What is Aircraft Paint Remover – How to Use It Correctly?


Aircraft paint remover is a relatively new product on the market for removing paint from surfaces.

It can be used to strip away old paint and prepare the surface for a new coat of paint.

However, it is important to use aircraft paint remover correctly to avoid surface damage.

In this article, I will discuss what aircraft paint remover is, on what surfaces you can use it safely, and how to use it correctly.

So, let’s dive into it, and I hope you stay safe while stripping with the right tools!

Aircraft Paint Remover

From the name, you may think that it’s a product to use on airplanes, jets, or aircraft.

But the truth is far from that!

Aircraft paint remover is a product that can actually be used on any painted surface, no matter how big or small the project you are working on is.

Not only does it help strip the paint off of metal surfaces of planes and aircraft, but it can also work on painted walls, cars, boats, and even household appliances.

The main thing that sets this stripping product apart from other paint strippers is that it’s designed to be less harsh on the surface and more potent on the paint.

This means that there is less potential for damage, making it ideal for use on delicate surfaces.

What’s in Aircraft Paint Remover?

While the main active ingredient in many chemical-based paint removers is still Methylene chloride, aircraft paint remover is a safer non- methylene chloride powerful solvent that helps to break down the layers of paint very easily.

This makes removing the paint from the surface a much simpler and less time-consuming task.

The product is available in spray aerosol cans as well as in quart or gallon containers so that you can buy according to the project you’re undertaking.

What to Use Aircraft Paint Remover For?

This high-powered paint stripper is specially made to remove 2K car paints, including hard epoxies and urethanes.

You can also use this professional-grade paint stripper or stripping finishes such as acrylics, latex, lacquers, polyurethanes, baked oil-based enamels, alkyds, and epoxies.

The good thing about the aircraft paint remover is its fast-acting and will effectively remove finishes from metal, aluminum, and most plastic surfaces without damaging the surface.

Under normal exposure time and conditions, it’s non-corrosive to all common metals, and if required, you can also use it on vertical surfaces.

If you do it right and follow the process, you can get bare metal or plastic that is ready to be repainted without any further etching, sanding, or priming required.

And all it requires is less than an hour of time, some elbow grease, and your effective techniques.

How to Use an Aircraft Paint Stripper Correctly?

Before using extra-strength aircraft paint remover, it’s important to understand how to use it correctly.

If you don’t follow the instructions, you could cause damage to the surface that you’re trying to strip.

Here are some tips on how to use aircraft paint remover correctly:

Step 1- Protect Yourself

Always wear gloves along with eye protection when handling or using this product.

The fumes produced can also be harmful, so it’s a good idea to work in a well-ventilated area.

If you’re working inside, open up all the windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate.

Its also recommended that you wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling any fumes.

Step 2- Prepare the Surface

Before you start stripping the paint, you need to make sure that the surface is dry and free of any dust, oil, grease, or other debris.

If the surface is not clean and dry, the paint remover will not work as effectively.

Also, it’s good to roughen up the surface using a wire brush or fine-grit sandpaper to help the paint remover penetrate the surface better and work faster.

Step 3- Apply the Paint Stripper

Once you’ve prepared the surface, you’re ready to apply the paint stripper.

If you’re using a spray, you can shake it well before spraying. Hold it about 6 to 8 inches away from the surface and apply an even coat.

If you’re using a paint stripper container, pour it lightly onto the surface and spread the substance using a spreader such as a putty knife or old credit card.

Cover the entire area that you need to strip and make sure that you don’t apply too much stripper than required because it will then take longer to work.

Step 4- Cover with a Plastic Sheeting

Putting on the transparent plastic sheeting will help to keep the stripper wet and will also accelerate the stripping process.

Use a spreader to smooth out any bubbles if you see any under the plastic.

Step 5- Wait for the Stripper to Work

After you’ve applied the paint stripper and covered the area with plastic, you need to wait for it to work.

The average time it takes will depend on the type of paint and how many layers there are.

But in general, it will mostly take 5-20 minutes to pop out the finish. For certain thick layers and finishes, the time can increase to 40-45 minutes.

Step 6- Check the Paint

Check if the paint is ready to be removed by lifting up a corner of the plastic sheeting.

If the paint comes off the surface easily, then it’s most probably ready to be removed.

If the paint is not yet soft or does not come off easily, leave it for a few more minutes and check again after some time.

Step 7- Remove the Paint

Once the softened paint is ready to be removed, start taking it off.

Use a putty knife, old credit card, or any other type of scraper to remove the paint – for more stubborn areas; you might need to use a wire brush.

As you’re scraping off the paint, try to avoid scratching the surface underneath.

Once you’ve removed the entire layer of paint, wipe off any residue with a clean cloth or paper towel.

If required, rinse the residue with warm water.

Step 8- Dispose of the Waste Properly

After you’ve removed all the paint, you need to dispose of the waste properly, and it’s an important step.

You should never pour the paint stripper down the drain because it can be harmful to the environment.

The best way to dispose of it is to put it in a sealed container and then take it to your local hazardous waste facility.

What are the Best Products on the Market to Buy?

There are several products and brands on the market that can be used for paint removal purposes.

But, not all of them are created equal; some will work better than others. Some of the best products that you can buy include:

  • Rust-Oleum® Aircraft Remover
  • KLEAN-STRIP® AIRCRAFT® Paint Remover

There are also a few other brands, but they are not as popular and effective.

When choosing a product, you have an option to buy them in 18 Oz Aerosol Liquid, 18-Ounce 32 Fl Oz (or 1 quart), and 128 Fl Oz (1 gallon).

The Bottom Line

Aircraft paint remover is a robust product that can remove many different types of paint from many other surfaces.

But, you must use the product correctly to avoid damaging the surface underneath.

Since these chemicals can be harmful, it’s also vital that you stay protected, follow the guidelines and dispose of the waste properly after completing your project.

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