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 Post subject: Paint stripping discussion
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:01 am 
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Biomass
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hey everyone, this WAY off topic, but since we were talking about stripping figures, i thought you might be interested in this... i finally got around to testing a bunch of different chemicals to see which takes paint off figures best.

i had three points for judging the results.
1. can it take paint off of metal figures?
2. can it take paint off of plastic figures/bases?
3. will it hurt the plastic?

i found four chemicals that seemed to have potential
1. pinesol (regular)
2. acetone
3. brake fluid
4. lighter fluid

i then found another 6 that just seemed fun
5. pinesol (tropical rain clean)
6. surf (liquid laundry detergent)
7. power steering fluid
8. rubbing alcohol
9. lysol (apple cleaning action - my wife bought it)
10. greased lightning (weird bottle left by previous home owner)

after soaking a figure in each solution between 2 and 3 hours (using a bunch of clean baby food jars i had lying around), i then ran them under water and scrubbed them lightly with an old toothbrush. i was quite suprised with the results.

the chemicals are listed from best to worst and each number corrisponds to the three ranking questions with 4 best and 0 worst. fyi, if the chemical didn't take much paint off the plastic, i knocked a point off the third ranking on the assumption that soaking it longer might take the paint off but would also cause more damage to the plastic too.

4 4 4 greased lightning
4 4 3 lysol
4 4 2 pinesol (original)
3 2 2 pinesol (rain forest clean)
3 2 2 surf
2 2 2 brake fluid
1 2 2 lighter fluid
1 0 2 rubbing alcohol
4 0 0 acetone
0 0 4 power steering fluid (didn't do anything)

greased lightning took top awards. you can do a web search on the name and it will tell you what stores it is available at (it seems pretty common in the US). the figure looked like it had never been painted. the plastic looked fresh and perfect. this is my new stripper!!!

lysol really suprised me. it cleaned well and didn't hurt the plastics. but the plastics didn't glow with health the way that the greased lightning worked. the plastics looked good, but they didn't look new. a really close second though (and easy to find)...

pinesol did third best, but if you soak it more than a couple hours, plastics can turn rubbery or worst. plus the smell never comes off the figure! ugh! even after just two hours, there was mild surface abrassions on the plastic. and if you soak them overnight, banner poles can turn into rubber bands and sharp edges will disappear (especially if you strip the older GWS plastics).

all the rest did so poorly that they aren't worth using. well, except for acetone... it took the paint off the metal and practically gave it a new shine too. but the plastic base literally melted to the figure (after just an hour of soaking) and i had to scrap the gooey mush off the figure. it was worst than chewing gum. if you are only doing metal figures (without bases), this might be the one to use though.....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:46 am 
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Hatchling
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Wow - modelling following the scientific method!

Do they market that Greased Lightning stuff in the UK?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:48 am 
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Ripper
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Funny that. I've always used alcohool and never had any problems. It's cheap and easy to find, and I never had problems with it hurting plastics or anything.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:34 am 
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Broodlord
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Zoink wrote:
Wow - modelling following the scientific method!

Do they market that Greased Lightning stuff in the UK?


Apparently not. http://www.greased-lightning.com/locator/index.html

:(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:58 pm 
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chiaroscuros wrote:
greased lightning took top awards.


Zoink wrote:
Wow - modelling following the scientific method!

Do they market that Greased Lightning stuff in the UK?


Oh, we're just getting started! :twisted:

First, thank you very much for the experimental data. Now, let's figure out what it all means and get more data! :shock:

Was it this product?

http://www.greased-lightning.com/msds/index.cfm

If so, which one? Just the all purpose stuff? Let's assume that for now. The MSDS for GL tells us that the stuff to watch is:

2-butoxyethanol
sodium hydroxide

http://www.greased-lightning.com/msds/docs/2211245.pdf

Hmm...I wonder what is in Simple Green?

http://facilities.uoregon.edu/custodial ... egreen.pdf

Hey! 2-butoxyethanol.

