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BAD IDEA? Citri-Strip for removing paint off aluminum frame?

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BAD IDEA? Citri-Strip for removing paint off aluminum frame?

Old 01-01-18, 06:19 PM
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BAD IDEA? Citri-Strip for removing paint off aluminum frame?

The past two times that I stripped an aluminum frame I used Aircraft Stripper and it was horrendous. I promised myself to never do it again. Not only did that stuff burn me if I accidentally got splattered but it didn't even remove the paint well (it would dry up before penetrating the paint).


I was reading that one of the best things to use for stripping aluminum is Eldorado PR-2002 but I can't find anything smaller than a $250, 5 gallon drum of it. Searching on Amazon I found a quart of "industrial strength, biodegradable" stripper called Citri-Strip that "stays wet for 24hrs" so I could leave it sitting over night while I sleep.


For $12 I would definitely be willing to see if it works but I worry that it would have a bad reaction with the aluminum and destroy my frameset. Are there any specific ingredients that I should try to stay away from? What have you guys used to safely (and easily) strip an aluminum frame?
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Old 01-01-18, 06:45 PM
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I would strongly suggest you test a bit in a hidden spot for any reactiveness with the AL. There are common household chemicals that attack AL. That you would consider a 24 hour exposure makes this even more important.


BTW a bit of roughening up of the paint's surface will let any stripper get a better bite into the paint. Simple sandpaper/emery cloth can shorten up the time spent using stripper. Regardless of how well you get the stripper to work the frame likely will still need a mechanical going over (media blasting) before primer. Andy
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Old 01-01-18, 08:01 PM
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Aircraft stripper doesn't work if it dries out, that's for sure. I have seen people wrap it with plastic wrap. Always seems suspicious to me, but wrapping it is one thing to consider.
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Old 01-01-18, 08:40 PM
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I am going to be stripping a steel frame soon, and read about wrapping the stripper with foil or plastic wrap, sounds like a good idea. OP, you sure strip a lot of aluminum frames, more than any of us probably ever will.

I would think you'd be fine with regard to damaging the frame, I was worried the same thing about my steel frame being damaged. But I figure that if I remove the paint, neutralize any rust, wipe the bare frame down with alcohol to get any remaining oils out, then put a layer of primer down quickly, the amount of time the stripper is in contact with the frame won't be very long. Maybe 30 minutes?

So I can't see it damaging much, and the primer should soak up any remaining stripper residue pretty quickly.
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Old 01-02-18, 09:52 AM
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Steel and AL have different tolerances for certain chemicals. An example is why when you use Easy Off to clean your oven (that's steel) there's no problems but if any of the Easy Off drips past the oven bottom and onto the AL pots in the drawer you better wipe them off real quick. The Easy Off will strip the anodizing (first then in time attack the AL body). This is also why you can melt out an AL post from a steel frame with Draino.


I agree that for a short exposure there's no effective issue. But the OP mentioned 24 hours/overnight. My pots getting spot striped took less then 45 minutes in a warm location.


"So I can't see it damaging much, and the primer should soak up any remaining stripper residue pretty quickly." Colnago Mixte


Noooo. That's not the job of primer. The first thing you learn in painting is to get the frame clean, down to bare metal. Leaving stripper residue on the frame is such a big no no. The brief description of good painting prep is either lacking detail for brevity or the steps a pro painter takes were too much to do. A light sanding on the frame's surfaces after the paint removal and an application of a metal etcher/rust inhibitor (Metal Prep use to be the Dupont version for steel) are two very easy to do prep steps left out. Andy
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Old 01-03-18, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte
I am going to be stripping a steel frame soon, and read about wrapping the stripper with foil or plastic wrap, sounds like a good idea. OP, you sure strip a lot of aluminum frames, more than any of us probably ever will.

I would think you'd be fine with regard to damaging the frame, I was worried the same thing about my steel frame being damaged. But I figure that if I remove the paint, neutralize any rust, wipe the bare frame down with alcohol to get any remaining oils out, then put a layer of primer down quickly, the amount of time the stripper is in contact with the frame won't be very long. Maybe 30 minutes?

So I can't see it damaging much, and the primer should soak up any remaining stripper residue pretty quickly.
steel is a lot different in chemical reactions than steel, so what works for steel does not always work for aluminum

clearly you have not used chemical stripper on a steel frame. My experience (2 steel frames) is that you need to allow much longer than 30 minutes and plan on multiple applications of stripper to remove all the paint...which is important to getting a good finish. I loosely wrapped the frames in plastic garbage bags, forget the brand of stripper.

you have to get all the stripper off....primer does not "soak up residue" (I advise for steel, 2 primers 1) acid etch primer, followed by 2) sandable primer)

Alcohol is not the best for removing grease..... for not a lot of $$ you can get a small can of cleaner from the autoparts store....and then always use glove

if you have not done something, best not to advise by best guess (or you can use your plastidip)
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