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removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Old 07-17-2008, 08:53 PM
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colmo-RCU
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Default removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Hi all again.

I´m repairing a chinese glider and want to repaint the fuselage. How can I strip the old paint? Im worried a paint remover will damage the fiberglass, and really don´t wand to spend 2009 sanding!!

Thanks a lot

Mariano
Old 07-18-2008, 11:45 AM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Most resins used in fiberglass / composite construction are very inert and stable. If the resins have been cured properly (very likely), acetone will not harm either polyester or epoxy based composite structures. Of course, this depends on the type of paint you are removing but try acetone in a small area and see if it will do the trick...be sure to wear gloves and minimize contact...acetone is not good for you and is readily absorbed through the skin and soft tissues (like lungs).
Old 07-18-2008, 12:56 PM
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colmo-RCU
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

hmmm, thanks a lot, but I live in Colombia and acetone is forbiden there because it is used to make cocaine. I could buy huge amounts of nail polish remover and try, but if there is something else, much better.
Thanks

Mariano
Old 07-20-2008, 03:40 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

I've stripped a number of fiberglass fuselages using glass conpatible paint removers which are available at most car parts or car paint shops. These strippers were originally made to remove paint from Corvettes. You need to be aware that glass fuselages are not immune to damage from strippers bepending on the resin used!! My advice is to do small areas at a time say 3"X3". I used an old kitchen spoon as a scraper and washed each area with water to deactivate the stripper when done. Once you get a feel for how our glass behaves, you can probably work on several areas at once.

Mike
Old 07-21-2008, 06:36 AM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

just tried using the "fiberglass paint stripper" from auto body shops.. It DID NOT work.. I heard of a stuff called "citri-strip" available from home depot, lowes, walmart etc that worked GREAT!
Old 07-22-2008, 04:02 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Yeah, I just stripped the paint (Lustrkote) off my fiberglass cowl and belly pan from a Goldberg Sukhoi with "Citri-Strip" bought at Walmart for $11.50 and it worked like a charm. It took a few applications especially to cut through the primer coats and you need a cheap paint brush, soft plastic scraper and a synthetic wool type pad(for crevices) but it worked great and took only about an hour and a half. It's also a good idea to have a water hose with a high pressure nozzle to spray/blow the gooey mess off the work between applications. A cheap pair of safety glasses is also a good idea as you wouldn't want that stuff to get int your eyes while spraying! It's quite messy though and you'll need/want chemical resistant gloves but it didn't harm the fiberglass at all and save a ton of time. As a matter of fact I just finished the repaint job an couldn't be happier! Although finding a can of Lustrekote "Tru Red" was a nightmare.....
Old 07-22-2008, 04:12 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

So Citri-Strip huh...Thanks allot for the information!!!

I sanded Lustrekoat off a fuselage...It really was not fun!! That is some tough paint..it reminded me of sanding Imron back in my body shop days... [:@]

Good Information!!

Chuck
Old 07-22-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Thanks a lot, Im going to try it as soon as i can
Old 07-22-2008, 07:01 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

One more thing I did. I brushed on the Citri- Strip and let it sit for about 20 minutes then began the scraping proccess. I also made sure I thorougly rinsed(sprayed) the cowl and belly pan with my hose and high speed nozzle and toweled the parts dry dry immediately after removing all the paint so as to make sure all the Citri- Strip was gone. Just didn't want to chance any degradation of the fiberglass by leaving and residual stripper on the parts.
Old 07-23-2008, 04:54 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Just to make sure, I went to wallmart and the citri strip I found is a spray. Is that the one you used?
Old 07-23-2008, 05:09 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Get the Citri-Strip gell. It is called Stripping Gell and it is orange in color.It comes in a plastic 32oz jug. I'll take a photo and post it in a few minutes.
Old 07-23-2008, 05:23 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Here is photo of the gell and and the completed cowl.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:26 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

FYI:
I found the Gel at Home Depot last night...Looking forward to giving it a shot!!

Home Depot had the spray, a liquid (I think) and then the Gel too...

