Paint Stripping


March 22, 2008, 11:11 AM
This question is for those THR'ers who like to paint their rifles. I have a rifle that I'm considering altering the paint job on.

The original owner painted it and the optic. The paint that was used is most likely an enamel based spraypaint, such as krylon. To his credit, the paint job is very well done.

Do I have any options WRT getting rid of the paint, or is there no safe method of removal? The optic is my particular area of concern, as it is high quality and I am particularly leery of risking damage to it. The rifle's stock is synthetic.

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March 22, 2008, 11:21 AM
Probably best to paint over it.

March 22, 2008, 11:24 AM
I would have to agree. Im not sure if even asitone will take krylon off but its worth a try. If that doesn't do the trick I would just paint over it.

March 22, 2008, 11:26 AM
Be careful with Acetone, as it can melt some types of plastic!

March 22, 2008, 11:28 AM
Thats true. You should be ok with the stock just watch anything else.

March 22, 2008, 11:52 AM
What about mineral spirits? Will those remove krylon?

March 22, 2008, 12:06 PM
Acetone, MEK, toluene, xylene, or brake cleaner will all readily remove Krylon.

March 22, 2008, 12:11 PM
If it removes krylon it'll probably remove the synthetic stock too.

March 22, 2008, 12:16 PM
Spray paint isn't hard to remove. The problem is that lots of stuff that removes it also melts many plastics. Acetone, MEK, xylene and brake cleaner are probably going to be the hardest on the plastics.

You might consider trying a product called "Goof Off." It's available at most hardware stores. It removes many kinds of paint, including dried latex, but is generally safe on many plastics. I have used it to remove auto body paint from my eyeglasses without damaging the plastic lenses or UV coating.

You might also consider trying denatured alcohol (lacquer thinner). I haven't tried to remove spray paint with it, but it may work, and may be easier on plastic. It's also relatively cheap.

Whatever product you try, test it in a small area first to be sure that it does not damage the plastic.

March 22, 2008, 12:19 PM
Depending on what the paint is, it might be (somewhat) easy, or it might be pretty much impossible.

I've used Testors for years and always had good luck with either Hoppes or Gun Scrubber to get the old paint off. It takes a little work, and sometimes a piece of fine steel wool helps along with a stiff tooth brush. The paint can be removed completely, or pretty close to it, depending on how long its been on and how hard you work at it.

I have been using Krylon recently, and it seems that it too will come off pretty easy, but I havent tried to strip it off completely yet.

If it was done with something like Brownells Aluma Hyde II, your going to have to blast it off.

If the stock is gun solvent safe, Hoppes or Gun Scrubber wont hurt it.

March 22, 2008, 12:28 PM
This AK has been painted a number of times, and had the paint removed a couple.

Paint job above painted over

Paint above removed and repainted.

This is the same gun (on the right) after the fleck was mostly removed. You can still see a little green on the grip, but that was eventually removed too.

March 22, 2008, 12:34 PM
Nice. BTW I only see a jacket in the top pic? Was there supposed to be a gun there? :cool:

March 22, 2008, 12:36 PM
what did you use to remove the paint again.

March 22, 2008, 12:51 PM
Hoppes #9 and or Gun Scrubber. I usually use one or the other, and sometimes both if I run out of one and dont feel like running out for more.

For something like the AK, it usually takes a full can and sometimes a little more, of Gun Scrubber, which is also more aggressive than the Hoppes. Hoppes usually takes a little more work, and a couple of those fat mouth bottles. A lot depends on the paint, and how much is on there too.

I usually put two or three coats of Testors clear flat lacquer over most of my paint jobs, especially if I'm using their paints, or something like it, that are susceptible to normal gun solvents eating at it. It helps slow them down, and it also evens out the paint job and flattens the finish even more.

Steel wool helps a lot at getting it off quicker, you just have to be careful once you get down through the paint, if your really worried about it.

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