Paint Stripper Experiences

From: Paul S. 
Subject: paint remover
Dear fellow Swifters,
This is a letter detailing my experience with stripping the 5 coats of paint
of my newly acquired Swift 1171. It concludes with a recommendation and
information on obtaining the product. I started with a heavy duty metal
paint stripper recommended by my local FBO. I applied it, let is soak, and
hosed it off with a 4,500 PSI hot water pressure washer. For the areas of
the plane with only one coat on it, it came off very easily. However, the
underside of the plane had a total of 5 coats, Baby blue on top, white
under that, dark green under that, grey primer under that, and yellow
chromate on the bottom. On one wing there was the added coat from the old
large numbers. Removing these layers from one flap took 4 applications and
much scotch brite scrubbing, with corners and rivets still imbued with a
variety of remaining pain colors. After a total of 20 hours on one half of
one wing, I decided that something else had to be done. I decided to go
searching for some Removall. This is amazing stuff. It must be applied
properly, but does the job. It took a total of two coats and about 4 hours
to do the entire other wing, the remaining half of the first wing, and all
the belly plates.

Details I have learned the hard way.
1. It must be applied with an airless sprayer and low pressure setting.
2. They recommend a 0.019 to 0.025 " nozzle I suggest the largest. The
reason for this is that water inactivates this material, and any water in
the system will make the constituent parts clump like curdled milk, causing
nozzle obstruction.
3. Wait, then wait some more. This stuff keeps working a long time.
4. Thoroughly clean the sprayer with hot water after use. Make sure that
you have allowed everything in the sprayer to dry before beginning a new coat.
5. Use gloves and wear goggles. While it is not particularly toxic, it does
release peroxide which is very irritating to the eyes, and it is very
acidic, which will dry and crack your skin.
6. Stubborn spots clean up well with scotch brite and the remover.
NOTE: this is extremely slippery, oily stuff. Walking around it, even
trying to get the nozzle off to clean it out when it gets plugged brings up
the analogy of a greased pig.

Removall comes from Napier ltd in Canada in Delta, BC. 604.526-0802
It costs $ 112.50 for 5 gallons of Removall. It is NOT a
hazardous material and requires no special care in use, as it becomes
harmless after exposure to water. Good luck! Paul S.

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