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Discussion Starter #1
I have 3 modern Lionel passenger roofs. My re-paint job didn't go very well. For some reason 2 of them bubbled and cracked up. I would like to remove the paint and re-do it. I know you can't use paint stripper, because it will react with the plastic. I can't sand it, because there are too many nooks and crannies.

How can you remove the old paint? Thanks for any ideas.
 

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I used lacquer thinner to remove paint from a caboose. It worked well and didn’t hurt the plastic...

Tom
 

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I used lacquer thinner to remove paint from a caboose. It worked well and didn’t hurt the plastic...

Tom
I assume, you held the caboose and used a brush to remove the paint, rather than place the car in the thinner. Also be careful to not handle the car when the thinner is wet, or you have any on your hands. You will leave fingerprints in the plastic.
Lacquer thinner it will dissolve plastic, or at least make it soft enough to leave prints in it.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I assume, you held the caboose and used a brush to remove the paint, rather than place the car in the thinner. Also be careful to not handle the car when the thinner is wet, or you have any on your hands. You will leave fingerprints in the plastic.
Lacquer thinner it will dissolve plastic, or at least make it soft enough to leave prints in it.

Dan
I can't use the roofs the way they are now. I'll just have to be really careful about handling it. Thank you for the warning.
 

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I brushed it on in small area and wiped it with a fine cloth. It took a while.

After I used a manicure sanding block and smoothed out the areas. Of course I was working on a flat surface with grooves. It was a wood side caboose from K-Line.

There are probably better ways of stripping. I used to submerge shells in brake fluid (dot3) and that worked too. Just messy.

Tom
 

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You may also wish to consider using oven cleaner (in the yellow can). Works well and doesn’t harm plastic. I usually use a plastic bag, spray the item in the bag, then let it sit for about an hour, testing it along the way. Scrub off the dissolved paint with a toothbrush, then rinse with water. As with any chemical, wear gloves, long sleeves and eye protection.
 

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MEDIA BLASTERS DO NOT DISCRIMINATE

If one decides on using a media blaster. I would find a piece or two of scrap painted plastic to practice on before proceeding to blast the piece you want cleaned up. By doing so one will become used to the blasting equipment as well as setting the blaster up properly. Dial in the media flow rate as well as the proper amount of air pressure need by the blaster to operate properly. As noted by others. Please use all safety precautions. A media blaster gun discharge can be dangerous to hands, eyes, arms & ESPECIALLY LUNGS.

BE CAREFULL PLEASE.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't have a bead blaster. So I tried brake fluid as suggested. I put the plastic roof in an old pan and soaked in brake fluid for about 3 hours.

The brake fluid cleaned up my old pan really nice. And it did remove the paint...from my paint brush handle. Unfortunately, the plastic roof was unaffected.

Guess I need to get a bead blaster.
 
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