If you are looking for a change of car color and if you find it difficult to remove the Acrylic paint from the car surface, this DIY guide is for you to understand how to remove Acrylic paint from car surface.
Most of us have a strong feeling that it is practically impossible to remove acrylic paints from cars all by ourselves, which is not exactly true. Without much effort, it can be done by using cleaners or solvents. We will dig deep into it. Acrylic car paints, as you know, come in Lacquer, Enamel and Urethane variants.
- You can choose the variants according to the look and style you want for your car.
- Acrylic lacquers are easy to paint and are inexpensive. It gives a nice glossy finish to your car.
- Acrylic enamels paint, on the other hand, forms a hard shell when it dries and often lasts for longer periods. This type of paint is applied by professionals only.
- Acrylic urethane paint, the third type, and the newest one have both the properties of Lacquer and Enamel. It’s easy to apply and forms a thick enamel layer on drying. Acrylic paints can be applied in single coat system or multi-stage system.
The most commonly used one is the two-stage system with the Acrylic paint layer and the clear coat over it to get a waxy finish and to protect against any damage by exposure to contaminants. When you do touch-up paint with Acrylics, you need to choose the best clear coats for your car along with it to get that glossy classy finish for your car.
Acrylic paints are made up of color pigments, which are suspended in acrylic polymer emulsions, and they are fast drying paints. Acrylic paints are water soluble when they are wet, but they become water resistant when they dry. That’s when the Solvents come into play to dissolve the pigments.
When you want to go for a repainting when your car looks dingy, the very thought that “Acrylic paints cannot be removed” by yourself should not hold you back. Yes, the Acrylic paint can be easily removed by following the steps mentioned in the guide.
Making it short, Acrylic paints, on drying, becomes water insoluble and so it cannot be removed from your car surface by using water. Obviously, a solvent, which is capable of dissolving the acrylic resin, should be used for taking the paint layer off your car surface.
There are a lot of solvents available, which can dissolve the Acrylic paints, and they are called Cleaners. Cleaners will do the job for us. Let’s now follow these instructions step by step.
Procedure to Remove Acrylic Paints from your Car Surface
- Sand paper or blunt scraper
- Isopropyl Alcohol AKA rubbing alcohol (91% or 70%)
- Painting brush
- Wiping Fabric
Steps by Step Guidance
To start removing the Acrylic paint from your car, select a small area of your car and then:
- Scrape off Acrylic paint: By using a small putty knife or sandpaper, carefully scrape off most of the Acrylic paint of a particular area of your car surface without damaging the metal.
- Soak the Acrylic paint with Rubbing Alcohol: Rubbing alcohol is one among the readily available and cheap solvent, which can be efficiently used to remove Acrylic paint from your car. Rubbing Alcohol is 90% to 70% Isopropyl Alcohol, which has a strong action on the Acrylic binder , thereby loosening the paint film. Soak the surface of the Acrylic paint with Rubbing Alcohol till the solvent becomes completely saturated. Leave the paint as such for few hours for Alcohol to dissolve the paint.
- Rub with painting Brush: After few hours, slowly rub onto the surface of the Acrylic paint with a painting brush and you can see that the paint gets dissolved in the solvent and slowly comes off the surface along with the solvent.
- Wipe with Clean fabric: Remove the Acrylic paint by slowly wiping off the surface using a clean fabric. You can even immerse the fabric in soapy solutions to make the surface look clean and to remove the Rubbing Alcohol content completely.
Repeat the above steps till you remove the paint from the whole car surface.
That’s it. Next time you want to remove Acrylic paint from your car surface, don’t worry, you have an easy option. This is less time-consuming and does not require much physical effort. Neither the materials used are very rare or expensive. Steps to be followed are also simple. So why don’t you try it out? The only thing to keep in mind is that we should choose the solvent carefully.
Solvents for Cleaning the Acrylic Paint
We used Isopropyl Alcohol as the solvent in above steps, but there are other Solvents also, which can help us remove Acrylic paints. Let’s talk about those Cleaners.
- Ammonia Solution: Ammonia solution is also effective in removing Acrylic paints from your cars. It helps in balancing Acrylic emulsions by raising its PH.
- Lacquer Thinner: This is another strong solvent used to remove Acrylic paints. Lacquer Thinner is not advised for beginners because it contains Methanol and toluene, which are highly poisonous in nature.
- Acetone: Acetone solvents can also be used as a substitute for Rubbing Alcohol. But it’s rather powerful as a solvent and highly flammable. So we should be careful while using Acetone solution for removing your Acrylic car paints.
Considerations for Risk and Safety
Imagine the fact that these solvents are used to dissolve the thick coat of Acrylic paints and remove the layer of your car surface. The Solvents, obviously, should be powerful to do that role. Therefore, when you are dealing with Chemicals, extreme care should be taken to be on the safer side. Any negligence can cause serious problems, and the risk involved in the process is high.
Most of the solvents mentioned above are moderate to highly flammable in nature. So avoid using these solvents anywhere near flame or heating elements. Even the fumes of the solvents are less dense and can probably travel long distances to an ignition source, which can cause serious disasters.
Most of the solvents are toxic in nature. Be careful and strictly avoid inhaling and ingestion of these solvents even by accident. Store these solvents safely and away from children’s reach. Always use open space with proper ventilation when using these solvents to remove the Acrylic paint. Any direct contact with your skin and the solvents should be completely avoided, as they will penetrate and get absorbed, which can cause serious health problems or even death.
Next time you have an idea to refinish your car paint, don’t have any hesitation, have patience and try out these simple steps. Don’t be in a hurry to complete the process, which can reduce the efficiency of the entire process. In case you find it difficult to do it yourself always approach a professional to do it for you.
These steps are so simple and found to be highly effective. Try doing this in a small area of your car and see the result, then extend it to other areas of your car. Please share your feedback after trying these simple steps.