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  #1  
Old 01-13-2022, 9:18 AM
supratreo supratreo is offline
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Default paint removal

hi, not exactly a "gunsmithing" question but this was the most fitting section i think.
i have an ar15 upper that the previous owner painted in rattle can camo. looks good but is slowly rubbing off on the areas that get handled most so i'd like to take it off completely and go back to the original black finish.
any ideas on what i could use to get it off? like i said, it doesnt seem like it stuck too well but will still need a mild chemical to remove. just did not want to damage the finish underneath.
thank you
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2022, 10:07 AM
scvpiper scvpiper is offline
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I have used paint thinner to remove rattle can paint from a upper. Disassemble to get all the paint off.
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2022, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supratreo View Post
hi, not exactly a "gunsmithing" question but this was the most fitting section i think.
i have an ar15 upper that the previous owner painted in rattle can camo. looks good but is slowly rubbing off on the areas that get handled most so i'd like to take it off completely and go back to the original black finish.
any ideas on what i could use to get it off? like i said, it doesnt seem like it stuck too well but will still need a mild chemical to remove. just did not want to damage the finish underneath.
thank you
Get some acetone.
Soak a few paper towels in acetone, wipe down the upper and then wrap it in the wetted paper towels and put it all in a ziplock bag for a couple hours.
After a couple hours, wipe down the reciever again and most of the paint should be loose enough to just wipe off.

Acetone evaporates quickly so you have to capture it in the closed ziplock bag to keep it from getting away so it can do it's work.

You can also just use a rag and keep adding acetone and keep rubbing, but you will waste a lot more acetone and do a lot more work than simply letting time in the closed bag do the work for you.
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2022, 1:36 PM
supratreo supratreo is offline
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thank you for the replies. those 2 are my go to chemicals, just wasnt sure what it would do to the original finish.
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2022, 1:37 PM
edgerly779 edgerly779 is offline
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Randall hit nail on head. Let soak for a while.
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2022, 5:52 PM
supratreo supratreo is offline
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little update.
i used acetone and it took the paint off but left the finish very dull. tried wd40 and it took the paint off with the same effort and left a better finish.
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  #7  
Old 01-13-2022, 7:34 PM
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Originally Posted by supratreo View Post
little update.
i used acetone and it took the paint off but left the finish very dull. tried wd40 and it took the paint off with the same effort and left a better finish.
The original finish is usually anodizing.
The reason acetone leaves it dull iss because it FULLY degreased it.
WD40 is an oil which leaves it shiny.
If you want to make it more shiny, oil the whole thing.
Even WD40 will work.

This applies to any anodized parts that have never even been painted as well.
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AR work: www.ar15barrels.com
Bolt actions: www.700barrels.com
Foreign Semi Autos: www.akbarrels.com
Barrel, sight and trigger work on most pistols and shotguns.
Most work performed while-you-wait, evening and saturday appointments available.
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2022, 8:19 PM
Supertankerm60a3 Supertankerm60a3 is offline
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I don't think either one will damage it. THEY don't think either one will damage it (or they would not be recommended)

I would still test in a small spot first.
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2022, 1:46 AM
pacrat pacrat is offline
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Randall nailed it for "anodized" parts. Anodization is not a coating. It is actually a part of the part.
https://www.anodizing.org/page/what-is-anodizing
Quote:
Anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish. Aluminum is ideally suited to anodizing, although other nonferrous metals, such as magnesium and titanium, also can be anodized.

The anodic oxide structure originates from the aluminum substrate and is composed entirely of aluminum oxide. This aluminum oxide is not applied to the surface like paint or plating, but is fully integrated with the underlying aluminum substrate, so it cannot chip or peel. It has a highly ordered, porous structure that allows for secondary processes such as coloring and sealing
BTW, if a gun is "cerakoted". Acetone, MEK, Lacquer Thinner, and even Styrene, are useless for removal. I've tried.

Cerakote is a polymer-ceramic coating. Not a paint. Solvents just, so to speak, "bounce off".
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2022, 10:18 AM
supratreo supratreo is offline
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I'm aware of the anodizing process. Many of the parts I use in my cars are anodized but I'm fairly sure these parts are cerakoted. They have a rougher finish. The finish I'm trying to get off is just cheap spray paint. I'm trying to get the spray paint off without damaging the underlying finish
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2022, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supratreo View Post
I'm aware of the anodizing process. Many of the parts I use in my cars are anodized but I'm fairly sure these parts are cerakoted. They have a rougher finish. The finish I'm trying to get off is just cheap spray paint. I'm trying to get the spray paint off without damaging the underlying finish
The standard finish for AR upper and lower recievers is anodizing.
If you have something nonstandard, then it's anyones guess what you have.
Acetone won't take off cerakote nor will wd-40.
If you liked the results of wd-40 better than acetone, the solution seems pretty easy.
Just use wd-40.

If you want less work, soak in acetone in the ziplock bag and then apply wd-40 after you have all the paint off.
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AR work: www.ar15barrels.com
Bolt actions: www.700barrels.com
Foreign Semi Autos: www.akbarrels.com
Barrel, sight and trigger work on most pistols and shotguns.
Most work performed while-you-wait, evening and saturday appointments available.
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