Stripping paint from the fibreglass: Smart Strip results - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-08-2012, 09:14 AM   #1
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Volvo 245 pulling '71 Trillium 1300
Ontario
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Stripping paint from the fibreglass: Smart Strip results

I'm setting this thread up to detail my experiences with Smart Strip as mentioned here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by coalminecanary View Post
Yesterday I did a 6 hour test patch. The first photo here shows the results of that. The top two layers softened nicely and scraped right off. I'm testing my detective skills regarding the other layers. The lightest colour appears to be the original gelcoat and the deep red appears to be a second layer that was sprayed on in a piecemeal fashion a long time ago. I am thinking that someone did some stone chip repairs a very long time ago, and the red went on top of that - perhaps as a primer - followed by the bright yellow. The top coat is a crappy spray job that was done on top of the yellow.

As you can see, the test patch shows that the gelcoat and the red were untouched by the Smart Strip.

The second photo shows the front of the trailer with the Smart Strip applied. It is a pretty thick paste so it sticks well. It is difficult to get a uniform thickness with a brush though.

For this second trial I went over the original patch test area - we'll see if the Smart Strip affects the gelcoat when it is applied directly. If so, I will do a fibreglass repair but I suspect that the Smart Strip will have no effect on any two part epoxy based layer.

Updates to follow!
Attached Thumbnails
trill-smart-strip-patch.JPG   trill-smart-strip-front.JPG  

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Old 06-08-2012, 02:49 PM   #2
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Name: Tracy
Trailer: purchasing a Boler
Alberta
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Wow Larry...that looks promising. Would you recommend using it then? What is your official verdict on the gelcoat? Was it affected? I am considering doing the exact same thing to the bottom of mine as I will likely be able to buff and wax the top without needing to paint. The PO have painted the bottom however I am unsure how many layers I am dealing with at this point. I appreciate your experiment to learn from .
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:32 PM   #3
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Volvo 245 pulling '71 Trillium 1300
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Today was too windy and the stripper dried up before I got home from work. A lot of paint did come off but I'm going to do a thicker application next time and I'll be sure to do the actual scraping before the stripper dries. Once it dries it seems to stop working and the paint is easier to scrape off if it's still wet.

THe stripper that I left on the gelcoat seemed to just dry into a crust that I can wash off with a wet kitchen scrubber. The gelcoat is not glossy but I have no idea if the stripper dulled it or if it was a result from sanding before a previous paint job.

Whatever the red coating is above the gelcoat, the Smart Strip does not remove it and it does not eat into the gelcoat either.

I may just be lucky in that the top two coats of paint are really crappy paint that's easily lifted.

Verdict is "so far so good" and the claim of fibreglass-safe certainly seems valid so far. Cleanup is with water, and the safety warnings of this product are nowhere near as dire as the chemical nasty stuff.

I will report back after I do a thicker application.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:14 PM   #4
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Name: Carl
Trailer: Boler
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Any updates on this? How did it go?
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:23 PM   #5
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Name: Larry
Trailer: Volvo 245 pulling '71 Trillium 1300
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I ended up just sanding it in the end - it would have taken too much of this stuff to get through it all. If I were dealing with just a single spray bomb or roller coat, I would try it again but for multiple coats it was a pain...
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:01 PM   #6
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Name: Mark
Trailer: Boler
Alberta
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I did a 1 hour test on the top of my boler - also painted grey with house paint and it took it off and left a glossy white/cream color on top. The bottom I left it on there for 2 hours and it took the silver and a white off and revealed what i think is a gold/green colored gelcoat. I used the same stuff.
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