So, at first blush GL seems like a very basic (as opposed to acidic) cousin to SG. OK, I mean VERY basic, as it is more basic (pH 12.7 to 13.2) than Clorox liquid bleach (pH 11.4):

http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~jsmit ... BLEACH.htm

And remember, each pH number is a factor of TEN (BTW, 7 is neutral). SG rates as 9.5, so Gl is not only 10-100 times more basic than bleach, it is 1000-10000 times more basic than SG.

If you read the MSDS info, it sounds like GL is a little more irritating/dangerous, but that's not all that surprising.

Your description of GL sounds a lot like what I get from SG, although I never waited just 2-3 hours. I don't expect SG would do very well in 2-3 hours, but it was great in 12-24.

Q: Where the models properly primed prior to painting?

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 Post subject: greased lightning
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:51 am 
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Biomass
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there are three or four variations on the formula. i was using the "greased lightning all-purpose cleaner" version that the "dollar" store carries (for $3, go figure). i have seen slightly different bottle labels at "auto zone" and at most grocery stores. and sam's club carries a gallon size container of it. i haven't tested them all to see the differences between them though.

two hours for stripping was nice because it is just enough time to drop them in before supper and still tackle the job that night. overnight gives me the opportunity to forget them completely and let them take a much longer bath.... with some not so pretty results from pinesol.

i have stripped a couple different kinds of figures with this stuff. striping figures covered with GWS primer and paint is easy. stripping old plastic figures that someone used car primer and enamel paint (this is my guess, it was impervious stuff) was a lot tougher. even after two baths, the paint really didn't want to come off and they probably ended up soaking for 4 to 6 hours. after six hours, the figures had minor surface abrasions, basically if you looked super close, some areas were a little whiter. not as bad as "pinesol" though.

but i don't know of anything that really does a good job on plastic with that kind of mess on them. unless "simply green" works on it. i hadn't heard about it before the experiment, so i didn't test it. anyway, buyer beware on purchasing painted ebay stuff, cause you never know what they painted them with....

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Sisters of Battle - 3 1/2 years
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 Post subject: greased lighting 2
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:17 am 
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Biomass
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i didn't notice ANY skin irritation working with greased lightning at all. but i have been a lot more careful since i lost the entire top surface of the skin on my right hand to pinesol. pinesol is really scary stuff!

after stripping figures in pinesol for about an hour, my hand started out tingling, then turned corpse white, then started to draw up, and then the skin started pealing off (two layers deep in some spots). talk about scary!

i was ready to rush to the emergency room until my wife (a nurse) calmed me down and explained that it happens to her all the time too, when she mops the floors. of course, not that badly, but then she isn't using concentrated pinesol....

anyway, after that, i have always been much more careful. i use an empty pickle jar (glass w/ metal lid) to hold the stripper and figures. when i am ready to take them out, i take another empty jar and pour as much fluid into it as possible (using the lid as a strainer). then i use the lid to capture the figures. i then run water over the lid for a oouple minutes before i touch them. it goes without say that i do this over a sink and have the drain almost completely closed. and any cleaner that goes down the drain gets flushed with lots of water.

again, i am totally paranoid and this stuff won't hurt your pipes. but if you are going to do this on a weekly basis, a couple extra precautions can't hurt.... seriously, you can pour this on your skin and not have any problems. but i tend to clean a lot of figures at one go. so i might be handling this stuff for four hours at a time. again, this stuff isn't like drain cleaner. it is like glass cleaner (like windex). obvioualy don't drink it or pour it in your eyes, but otherwise you should be fine.... again, i have never had ANY skin irritation with greased lightning.

i can't imagine handling drain cleaner, but....

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Sisters of Battle - 3 1/2 years
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:42 am 
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Hatchling
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For your prolonged exposures to these chemicals you probably should get some gloves. These guys have good prices and free shipping. But you have to buy a case at a time. I've found many good uses for gloves though now that I have some. Everytime I do any bathroom cleaning (yes I do that every now and again!) or handle raw meat. Personally I like nitrile gloves as opposed to latex.

http://www.med-express.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:41 am 
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Phage wrote:
And remember, each pH number is a factor of TEN (BTW, 7 is neutral). SG rates as 9.5, so Gl is not only 10-100 times more basic than bleach, it is 1000-10000 times more basic than SG.


