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FROM THE February 2010 ISSUE

Paint removers suitable for plastic car models

RELATED TOPICS: PLASTIC | PAINT
Q: I need to remove the old paint from a plastic interior, and I have tried several products with poor results.

I recently heard about 91-percent rubbing alcohol, and/or Easy-Off oven cleaner. Do you have any thoughts about which product might be better to use for this job?

Also, can the plastic be soaked in either of these products without damaging it? Thank you for any help you can provide.

Frank Reynolds
via E-mail


Ken: This is a question that keeps popping up, and we keep answering it because it’s such an important topic.  
There are many paint removers on the market that are suitable for use on plastic models, and everyone has their favorite. Mine happens to be Easy-Off Oven Cleaner.  

I simply put the model in a deep plastic container, cover it with Easy-Off spray, and leave it for several hours.   Most – if not all – of the paint will lift off. Any stubborn nooks and crannies can be cleaned out with an old toothbrush.  

I’ve never had any plastic model react adversely to Easy-Off. As with any stripper, care must be taken to avoid contact with your skin. Avoid breathing the vapors, too. Wear rubber gloves, and use a respirator.

91-percent alcohol, and several other strippers made specifically for plastic models, have gained favor because of their “user-friendliness.” Most of them typically won’t attack plastic, but test the stripper on an inconspicuous location before soaking the whole model.

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