Aircraft paint remover is a relatively new product on the market for removing paint and preparing the surface for a new coat of paint. However, it’s important to use this professional-grade formula correctly to avoid surface damage.
In this article, I will discuss what aircraft paint remover is, what surfaces you can use it safely on, 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
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 in a much simpler and less time-consuming way.
The product is available in spray aerosol cans and quart or gallon containers so that you can buy it according to the project you’re undertaking.
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 there is less potential for damage, making it ideal for use on delicate surfaces.
What to Use Aircraft Paint Remover For?
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 because you can use it on any painted surface, including cars, boats, and even household appliances.
This high-strength paint stripper is specially made to remove 2K car paints, including hard epoxies and urethanes. But you can also use it for stripping finishes such as acrylics, latex, lacquers, polyurethanes, baked oil-based enamels, alkyds, and epoxies.
Under normal exposure time and conditions, this fast-acting stripper is non-corrosive to all common metals, aluminum, and most plastic surfaces. Plus, if required, you can also use it on vertical surfaces.
By using effective techniques and following the proper process, you can prepare bare metal or plastic for repainting in under an hour without needing to etch, sand, or prime it further.
How to Use an Aircraft Paint Stripper Correctly?
Before using an extra-strength aircraft paint remover, it’s important to understand how to use this product correctly – if you don’t follow the instructions, you could cause damage to the surface that you’re trying to strip.
So, here are some tips and steps to follow:
Step 1- Protect Yourself
Wear gloves and a dust mask along with eye protection before handling or using this product.
Also, the fumes produced can 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 and avoid inhaling fumes.
Step 2- Prepare the Surface
Ensure that the surface is completely dry and clear of any dirt, grease, oil, or other debris before you begin stripping the paint. This will enhance the effectiveness of the aircraft remover.
Additionally, it’s recommended to roughen up the surface using a wire brush or fine-grit sandpaper to allow the paint remover to penetrate the surface better and work more efficiently.
Step 3- Pick the Automotive Aircraft Remover
Several products and brands on the market can be used, but Rust-Oleum® Aircraft Remover is one of the best products you can buy at affordable pricing. You can buy them in 18 Oz Aerosol Liquid, 18-Ounce 32 Fl Oz (or 1 quart), and 128 Fl Oz (1 gallon).
KLEAN-STRIP® AIRCRAFT® Paint Remover was also a viable option, but they discontinued the product recently.
Other brands might also be available depending on your location, so check your local hardware stores or online retailers. The product should contain a list of ingredients on the label, and it’s important to read the instructions carefully before use.
Step 4- Apply the Paint Stripper
If you’re using an aerosol spray can, shake it well before spraying, and then holding it about 6 to 8 inches from the surface, 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 an old credit card to cover the entire area you need to strip.
Do not apply too much stripper than required because it will then take longer to work or can damage the underlying surface.
Step 5- Cover with a Plastic Sheeting and Wait
Next, to keep the stripper wet and speed up the process, put the transparent plastic sheet over the surface and 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, 15-20 minutes to pop out the finish will be enough. For certain thick coating layers and finishes, the time can increase to 40-45 minutes.
Step 6- Check and Remove the Paint
After twenty minutes, check if the paint is ready to be removed by lifting a corner of the plastic sheeting. If the paint is not yet soft or does not come off easily with a scraper, you will need to wait longer and keep the plastic sheeting on for some more time.
Once the softened paint is ready to be removed, start taking it off using a putty knife, an old credit card, or any other type of scraper. For more stubborn areas, you might need to use a wire brush. But as you’re scraping off the paint, avoid scratching the surface underneath.
Step 7- Clean and Dispose of the Waste Properly
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.
Finally, dispose of the waste cautiously. 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. You should never pour your automotive paint stripper down the drain because it can harm the environment.
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.