What are the choices for paint stripping?
Paint stripping is the process of removing paint from an object using one of a number of different methods. The method that is chosen depends to a great extent on the surface the paint is on, what type of paint needs removing, how quickly they want the job done and how clean must the surface be when the job is done?
Physical vs. Chemical paint stripping:
There are two primary ways in which paint can be removed from a surface, one is physical and the other is chemical. Within each of these categories there are a number of methods that relate back to the choices discussed previously. If you are discussing removing paint from the body of an automobile then there is little need to be concerned about that type of paint has been used as they behave similarly while being stripped regardless of the method chosen.
Physical paint stripping includes such methods as media blasting, sanding and scraping in conjunction with heat. If one is to investigate media blasting there are a number of sub methods. The process of media blasting involves the spraying of the surface with some type of media under pressure, the media removes the paint. Media blasting can work on very fine finishes where the media is walnut shells, baking soda or plastic beads. Conversely, media blasting can use hard and aggressive media like silica sand for blasting built up paint on bridges and ships hulls. Most body shops that use media blasting to prepare a vehicle for painting use plastic beads as they remove the paint completely without doing any damage whatsoever to the underlying body work.
Another tries and true method to remove paint is heat but there are issues that must be watched. There is a very good chance that post paint removal sanding will be required and it is possible to damage other parts from the heat.
Chemical paint removers involve the application of a chemical which bubbles the paint and then scraping the paint with a scraper or spatula. Although chemical paint strippers do work they are extremely messy and leave a horrible odor to the point where it is recommended that a respirator be worn when working with these chemicals. The chemicals will eat at anything that isn’t metal so it can easily damage rubber window moldings etc.
You may want to consider a spot test before you try a chemical stripper to see how effective it really is.
paint stripping can be done either chemically or physically. The professionals favor plastic blasting media as it does not damage the metal surface. You are invited to review the types of media produced by Opti-Blast.