View Full Version : Spray paint removal

April 8, 2011, 10:50 AM
I recently picked up a rifle that has been mall-ninja'd. He had a stock on it that didn't fit the action, a magazine that had been installed in the blind magwell with a hammer, and he had spray painted the entire action, to include the scope with some sort of spray paint. It's an ugly desert tan. From what I see of the scratches in the paint, he wasn't especially gentle with the rifle.

I got the rifle at an extremely attractive price. Now, it's a project gun. It started life as a Savage 11 FCNS in .308. It's was a sporter barreled, tupperware stocked, detachable mag rifle. I"m not sure what it's going to finally become as I have other projects in the fire right now.

However, I would like to remove the spray paint. Does anyone have any tips before I do something that I might regret? Thanks in advance.

April 8, 2011, 03:01 PM
Test the usual "inconspicuous place" with some CitriStrip (http://www.citristrip.com/) gel. I've had it eat a few different polymers and plastics, but it's been perfectly safe on most.

However, I have only recently been testing it. I believe Scorch uses it as his go-to stripper, and may have more advice.

I ended up buying it to remove spray paint and a brushed-on enamel from a scope. Everything else I had was eating the scope's plastic parts alive, or removing the bluing and anodizing (small tests, of course). The CitriStrip worked quickly, and safely.

April 8, 2011, 05:27 PM
Thanks! There isn't any plastic involved here. The stock doesn't fit, so it's leaning in a corner. The scope is not quite what I want on the rifle, so it'll go to the grandkids as a spy-scope. The only thing that's left is the action and barrel. No plastic there.

I tried an inconspicuous spot with my pocket-knife and it scrapes off easily. I doubt that the bozo even prepped the metal before he sprayed it.

The things some people do to firearms.

April 8, 2011, 06:06 PM
CitriStrip is easily the best way to go! But he is right, it doesnt seem to like plastics so be careful...

April 8, 2011, 06:33 PM
This may sound strange, try some E-Z- off oven cleaner, I have seen it take painted designs off of truck cabs, and leave the factory finish unharmed.

Spray it on, let it soak for a few minutes and then wash off with water.

April 8, 2011, 07:58 PM

mineral spirits and steel wool for metal

April 9, 2011, 01:04 PM
Yes, CitriStrip is my go-to stripper. But for paint on unprepped steel, you can use a heat gun.

April 9, 2011, 06:46 PM
If it is a newer rifle, there is a red plastic dot insert under the safety selector.

April 10, 2011, 06:34 AM
If it is a newer rifle, there is a red plastic dot insert under the safety selector.

Good Catch! There sure is that little red plastic insert. I had not noticed that, thinking that the little red dot was paint. I just looked at it and sure enough, it's plastic. I'll have to be careful with that.


Old Grump
April 10, 2011, 11:39 AM
Had the same problem and it was old paint. A squirt of carburetor cleaner and a quick wipe with my rag took it off quicker than I ever dreamed. If plastic is a concern use brake cleaner instead.

April 12, 2011, 10:16 AM
chemical stripper works best. I use citris strip

April 17, 2011, 04:35 PM
formbys stripper for furniture

April 19, 2011, 06:23 PM
MEK Methyl Ethyl Ketone. Krylon/RustOleum comes right off with MEK. As a matter of fact, even DuraCoat comes off after a 48hr soak. Birchwood Casey Gun Scrubber strips it right off as well....just pricey.

April 22, 2011, 01:40 AM
Acetone works good for spray paint removal.
And it's cheap!

April 22, 2011, 10:56 AM
I wound up using naptha and 0 grade steel wool. It came out pretty good. I called Savage and got some parts I needed. I think it turned in to a pretty good looking rifle.

Here's a before shot.


And here's an after picture.


Next, we'll mount a scope and see how it shoots. It should be a pretty good rifle to gift to a grandkid one of these days.

May 1, 2011, 04:00 PM
Excellent job!

May 5, 2011, 06:26 AM
Finding your car vandalized with a can of spray pain is one sure way to put a damper on your day. This is specially true if, like any proud car owner, you take pains to maintain its appearance and luster. More so if the car that happens to have been victimized is your weekend toy or project car.Depending on the toughness of your car's paint (urethane paint is extremely hardy), the amount of paint that has been sprayed on and where, and the time the spray paint has been left on your car's paint, the time you will need to restore your car's finish will take from an hour or so to up to half a day. In case you have discovered the vandalism pretty early, the spray paint may still be drying and a wash and soap job may be all you need to solve your problem quickly.

Hunter Customs
May 5, 2011, 07:55 AM

The rifle looks 100% better now and I'm sure one of your grandkids will love the rifle.

I hate painted guns and especially custom 1911 pistols that's been painted.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter