How to remove paint from plastic car parts – Expert Guide

Last Updated on April 14, 2022 by Bright Calister

How to remove paint from plastic car parts? Removing paint from plastic parts of a car is often important for restoration, repainting, and sometimes, detailing. There are several professional ways of quickly getting paint off these plastic parts. So perhaps you’re in the process of restoring an old or classic car, you might likely find yourself at a junction where you need to repaint plastic parts on the car.

Probably the plastic parts are even faded, or the paint is chipped or worn. I mean, you want to change the color if you’re repainting the car entirely.

However, you didn’t just stumble on this page; trust me, you’re just right on track. This article has been put together to show you a detailed understanding of how to remove paint from plastic car parts.

It’s not enough to just let you know how it works, and it is also required of you to understand that there’s a difference between dyed and painted plastics. We can always paint over for faded dyed plastics, while for painted plastics, the current paint must be removed entirely first before repainting.

Because plastic isn’t as durable as metal, it means you can’t grind on sandblast paints off plastic parts, so the only safe way to remove painted plastic is with a chemical stripper.

Removing paint from plastic car parts with a chemical stripper.

Prepare your work area.

Because you’re working with a chemical stripper, you want to work in an environment with plenty of ventilation. I mean, this selected space should be protected from direct wind, sunlight, and rain. So having gotten this in place, you start by laying plastic sheeting over the floor of your workspace.

You need to carefully and properly clean up the chemical stripping material as it can be hazardous. Stained plastic sheeting is usually easy to dispose of, unlike trying to clean the chemicals off your floor.

Clear your car parts

This time you want to remove any plastic parts from your car that you intend to strip and repaint. You lay them out on the plastic sheeting. Then you scuff the paint with 80-grit sandpaper to make it easier to remove with the stripper.

You want to be safety conscious by wearing a dust mask to prevent you from inhaling the paint particles. There isn’t any reason for too much pressure when removing the paint; all you need to do is scuff it up a little.

Prepare your tools

This part requires several important tools, including acid-resistance paintbrushes, plastic or nylon scraping tools, metal coffee can or similar containers, think rubber gloves, a respirator, protective clothing, and eyewear.

However, it is also very important that you use a paint stripper specifically formulated for plastic and rubber.
Also, make sure to cover the whole of your body when you dress for the job because the paint stripper is extremely corrosive. So, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes or boots, and socks are a must.

Paint stripping method

Firstly, you start by pouring the paint stripper into your metal coffee can or another similar container. Then you use the acid-resistance brush to dip into the stripper and paint the plastic car parts.

Each chemical stripper has slightly different procedures. So it’s always advised to look into and follow the manufacturer’s guide before proceeding.

That being said, once you’re starting to notice paint bubbling up or wrinkling, you can use your scraper to remove the paint from the car parts.

You might necessarily have to apply a second and even third coat of stripper depending on how many coats are on the original parts.

Once you observe that almost all the paint is gone, apply a final and lighter coat of stripper to the part. You can do this with a scouring pad to ensure that every small piece of paint is removed.

Perhaps the instruction requires a neutralizer for the stripper, and you can now do that at the end.
Safe home remedies you can use on your car.

Unfortunately, not all cars age gracefully. I mean, as time goes on, you might start to notice that the supposedly perfect, polished paintwork of your car is beginning to lose its original gloss and shine.

Worst still, a car’s paintwork may become affected or fade by white, chalky marks and flaking paint. This is what the motor trade terms oxidation. So here, we’ll look at the several home remedies for oxidized paint that you can safely trust.

Paint corrosion

Various factors contribute to painting oxidation. It could be the exposure to elements that a car gets when parked on the street or driveway. This way, the car is most likely positioned to suffer paint oxidation problems.

The strong UV Ray resulting from the sun could cause car paint damage, especially indirectly areas that are exposed, such as the roof and the hood. Atmospheric oxygen is also part of these factors, as well as snow and slush containing road salt or salt spray from the sea.

All of these are not great for a car’s exterior. Corrosion is a form of oxidation whereby the chemicals in the paint break down as the paint loses its oil and dries out. It usually results in a different dull and flaky appearance. But regardless of all of these, fortunately, there are some home remedies for oxidized paint that you can use.

Easy and safe home remedies for car paint damage.

Before you go on with any of the listed home remedies, you must first wash and dry your car. This is to avoid any dirt or other particles from spreading while you rub the surface, which could cause further damage to the paintwork.

It is also often advised to test any home remedies for oxidized paint on a less visible area first, for example, on a door or under the trunk lid. After treating the oxidized paint, an application of quality car wax will restore shine and act as a sealant to protect the paint.

Homemade sugar polish.

Trust me, and you do need something much stronger than soap and water solution to remove oxidation. As simple as a sugar mixture, it could act as a mild abrasive to gently remove the microscopic layers of the clear coat.

As a reason for sugar having small, crystalline particles, it makes it a popular beauty hack for exfoliating dry skin. So using a homemade sugar scrub as a DIY polishing compound is a natural and safe way to aid the car paint correction process.
How it works;

  • Mix a cup of granulated sugar with 1/2 cup of vegetable oil.
  • Rub the car surface with this sugar solution to remove light-to-moderate oxidation.
  • Rinse afterward.
  • When using your home remedies for oxidized paint, always work with microfiber polishing towels to avoid the optimum outcome.

Baking soda scrub

Sodium bicarbonate is an alkaline white powder with multiple benefits and uses. Not only does it serve the purpose of whitening the teeth or making the cake rise, but it also serves as a natural household cleaning solution that removes stains and odors.

Baking soda acts as a gentle version of sandpaper and has no added chemicals or preservatives, making it one of the safest home remedies for oxidized paint.

Making a baking soda paste and mixing it with water while rubbing it on the tarnishing surface should help remove car paint oxidation.

The process includes;

  • To make a paste, combine a spoonful of baking soda with a small amount of water.
  • Use a clean, soft toothbrush to spread the paste over the oxidized paint.
  • After which, you wipe with a damp cloth for a shiny finish.

Organic hair conditioner

Home remedies can be found in the bathroom cabinets. An organic hair conditioner can be used to gently revive full and faded paintwork, the same way it brings glossy shine to hair.

Process includes;

  • Mix 1 cup of hair conditioner in 4 cups of water.
  • Rub the mixture gently into the affected paintwork.
  • Rinse afterward with clean water.
  • Bluff with a soft microfiber cloth to restore shine.

Note: Be mindful of what soap you use. So you want to do well to check the label on the bottle to make sure that the conditioner is free from harsh chemicals.

Whitening toothpaste

Toothpaste does contain mild abrasive to remove stains on teeth. It can, however, also be effective when it comes to tackling surface oxidation that hasn’t penetrated the clear coat. Applying toothpaste onto the affected area would help even out its appearance in a few simple steps:

  • Squeeze a large amount of toothpaste on a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Rub gently, the paint oxidation in small circular motions.
  • Wipe the work area with a clean cloth to wash the toothpaste away.

With any of these home remedies, you should begin to see results within seconds.

Note: Whichever way, don’t rub for too long with DIY scrub or polish; otherwise, you risk more damage to the paintwork.

Conclusion – How to Remove Paint from Plastic Car Parts

By investing a bit in the correct kits and giving up some of your time, you will save a whole lot of time and money and still have your car look brand new by the time you’re done. It sure is as simple as that! I hope you found this post to be informative and that it will assist you in restoring your car to its original state.

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