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[Beginnings]Paint Removal

Posted by paradisio on March 8, 2008

Well, being the re-newbie miniature painter, I’ve made a fair amount of errors regarding my recent acquisition. In an effort to give myself a clean slate, I imbibed a great many fumes from cleaning products (not intentionally, I assure you). More to the point, I wanted to strip the paint off the miniatures I had painted several times; to the point where their features where entirely indistinguishable. I thought I would share my results on this matter. I purchased two products, oven cleaner (EZ Off) and an all purpose cleaner (Simple Green).

Obviously, neither of these products are for paint stripping at all, and to be honest, finding a way to remove paint from miniatures, plastic especially can prove pretty dangerous, as many acidic products will not only take the paint off but turn the plastic into putty or disintegrate it completely; metal on the other hand is pretty easy. The market is just two small for someone to make a miniature paint removal, but we can make due. Anyways, I picked these two out of many suggestions over things like Brake Fluid, Nail Polish Removal, and other equally toxic products.

While I haven’t given those other ones a text, out of the two I tried, I would clearly state Simple Green as the winner. While the oven cleaner seems semi-effective, the Simple Green product is the winner for a myriad of reasons:
1. It’s easy to get. Almost all stores carry Simple Green in either the concentrated big bottles or spray while I went to two stores and only one of them had a very small supply of Ez Off.
2. Simple Green is non-toxic. Okay, not really a big deal, but almost all the other products don’t really seem safe to keep around the house while you let things soak in them. Ez Off was so toxic and foul, I could barely stand to be in the same room, and that was just after spraying one figure.
3. Application. Simple Green simply requires you to soak the miniature in it, while Ez Off requires you to spray the miniature (it’s a spray), and then keep the now toxic hunk somewhere where it won’t kill small animals that come passing by (okay, its not that bad, but it would be hard to keep a dozen figures covered in the stuff somewhere safe.)
4. Results. From what I experienced, simple green produced better results on the whole. While it may not be lightning fast, if you just leave the figures soaking in the stuff for 24 hours or more the paint will come right off. If you just wanted to remove a coat, it can be done in 30 minutes or so, but requires vigorous scrubbing. The Ez-Off was effective though in a shorter amount of time.

Also, supposedly the oven cleaner while take care of glue as well if you want that ability, I didn’t experiment enough to find out the validity of that considering how hard it was to use the product in general.

Overall, I was much happier with the Simple Green. I’ll try to update this post with some before/after images when I can.


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