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Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

May, 2005

Stubborn Paint Removal

Q. Please excuse this rather insignificant painting question, but I can't seem to find an answer anywhere. I have some large glass drinking glasses that have painted decoration on them that I want to remove. I have tried various paint strippers that I got at Home Depot (several methyl chloride formulations). These paint strippers didn't affect the paint the least little bit. Do you have any suggestions as to another, stronger paint removal product? Many thanks for any response you'd care to provide.

A. You might need to take the glasses to a custom coating shop in your area that has stronger chemicals to remove the paint. As a pure guess, molten salt (a specialized process by Kolene) is used by a few shops to remove heavy layers of well cured coatings. I have no idea if this would damage the glass. Other paint strippers include NMP and hydrogen peroxide. Specialty companies might be using these chemicals and I know that military installations use one or more of these strippers.

Another possibility is plastic bead blasting. The beads are not expected to damage the surface of the glass, but I can't guarantee that the pressure used in the blasting operation won't break the glass.

Maybe you can call a ceramics company and ask how they remove inks from reject ceramic plates, etc. Also contact the Porcelain Enameling Institute,

Good luck.

Best wishes,

Ron Joseph

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