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Stripping acrylic paints - Please help me to understand.

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Stripping acrylic paints - Please help me to understand.

Post  Devell on Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:47 pm

Hello all. First off let me state that all of the Sciences fascinate me, in fact i'm usually happy to learn anything just for the sake of it. But that's not what has brought me here today.

Nope, today I need information that I can apply in a practical sense.

The background.

I am a hobbyist. I paint and collect a wide range of plastic/resin/metal miniatures (usually little toy soldiers). Recently I discovered that the (acrylic) paint can be removed from old miniatures that have been badly painted by leaving them to soak overnight in Dettol, and then scrubbing the next day with an old toothbrush. The active ingredient in Dettol is listed as being Chloroxylenol 4.8% and it is this I believe that is acting on the paint. However I have heard other hobbyists claim that isopropyl alcohol also does a tremendous job and this too is listed as an ingredient in Dettol.

Caustic Soda is another ingredient in Dettol that I suspect plays at least some small roll in the paint stripping process. I cant imagine Pine Oil, Castor Oil, Caramel or water having much of an effect on the paint.

The Dettol has usually done its job after only a few hours, but I leave the miniatures immersed overnight just to be sure.

Dettol, where I live, costs about £12 for 4 litres.

Tonight my friend has purchased and used an alternative disinfectant called Dr Johnsons Antiseptic Disinfectant.

It appears to be working although not as quickly as the Dettol would. The only ingredient listed as a part of this product that seems likely to acting on the paint is Benzalkonium Chloride.

Dr Johnsons costs £4 for 4 litres.

So whats going here? Will Dr Johnsons do just as good a job as the Dettol? what are the differences between the active ingredients? How are they acting on the paint? Are you aware of another product or method that would be even better than the two i've mentioned? Bearing in mind cost and availabilty are the two biggest factors here for me.

If all I need is the Chloroxylenol from the Dettol then paying £12 for 4 litres makes no sense (I get through a lot)

Any and all help/information on this subject would be hugely appreciated, massively useful and definitely treasured.

Fire away guys, enlighten me.

A million thanks in advance.



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