Chuck
Old 07-26-2008, 08:13 AM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

It works greats! i also let it sit on the stubborn area's for 20-45 minutes. tip is, keep it wet! dont let it dry. I also whiped down the entire fuse w/ vinegar to neutralize some of the stripping chemicals, and then whiped it down w/ denatured alcohol as well.
Old 07-28-2008, 01:58 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Just finished stripping the LustreKote off my belly pan with CitriStrip..Fantastic!! Thanks to y'all for the Tip...

In my case it basically worked immediately...I just wet the part with CitriStrip Gel, watched it basically turn the paint to liquid and I used the brush to just sorta "brush the paint off"...Then a quick wipe down with some mineral spirits and hose off with water...Done it less than 10 minutes...

Good Deal!!

Thanks..

Chuck
Old 08-01-2008, 07:26 AM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse


ORIGINAL: TeamSeacats

Most resins used in fiberglass / composite construction are very inert and stable. If the resins have been cured properly (very likely), acetone will not harm either polyester or epoxy based composite structures. Of course, this depends on the type of paint you are removing but try acetone in a small area and see if it will do the trick...be sure to wear gloves and minimize contact...acetone is not good for you and is readily absorbed through the skin and soft tissues (like lungs).
Acetone is mostly inhaled by the user because it evaporates rapidly.Paint or paint stripper on your skin is absorbed more readily by your body.If you find that the paint srtipper is a little slow you could lightly scratch thru the top coat with a hobby knife and let it in quicker.
Old 09-28-2008, 06:47 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Count me in as a Citri-Strip believer.

I had an old racing fuse that really needed some work. Decided to completely strip it down and repaint. Its taking a little time, but 1/2 the work of sanding off all the paint. I'll be posting some pics in the pylon forums in the next couple days....

Neat stuff, and at $12 for 32 oz, it looks like I'll only need half a bottle for a complete plane.
Old 09-28-2008, 07:03 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Yep, The stuff is amazing. My cowl looks AWESOME!
Old 09-30-2008, 09:45 AM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Question for Daven: did the Citristrip take off old Klasskote (or old two part auto paint) without harming the epoxyglass underneath?? That would be very cool!! Rudy
Old 09-30-2008, 10:36 AM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

This plane was two part autopaint PPG Deltron base coat / clear coat. If you want, I can test on Klasskote tonight.

I still have a couple stubborn areas, and the stuff is messy, but works well. Just gotta give it time and let it do its thing. I found it easier to just try and do a little at a time, rather than put this stuff on a complete fuse. Let it sit for about 30 minutes, let it bubble off, and scrape it off with one of those plastic bondo scrapers. Its working great on the paint, but the primer is taking a little more time in spots.

Does not appear to be harming the epoxy whatsoever. The wing I stripped down was a molded composite wing that came with some sort of white gel coat. It took it right down to the gelcoat without touching the gel coat.. Clean up with a paper towel and acetone seems to work well.

The stuff has a nice orange smell, but I would definately recommend a little circulation and gloves.
Old 10-02-2008, 05:29 AM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

citri strip is definitely the way to go. i am very happy with the nice clean shiny fuse exposed after it stripped away a 30 yo paint job.

david
Old 10-05-2008, 11:14 AM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Heres what I started with, and where I'm at. It really doesn't take much actual working time. Just paint the stuff on with an acid brush, wait about 30 minutes till it bubbles, and scrape it off with a bondo scraper. The paint came right off, the primer is taking a little more work. Still much easier than sanding.

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Old 10-06-2008, 05:15 AM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

i have found that you can leave an extra heavy coat on all day if you want and the citri strip will keep on melting the sublayers. i am working on a plane with several layers of paint and it is so messy i decided to try to eliminate some work. either way having a shiny fuse afterwards is very satisfying.

david
Old 11-03-2008, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Finished painting my plane (that I stripped above). Turned out pretty good, neat product, started stripping another plane also.
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:50 PM
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Default RE: removing paint from fiberglass fuse

Looks good!

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