Greased Lightning appear to have a 'Green' variant with a pH of 9.3. I wouldn't be surprised if this was an almost identical active formulation to Simple Green, there may also be others by different manufacturers with similar names. SG isn't letting us know what it is that makes their product alkaline, but sodium hydroxide is cheap and available so it's not a bad guess.

Phage wrote:
Your description of GL sounds a lot like what I get from SG, although I never waited just 2-3 hours. I don't expect SG would do very well in 2-3 hours, but it was great in 12-24.

[technical mode]
The presence of a strong alkali in paint strippers can be expected to boost its performance considerably. At least one source tells me this is a saponfication reaction, which for the chemically-minded means that it's attacking ester linkages in the paint's binder. The second stage of the attack is the 2-butoxy ethanol solvent, which provides a medium of the appropriate polarity to dissolve the paint. Although I haven't looked into it this chemical or one of its close relatives may actually be used as a solvent in paint formulations.
[/technical mode]

It's a fair assumption that any formulation containing 2-butoxyethanol (aka Butyl Cellosolve) is likely to have some paint-stripping effect.

Issues around chemical sensitivity will depend largely on the exposure (degree of contact, region of contact and time) and the individual concerned. These things can crop up much further down the track, so continue to exercise caution in the absence of immediate symptoms.

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Last edited by Teatime on Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 2:13 am 
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Little One
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Location: Oceanside, California
Great! I come here to get away from making soap!

Definition of saponification: Process by which triglycerides are reacted with sodium or potassium hydroxide to produce glycerol and a fatty acid salt, called 'soap'.

:roll: Ah well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 2:58 am 
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brynjolfr wrote:
Definition of saponification: Process by which triglycerides are reacted with sodium or potassium hydroxide to produce glycerol and a fatty acid salt, called 'soap'.

This is the 'root' definition and the most practical for our discussion. The somewhat broader chemical definition is 'base catalysed hydrolysis of esters'.

Industry and people being what they are, the term has been used for a variety of other reactions that nobody wants to hear me rattle on about. Our case in point (paint) is one of these.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:05 am 
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Ok, I have found that brake fluid will take the enamels off plastic without melting the figures. I have left plastic figures in brake fluid for over 3 months (I liked how the genestealer looked like he was preserved in formaldehyde) and it still didn't melt the plastic.

Pine-Sol, on the other hand, BAAAAD STUF!. Melts a figure in two days. Like you dissolved all the bones in em. Just a word of caution on that stuff. I will never use Pine-Sol again, and I haven't seen any of the greased lightning around yet to test for an extended bath.

If you strip like I do (Forget aboput them for a while) and want to keep the plastic figures for playing. Brake fluid works very well. It just isn't very quick.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:01 pm 
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Biomass

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I cant beleive you posted the MSDS data for Simple Green. Im a science teacher and can order this stuff from the chemical catalogues! EXCELLENT!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:32 am 
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Cranerat wrote:
Ok, I have found that brake fluid will take the enamels off plastic without melting the figures. I have left plastic figures in brake fluid for over 3 months (I liked how the genestealer looked like he was preserved in formaldehyde) and it still didn't melt the plastic.

Pine-Sol, on the other hand, BAAAAD STUF!. Melts a figure in two days. Like you dissolved all the bones in em. Just a word of caution on that stuff. I will never use Pine-Sol again, and I haven't seen any of the greased lightning around yet to test for an extended bath.

If you strip like I do (Forget aboput them for a while) and want to keep the plastic figures for playing. Brake fluid works very well. It just isn't very quick.


I missed this one originally. I still kick Brake Fluid out of the runnning because of the disposal issues. It's nasty stuff and you need to take it to a mechanic that wants to dispose of it. It's not just the inconvenience; rather, it tells you right off that you are doing a lot more damage environmentally than necessary.

@Stryer: Glad to help a science teacher! :) This is the first time I have made someone happy with an MSDS.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:07 am 
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I am having trouble with the Simple Green, but this was only day 3 last night when I tried to strip the miniatures. Most of the superglued arms of my termagents did separate from the bodies, and the elmers glue holding the flock to the bases broke down readily.

I have been trying to use a toothbrush to remove the paint, but the cracks and crevices, especailly between the top of the base and the bottom of the termagents, still hold.

Chimera

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