitude is a mistake when it comes to how long you soak th mini. If you let it soak too long (days or weeks) the paint actually fuses to the mini so it's actually harder to come off.

 

Something similar happens with acetone, as it evaporates quickly, so the paint that is on the mini just dries up again. It comes off with a little more acetone afterwards, though, which is not the case with the other two.

 

--mc, speaking from experience ::(:

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Thanks for that tip! I just dropped some Dwarves in Simple Green last night, so I better scrub'em tonight! Cheers.

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Thanks for that tip! I just dropped some Dwarves in Simple Green last night, so I better scrub'em tonight! Cheers.

 

Yep like I said I max out at about 24 hours, and with a toothbrush and hot water that was enough to remove 14 year old ceramics paint off some 25mm Ral Partha minis. A bottle should last you quite a while, I drop 3 or 4 minis a time in a plastic cup, and pour in just enough Pine Sol to submerge them.

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In my opinion, Simple Green does not strip paint very well. I have have to soak stuff in it much longer and scrub harder to get all the paint out, especially tough primers. Lots of bits of paint stick stubbornly in the cracks.

 

Winsor and Newton Brush Cleaner works great. Not only is it the best stuff I've found for cleaning brushes, it strips paint well. This weekend, I used it to clean Rustoleum enamel off my hands, so it even works on enamels and laquers. Its non-toxic and low odor. Don't soak your brushes too deep. This stuff will strip the laquer of the wooden brush of your handle.

 

Hardware store paint stripper works great as well. You have to deal with the fumes though. In this instance, I use a jar that has a lid and soak the mini in it. You don't have to worry about the fumes this way. Just last week I had a primer incident and I way over sprayed and filled in all the detail on the mini. After letting it soak for like 15 to 30 minutes, I cleaned it for a few seconds under the faucet with a toothbrush and it was perfectly clean.

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Thanks for that tip! I just dropped some Dwarves in Simple Green last night, so I better scrub'em tonight! Cheers.

It doesn't hurt to leave minis in simple green for an extended period of time. I have one that's been in a jar of simple green for about a year and a half now.

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It doesn't hurt to leave minis in simple green for an extended period of time. I have one that's been in a jar of simple green for about a year and a half now.

 

It doesn't hurt the mini, but can you get the paint off now?

 

It could be that I'm misremembering it happening with Simple Green too, that is, that the fusing effect only happens with Pine Sol. If so, I'd be interested to find out. :)

 

I'm actually of the same opinion as Cade, I've never been thrilled with either Pine Sol or Simple Green. Acetone, even though it's rather toxic, is the best solution for me.

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I think you're right -- no re-curing with SG, just Pine-Sol.

 

My Pine-Sol experience: a couple of hours did nothing at all, and a day seemed still not enough, hardly softening the lousy, old, thick gray primer. After two days, it was a bit better, but seemed to need a ton of scrubbing, so after about 1/3 cleaning, back in they went. Pulled them out after three days, scrubbed like mad under hot water and got about 2/3 more clean, but they looked terrible. Dunked again, ignored them for about a week. More scrubbing and it seemed the paint was tougher than ever, like it was re-curing. Gave up and tried Simple Green. Finished the next day.

 

After that I stayed with SG and have not gone back.

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