Welcome to Australia's only Vintage Radio and Television discussion forums. You are not logged in. Please log in below, apply for an account or retrieve your password.
Australian Vintage Radio Forums
  Home  ·  About Us  ·  Discussion Forums  ·  Glossary  ·  Outside Links  ·  Policies  ·  Services Directory  ·  Safety Warnings  ·  Tutorials

Special Projects

Forum home - Go back to Special Projects

 Removing paint from bakelite
« Back · 1 · Next »
 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 7:01:31 AM on 26 February 2017.
Tallar Carl's avatar
 Location: Latham, ACT
 Member since 21 February 2015
 Member #: 1705
 Postcount: 1594

Any ideas guys I am thinking of a project.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 9:16:44 AM on 26 February 2017.
Redxm's avatar
 Location: Tamworth, NSW
 Member since 6 April 2012
 Member #: 1126
 Postcount: 446

Paint stripper, brake cleaner or as I am about to try, oven cleaner.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 9:54:59 AM on 26 February 2017.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 4462

Oven cleaner is often Potassium or Sodium Hydroxide it and even an alkaline product like Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate) will attack the surface of the Bakelite. The later, and Aluminium Wheel cleaner is good for removing mouse excretia from wafer switches but be quick & wash it off.

Acrylic paint is normally attacked by the Formaldehyde from the Bakelite & spots flick off. Acrylic paint can be distinguished from Oil based easily: Acrylic is attacked by Methylated spirits.

I will also avoid anything containing Sodim Bi Carbonate as an Abrasive (Car poilish; Toothpaste) as that tends to get into pores of the material & you need something like Vinegar to get it out. Not easy if its a silicone finish.


 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 10:29:26 PM on 26 February 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2033

Well,,a few things is it completely covered in paint?
Oil base or water?
Dont use conventional stripper ,,
That would be risky.
As much as I would never recommend using citrus strip on wood ,because I have seen timber absorb the colour orange. I would try citrus strip on that, but I would do a test area first.
Its not strong ,i wash my hands in it sometimes to remove stains and dyes.

What ever you test it with ,have metho in hand to neutralise it fast if all goes wrong.

Dont leave it on soaking , just play with it with a paint brush removing the paint at the first sign of be able to do so.

As I said citrus strip is crap on timber and I clean my hands with it so I dont think you will have any dramas

Btw,,you cant buy that from bunnings you will need to go to a paint shop or small hardware. Ive been told that Citrus strip has closed down ,but only a week ago I was still seeing it about the place.

If the paint is water base, dont use stripper, pull the chassis out of the unit and soak it in the bath tub with warm water it will peel off,, it may even do it with oil base because BL,,is a smooth surface and unless they wiped it over with tpc or similar then theres a good chance that that old paint is only sitting on the surface.

All the best pete

Carl , just a note for years I restored furiture for a living, Anytime you strip any finish your reactivating it and thats a problem because we have no idea of whats under it or what they used and your about about to breath 60 year old chemicals. I say this to you because ive restored huge amounts of furniture and now I'm paying the price,i cant go near varnish without it making me sick for days and days
Some old chemicals are incredibly toxic and reactivation makes them as fresh as a daisy,,, wear a good mask with filters, its a 30 buck investment.

 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 11:14:38 PM on 26 February 2017.
Brad's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 6533

The best place to strip cabinets (and anything else) is outside when the sun is shining and a breeze is blowing so that any toxic gas from lacquers, paints and other chemicals is removed from the area before it gets inhaled. I don't know what would be in clear finishes to cause problems but old paints do have lead in them. A mask is still probably a good idea but doing this sort of work outside is a priority.

I've recently had a chronic dry cough cured but before the real cause was known it was believed I may have contracted asbestosis, as in previous employment I had almost daily contact with various forms of asbestos, which an X-ray and CaT scan thankfully showed was all clear. Going through the anguish of waiting for the test results made me think about the way I do a lot of things and now, there isn't a time when I won't plan carefully any task where a foreign matter can be inhaled.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 11:38:57 PM on 26 February 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 2033

Clear finishes are one of the most dangerous, Varnish is well known to course health problems from throat ,lungs and rashes. Its a real problem for me now,

Nitrocellulose is banned in most countries now and its one of my favourite finishes, although I dont have a problem with nitro.

I use to spray 2 pac on cars and motorcycles and even furiture and its well known to affect your nervous system and can get into through your eyes and skin ,this is why it needs to be sprayed with full body protection having the air pumped in.

But all finishes are dangerous even old shellac.
I still work with 2pac , nitro, varnish, you name it, ive sprayed it and sanded it,,,but now I do it with a fan behind me in the open with a good mask.


« Back · 1 · Next »
 You need to be a member to post comments on this forum.

Sign In

 Keep me logged in.
Do not tick box on a computer with public access.