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  1. #1
    Chris Bling
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    Myths and the Reality of stripping Powder Coating from a frame

    Hey Everyone,

    This weekend has been one of much learning for me and I figured that I am not the only one with these questions, so I figured I would post a step by step process on how to actually remove powder coating from a frame.

    There are many different theories out there about getting powder coating off a frame. Some say that it is only accomplished by sand blasting, others say that it simply comes off with normal paint stripper. I came to find that using normal paint stripper did not do the trick.

    My first attempt was using the "nastiest stuff we have" from Home Depot and it literally did nothing after almost 2 hours on my frame! After this experience I spend several hours on the interweb trying to figure out how I could get the paint off my frame without having to spend the money to have it sand blasted.

    After some time, i found an interesting vid on youtube that mentioned that if you used a stripper containing Methanol it would acutally take off powdercoat. He also mentioned that it helps tremendously if you were to really scuff up your paint with some pretty heavy duty sand paper before you applied the stripper. This is exactly what I did and the pictures below outline how things went.

    The Stripper I used was "Kleen-Strip" Premium Stripper. I stumbled upon it by accident at Walmart. It was very cheap ~$6

    I started by sanding my frame with some pretty aggressive sand paper. Probably about 100-150 grit. Be careful not to sand to hard as you will scratch the aluminum. I did hit the base metal a few times, but I'll explain how I removed the scratches later

    After I sanded it very well, I started applying the stripper. NOTE: If it is cold where you are stripping the frame, run hot water over the can for a few minutes to get the contents warm. If you dont do this, it will clog the spray nozel. Trust me, it will clog.

    After I sprayed the first coat of Stripper on, I let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. It was pretty apparent that it was working. I used a plastic scraper to get off the majority of the goo. After I used a paper towel to remove the remainder.

    On the next coat, I applied the stripper to everyone on the frame again, targeting the areas that did not come off. This time after letting it sit for about 10 minutes, I used a brass brush to help get the stubborn stuff off. This was incredible how well it worked.

    HINT: This stripper actually eats away a little bit of the frame every time you use it. Not a lot, just trace amounts. I was able to get some of the light scratches out by spraying it with the stripper and letting it sit and then scrubbing it with a brass brush. The finish turned out awesome. ( to the nay-sayers, this is not compromising the frame)

    Overall, I did 3 separate "coats" to get off the most stubborn paint. Overall, the most important thing was the Stripper with the Methanol, sanding the powdercoat before applying the stripper and using that brass brush to make it happen.

    Let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy the pics

    Here is what we started with
    Myths and the Reality of stripping Powder Coating from a frame-img-20130208-00275.jpg
    After scuffing up the powdercoat some
    Myths and the Reality of stripping Powder Coating from a frame-img-20130208-00276.jpg
    Here is the stripper
    Myths and the Reality of stripping Powder Coating from a frame-img-20130210-00294.jpg
    First coat of Stripper
    Myths and the Reality of stripping Powder Coating from a frame-img-20130208-00277.jpg
    You can see it starting to work
    Myths and the Reality of stripping Powder Coating from a frame-img-20130208-00280.jpg
    After the first coat
    Myths and the Reality of stripping Powder Coating from a frame-img-20130208-00281.jpg
    Another
    Myths and the Reality of stripping Powder Coating from a frame-img-20130208-00282.jpg
    After the Second Coat. Still were a few small areas, but not really. Mainly on the welds and braze-ons
    Myths and the Reality of stripping Powder Coating from a frame-img-20130208-00287.jpg
    Final Product. I think it turned out beautifully
    Myths and the Reality of stripping Powder Coating from a frame-img-20130210-00292.jpg
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  2. #2
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    nicely done, you gonna coat that or lacquer it or something, don't think it'll stay shiny like that if not?

  3. #3
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    How many hours did it take you, start to finish?

  4. #4
    Chris Bling
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero View Post
    How many hours did it take you, start to finish?
    It took 3 hours or so.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustyduke22 View Post
    It took 3 hours or so.
    Looks great man. Honestly though, if I could have it media blasted for $100 vs. $10 and 3 hours, I'll go the media blasting route. I've stripped a frame before and it wasn't fun - I'm guessing I didn't use one with the methanol like you spec'd. Probably took me 2x as long.

  6. #6
    Chris Bling
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smiff View Post
    nicely done, you gonna coat that or lacquer it or something, don't think it'll stay shiny like that if not?
    I am not sure. I like the way it looks but wouldn't mind if it got darker
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  7. #7
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    easier to quote wikipedia

    "Metallic aluminium is very reactive with atmospheric oxygen, and a thin passivation layer of aluminium oxide (4 nm thickness) forms on any exposed aluminium surface.[6] This layer protects the metal from further oxidation. The thickness and properties of this oxide layer can be enhanced using a process called anodising."

    i believe the al oxide is white, and interestingly harder than aluminium.

  8. #8
    Chris Bling
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    Any ideas on what is the best thing to use for a clear coat?
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  9. #9
    ~ B A D A S S ~
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    Quote Originally Posted by dustyduke22 View Post
    Any ideas on what is the best thing to use for a clear coat?
    2 component polyurethane. and it definitely won't stick to a polished surface so your best bet is to have it clear of light gray anodized!

    I had some probalems with srtipping too. However I have vast experience with working with paint and sanding and chemicals and such.

    Anyway I got a dichloromethane/methylene chloride based stripper, and applied it at a small spot, nothing happenend whatsoever (I could have been lucky ) So I just rouchened up the surface and tested it again, very slow and sluggish action (its a gel), then I tried bagging the frame with the stripper still in the bag and applied thick. now it starts too peel off, however undeneath the top layer is a type of primer coat, the top layer I'm guessing was some type of polyurethane, and the primer was a grayish/whitish epoxy. Nothing happened to the epoxy at all. So I added acetone to the mix and now the epoxy got softer, eventually it got so soft that I simply just cut it off with a sharp knife like a banana, worked quite well considering the surface was whateverblasted.

    If I had to do it again on the same type of primer and top coat/bake I would add acetone and "cellulose thinner" from the start, since this is the thinner used for both epoxys and polys when spraypainting, so it will definitely do something to it. Can't really make it worse I reckon, I would also bag it from the start, and sand it from the start and start working (scraping/cutting) from the start too. The mechanical type of removal when the paint is softened speeds things up by about 1000% or so.

    btw the active chemical in those strippers is very bad for you so use appropriate gloves (and those are typically only good for x amount of minutes, like 20minutes of exposure), IIRC gloves made from Viton and some other 3 or 4 layer crap are the only ones that can resist DCM/MC however I think viton is dissolved by acetone so don't use than then. also don't breathe in the fumes if any.

    Viton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Dichloromethane - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  10. #10
    AKA Mr.Habanero
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    Permatex Gasket remover! Works like a charm. I stripped my Tracer 2 using that stuff.

  11. #11
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    I also stripped my frame of what I assume was powder coating. I used the brush on Kleen Strip stripper instead of the spray on. 5hrs and 2 cans later my frame was still coated in this ugly gray finish that the stripper couldnt seem to break through. I picked up a can of POR-STRIP by POR-15 from a local race shop. Only used about 1/2 can and that did the trick. I also used a fine steel wool to help remove the coating along with the stripper so in essence I was lightly wet sanding the coating off. I followed up with a fine gray scotch bright pad then lightly polished the frame with a high quality aluminum polish.

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