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Stripping old powder before polishing?

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  • Stripping old powder before polishing?

    I searched around a bit and oddly enough did not find this topic covered. Of course searching this board seems to be a bit trickier than Google so I could be missing something very simple.

    Anyway, I have some Harley covers that had been powder coated (stock Harley stuff) and need to take off the PC before I polish of course. I'm doing this work in my basement and garage so boiling in dangerous chemicals is not an option.

    Any tips?

  • #2
    You'll have to do this outside, but paint stripper will do the trick. Get the semi-paste variety so it'll cling to the part. The liquid will run off and won't do jack. I use stuff called Strypese and it seems to do the trick.

    If I can fit the parts in my blast cabinet, I bead blast powdercoat off. does a nice job and can get right to sanding/buffing.

    Greasless compounds will take powdercoat off too, but might take a while and you need to be careful 'cuz they cut pretty quickly..

    Good luck!


    • #3
      Thanks skiddz. I'm a little wary of the greaseless compounds for right now. I believe I'll do the sanding "the hard way" for a while and then try it on some scrap first. These are good parts and I really don't want to experiment. :P

      I don't have access to a bead/sandblaster either. As much as I could find lots of use for it I don't have a compressor or reasonable place to put one in this house. That will have to wait till I move I guess.


      • #4
        We sell an aerosol stripper

        Works great!!!!!
        Mike Caswell
        Caswell Inc
        Need Support? Visit our online support section at


        • #5
          Ah of course!

          Tell ya what... I'll order one of those for one piece and use another product obtained here locally on another (I want to get started today) and post a review.

          What I really need is "dip". Remember that in Roger Rabbit where they dipped the cartoon characters and they dissapeared? That's how easy it should be in this age of space travel! :P


          • #6
            Technically thats true. But also in this age of space travel we should have paints and finishes that withstand that sort of stuff.



            • #7
              We should have self-polishing metals!!!


              • #8
                Test Results

                Okay I said I would post my results and here they are:

                Pieces tested: Harley-Davidson Primary and gearcase covers, powdercoated "natural" aluminum.

                VHT Strip-Fast: Methanol based aerosol stripper. Ordered from Caswell. Customer service and delivery top notch as always. I received shipping confirmation within hours and the cans delivered on time. $7.76 for a 13 oz can.

                Sprayed the parts down with a liberal coat and allowed it to cook for 15 mins under plastic wrap. Took a look and it was not exactly soft yet so I applied more and let it go for about 15 more minutes.

                It did soften most of the PC and allow it to be scraped off. Quite a few areas required extensive scrubbing with #3 steel wool. I've gone through a whole can on one part and it's still not perfect nor is it ready for polishing.

                The good news is the metal underneath is pretty smooth.

                "Aircraft Stripper": Methylene Chloride based brush on stripper. Purchased at a local auto-parts store. $11 for a quart.

                Brushed the part down and covered with plastic wrap. Let it cook for 30 minutes. The aircraft stripper seemed to work a little better and cause the powder to lift in wrinkly sheets rather than sort of pasty like the VHT. It required scrubbing with steel wool in places as well.

                Neither one was a wonder-shot. They worked as advertized with the aircraft stripper slightly edging out the VHT product. This was offset however by the fact that the methylene chloride based product is about 10 times more dangerous (my WAG metrics, not sure exactly how much) than the VHT.

                If I was stripping paint or clearcoat instead of possibly the best applied powder cat in the world they probably would have worked great.

                Both of them tore up my skin when it touched a spot that was not covered by gloves.

                So for my personal use I think I'm going to find a stripper here in town to do this and bead blast the parts clean for me. If I had to strip some wheels or something simple I would not hesitate to purchase the VHT product again.


                • #9
                  The stuff I use is called StrypEse (I think that's how it's spelled) and it works pretty good on PC.. Bubbles it so you can literally wipe it off with a damp sponge. Soap and water cleanup too..


                  • #10
                    caswell got the stuff that strips pc right off ... check them out ..


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by customandsound
                      caswell got the stuff that strips pc right off ... check them out ..
                      Um... I did... scroll up.


                      • #12
                        i seen that after i typed that ..... vht aircraft remover works the best ... email me and i will give you some info on stripper