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What Is The Best Chemical Paint Stripper ?


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Hi Guys,

The paint on my KE30 is in pretty good condition, & has cut & polished up well, except for the bonnet & boot lid, which are starting to "crazy crack" in areas. 40 odd years of sun baked paint, & very, very hard.


Yesterday afternoon, I decided to try a test patch on the bonnet to see how hard it would be to strip it back to bare metal. Some "Diggers" paint stripper I had on the shelf from Bunnings, took ages to remove one layer, and only bubbled on edges of flutes in the bonnet, where the paint was thinner. I then used a 80 grit orbital sanding disk to break the surface of the paint to let the stripper do its thing, and this certainly sped things up a bit. However there were spots where I had to use the sanding disk right to the bare metal, which obviously creates small scratches, that any good self etching/filler/primer will fix.


I decided, that gently breaking the paint surface to let the stripper work effectively is the way to go, but I do want to find the most quick & aggressive stripper available commercially, so that I can get all the paint off quickly, and devote most the time I have available, to preparing the paint free surface.


What brands of auto paint strippers have you used & found very effective. I've noticed that paint stripper prices can vary widely, with some twice the price of another, but I've found in the past that a higher price for a product, does not necessarily mean it is better at doing a particular job.


Any thoughts or suggestions welcomed.


Cheers Banjo.

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Smell them and avoid anything "good for the environment"..


Run of the mill ones use methylene chloride or similar, like the old dry-cleaning solvent, mixed with waxes and any other solvents that are cheap. They eat into the paint then evaporate away (which is why you cover the panel in cling-wrap) and the waxes shrink out of solution and pull the paint off.


Tergostrip uses phenol in their best ones, smells quite different, so buy one that doesn't smell like the last one you used. Use all of them outside or in a carport, the chemicals are not good for you!


Chat to industrial guys who do stripping, you might be able to get hold of 5L of some really good stuff that isn't sold retail.


Tergostrip B/O


Tergostrip Brush-On is an aggressive, heavy duty paint remover and will effectively remove most paints and powder coatings including baked coatings, acrylic enamel, melamines, two pot epoxies and urethanes, road markings and anti-fouling marine paints.

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Thanks mate ! TERGOSTRIP seems to be the go, but when I Google it, it appears to originate in N.Z., like a lot of nice people I know.


Is it commercially available & on sale in OZ ?


I'd love to get hold of some & give it a try.


Cheers Banjo

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OK. Managed to find some in OZ. It is marketed here under the name ARDROX 2526, and comes out of Bayswater in Vic. Same formula as Tergostrip. Have been contacted by the Chemetall Qld rep here in Brisbane, and I have a 5 litre can being delivered to me in the next few days.


I'll let you know how it goes.


Cheers Banjo

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well finally got around to stripping the paint off my KE30 bonnet today, with the ARDROX 2526. 40 years of baked on paint. It worked extremely well. It helps to break the surface of the paint, with some 60 grit paper, to let the chemicals get into the paint, & do it's magic. However, you can just apply, & then scrape away one or 2 layers of paint at a time, and then apply again, until you get tho the bare metal.


It's very toxic, and not to be treated likely. I used long chemical gloves, a mask, and a charcoal nose & mouth filter. Good stuff ! Certainly saves a lot of elbow grease.


Cheers Banjo

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Just spotted this thread.


Ardrox 2526 I use at work to strip aircraft parts except we use it in a large tank heated to 90 degrees C.....Paint GONE in an instant.

Long gloves and a breathing filter is a MUST with this one but it WORKS.


So possibly a tip is heat up pannel pour on may work faster??? Just a thought.


Also be ware this stuff disolves most plastics and rubber. So be very careful about where you get it around a car. A lot of sealers etc will just fall apart with this stuff super nasty to them. But other wise its the best :)

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Hi Cameron,

After working with the ARDROX 2526 at O/S 22 deg C, I shudder to think what the fumes would be like at 90 deg C. You'd want a full gas mask & helmet.


You're right about it dissolving rubber. I bought some industrial long rubber gloves, that went up half way to my elbows. They were chemical resistant gloves, but felt like mostly rubber. After using the ARDROX 2526 for about 20 -30 mins, I could feel my hands getting wet & sweaty inside the gloves. I took them off, and the ARDROX was working it's way straight through the gloves.


So anyone using the ARDROX, 2526, please do take precautions, but it does work well. Like Alteazzclub says, the nastier they are, the better they work.


Next time I use it, to strip the boot lid, I will put a small tin of ARDROX 2526, in a tub of hot water, to heat it up a bit, & see if it even quicker to work it's magic.


Cheers Banjo

Edited by Banjo
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