Removing paint from brass

  • Hey Guest, We're having our annual Winter Moot and we'd love you to come. PLEASE LOOK HERE to secure your place and get more information.
    For forum threads CLICK HERE

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,282
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
So I have received the Trench Telescopes/ Rabbit Ears I bought from UK.
As they are ex MOD, they are painted with a green pain.
One set is in NIB condition, with all bits and pieces, so that I will keep in original but the other one is slightly more battered and scuffed, but still fully functional.
That one I plan to remove the paint from and polish.
In some areas I can see it is light coloured brass, in other darker brass or something.

Has anybody removed old (MOD quality) paint from Brass, ( maybe Copper and Aluminium?)
The home use paint removers you can buy, are they ok on these metals?
Any tips and ideas?

Wife managed to buy and old tripod from the US, should come next week.
Hopefully strong enough, those telescopes are heavy!
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,867
1,082
65
Florida
The most efficient paint removers often are the same solvents in the paints themselves. So the answer to your question is; if the paint did’t harm the metal while it was drying, then yes, those solvents should be safe too.
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
11,576
839
48
Wiltshire
Probably something pretty nasty we would not dream of going near these days.

Brass is pretty indestructable. Try standard wood stripper
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,282
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Just tried ‘standard’ painstripper, the gel.
You Brits had some amazing paint in those days.
P. stripper only works if there are scratches through the paint.

Will go to a professional shop and see if they have something stronger!
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,282
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Not enamel as in glass enamel.
1944 applied paint, hard as heck. When I applied it to an area that was scratched, it lifted a millimeter of the paint.

Had a similar problem a couple of months ago, I restored a Victorian era British cast ion bed frame. New paint lifted easily, original paint nit much. But as I was going to paint it again, I just lightly sanded the iriginal paint, after the stripper and a pressure wash set on highest pressure and narrowest water jet.

They sure knew how to make stuff in the old days!
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,363
4,718
Mid Wales
MOD spec paint coatings are required to withstand a very wide range of acids, oils, solvents and fuels even today. You can get hold of the relevant specification; it's not classified :)

A couple of years ago my company supplied an electronic product for a military vehicle; one of the hardest parts of the contract was finding someone to paint it to spec :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: santaman2000

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,867
1,082
65
Florida
MOD spec paint coatings are required to withstand a very wide range of acids, oils, solvents and fuels even today. You can get hold of the relevant specification; it's not classified :)

A couple of years ago my company supplied an electronic product for a military vehicle; one of the hardest parts of the contract was finding someone to paint it to spec :)
^^^^^^^This Satetment Above says it all^^^^^^^
 
Last edited:

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,282
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
What ‘this’.

Does not help me finding a solvent ?
I know armed forces do super high quality stuff.
But I never had to repaint it!

I went and bought a pro strength, 15 minute gel. 3+ hours, several changes. Lots of scraping with a copper tool.
Worth it.

Did 4 parts of the telescope holder.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,867
1,082
65
Florida
The point is, if you know what paint they used, you’ll know what solvent (paint thinner) you need.

Apparently you’ve been successful already though.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,282
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Do not know which paint they used, but eventually the modern paint remover worked.
Not as it says on the tin though.

The next lot I think I will score beforehand.

I think I understand why the difference between a polished and in a original state is several thousand pounds!
 
  • Like
Reactions: santaman2000

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,465
2,211
McBride, BC
No matter what else is in the paint remover, I'd expect a high concentration of sodium or potassium hydroxide (lye).
Very good stuff for breaking all sorts of chemical bonds.

You have to rug up like a chemistry lab. Good thing you didn't get hit in the face.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,282
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I got it in my face, but I wear glasses and have not shaved since Friday morning.
The canal is sea water, connected to the ocean. Good for the skin. Chest a bit red. Ok.

I now will progress to the main body of the holder. But I need to try to take it apart more. No clue how...

(It is a complex piece that attaches the telescope to the tripod ( somehow, posdible a connector I need to make) where fine adjustments can be made for rotation sideways and tilt. Some scales with degrees there. )
 

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels for sale.

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES The price is £27 posted to the UK. Pay via the paypal button below.