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December 28, 2022
Removing Paint From Plastic Models

Removing paint from plastic models

Whether you want to touch up a faded model you've had for years or need to complete a new paint job altogether, removing paint is an essential step in the process, as you need to start on a blank canvas. If you paint over the existing coats, you won't create the same beautiful effect as you would starting fresh.

To complete this process, you must find the right supplies to avoid damaging your model. Additionally, you must dedicate the proper amount of time and resources to the process to obtain a fresh start before repainting.

Why Should You Remove Model Paint?

You won't always need to strip paint before beginning a project, but doing so can provide immense benefits.

Removing old colors gives you a fresh, clean start before you apply a new coat. If the base paint contains lead, removing it is a crucial safety step. Additionally, you may want to remove the paint if the past job looks poor in quality. Uneven applications, normal wear and tear and faded colors can take away from the beauty of your project.

Taking off the old paint provides a better base for an even and beautiful finish when you repaint the object.

Supplies needed for removing model paint

Supplies Needed for Removing Model Paint

You can find many chemicals and supplies on the market to strip paint. However, some items will be better for your safety and current project than others. Check out these supplies to learn how to get paint off a model the right way:

  • 99.9% pure isopropyl alcohol: Finding a bottle of isopropyl alcohol is your best bet for removing model paint. This product gives you the best base, is an excellent cleaner and is an inexpensive solvent.
  • Containers: You need at least three containers to use as you remove the paint. You'll use one as a stripping container, another for washing your brushes, and the third to help organize your brushes. Ensure you can reach each container easily and work seamlessly through your project without needing to refill the liquids constantly.
  • Gloves: Gloves keep chemicals away from your skin and ensure you have a steady hold on the item without getting your hands wet or dirty throughout the process. Avoid powdered gloves, which can leave small residues on your project as you repaint. The gloves should fit comfortably and not leave room for chemicals or liquids to slip on your hands.
  • Ventilation: When working with chemicals, like those in paints and removers, it's best to work in a space with ventilation. If possible, consider completing your project outside, where you can get fresh air as you work. If you must work indoors, open the windows and turn on a fan to ensure the air moves around properly.
  • Brushes: Get a collection of multi-sized brushes to ensure you can nail tiny details and breeze through large sections. Toothbrushes and pipe cleaners may also help you remove small parts that can be hard to reach.
  • Rags and towels: Keep your workspace as clean as possible. Lay down old towels on your work surface to avoid damage from spills or other accidents and use paper towels to quickly address spills. These supplies ensure you can act quickly if you need to remove paint from your model or the surrounding area.

How to Remove Paint From Models

The project size and how you or the manufacturer initially prepared the project affect the time and effort you'll need to strip the paint effectively. Additionally, the type of paint on the model can impact project completion length. For example, removing enamel paint may be more difficult than acrylic paint — acrylic paints contain water and may be easier to strip away than some stubborn oils in enamels.

Follow these steps to learn how to remove acrylic paint from models and other colors from projects:

  1. Prepare ventilation in your project space.
  2. Put on a pair of gloves. Lay down a towel or some rags to cover your work area.
  3. Prepare your containers — fill one with enough isopropyl alcohol to soak the model, fill one with water and leave the last one empty.
  4. Soak the model or specific piece in the alcohol and cover the container with a lid. Leave it for around 20 minutes, or longer for deeper penetration.
  5. Remove the model or piece from the alcohol.
  6. Use a toothbrush to strip the paint away.
  7. Rinse the brush to clear the color residue. If you use more than one brush, leave the clean ones in the empty bin as you switch between them for better organization.
  8. Continue to scrub the paint with your brush and rinse it until you remove all the paint.

You may discover you need to submerge the model more than once if there are multiple coats or hard finishes. Additionally, if you're handing tiny pieces, the alcohol may disintegrate the super glue and cause them to fall apart. Be sure to keep these pieces organized properly so you can glue them once you've stripped the paint.

Repaint your models with our selection of paint

Repaint Your Models With Our Selection of Paint

After you remove the model paint from your project, you'll want to give it a fresh, new coat. Auto World Store offers a variety of paints and lacquers from top brands you can use to create a stunning and picture-perfect model.

These Testors paint sets allow you to create beautiful details on all your models. You can find acrylic and enamel paints in these kits to get the exact look you want. You can also explore various colors in these Tamiya mini paint containers. Whether you want an extra stock of one color or need to refill another, these containers have all the paint you need to create fine details and cover large surfaces.

If you need another way to add vibrant colors, you can count on Tamiya spray lacquers to do the job. If you're working on large-scale model surfaces, these paints help reduce the time you spend adding new colors. Acrylic and enamel paints won't affect these colors, so you can always switch from spray to paint to complete your models.

No matter the model or the paint you need, trust Auto World Store to deliver the best products at the best prices. Shop our selection for your project today!