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Removing Powder Coating Quickly and Cheaply
By Jason Van Wyhe
Powder coating provides a durable finish that stands the test of time. But what happens when you want to remove it? Maybe you bought parts on E-bay or a swap meet, but the color doesn't match your bike. Or perhaps you need to strip your stock Harley parts to a natural finish to prep for polishing.
Sandblasting an option, but it is not always feasible because either you lack the equipment or the part has areas you do not want sandblasted. In many cases, the finish is too tough for smaller sand blasting equipment to handle.
The easiest and cheapest way to remove paint and powder coating is with gasket remover. The product we use in our shop is Permatex Gasket Remover® (item #80646). It comes in a 12 ounce aerosol can which is more than enough to do even large projects like engine cases. It is available from most auto parts stores. Other products, such as Zip Strip® paint remover, may also work, but the Permatex product is what we have had the most success with.
Simply spray on a liberal coating to the part you are trying to strip, and wait 10-15 minutes. Be sure not to get any on areas that you do not want stripped. Make sure to wear eye and skin protection as it can irritate both.
After 10-15 minutes, the powder coating will bubble and peel. Wipe off the gasket remover and loosened powder coating with a disposable rag. You may need to reapply as some areas will be missed the first time.
That's it! Your part should be stripped down to the bare metal. Make sure to wash with wax and grease remover before you try to repaint.
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