Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

January, 2005

Stripping Paint From Fiberglass

Q. A fiberglass canoe that has been painted with a marine grade paint, has been poorly repaired . It now must be stripped to properly repair it. Is there a paint stripper that will remove the paint without harming the fiberglass?

I really am not aware of a chemical paint stripper that will only attack the paint, and not the fiberglass. Have you considered using the existing coating as a primer or base for the work that you intend to perform?

If you use a power vibrating or orbital type sander, you may be able to do the work that you desire without stripping all of the existing paint.

Consider starting out with an aggressive grit paper such as #100 grit, and as you progress so shall the fineness of the paper, maybe jumping up to a #220 grit to perform any repairs that need to be made, and then applying a high quality epoxy primer coat designed for this type of application.

Check with the local marine paint supplier, tell them about your project, and ask for specific product, and application recommendations. They will be able to guide you in the right direction.

When preparing any surface for the application of paints or coatings, be certain to take precautions to protect against breathing in any air borne dust particles or debris that may be created by the prep work.

Paint Removers are like an acid and may cause chemical burns to the skin!
Please be aware that coatings, solvents and paint removers are chemicals and therefore you should always pay attention to proper handling procedures and be prepared to wear protective clothing, such as respirators, gloves, coveralls, etc. For further information on the health and safety requirements for the coatings, solvents and other chemical products that you intend to use, we strongly advised you to contact your local coatings and chemicals supplier. If possible, go the extra step and look for this information on the website of the product vendor.


Jim Burke

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