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Removing paint from frame

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Removing paint from frame

Old 07-04-19, 07:34 AM
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Removing paint from frame

I just picked up a 1988 Schwinn Sierra in really good shape for really cheap. Unfortunately it has the blue paint over chrome with pink decals.

There are a few chips in the blue paint that show chrome underneath. If I use a chemical pain stripper will it ruin the chrome? The paint's coming off one way or another but if I can salvage the chrome the bike would look really good.
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Old 07-04-19, 07:43 AM
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I think you would be OK, especially since the stripper only sits there for 15 minutes or so, and then gets wiped off along with the paint.

Of course it would be prudent to test out this theory in an inconspicuous spot on the frame, like underneath the bottom bracket. I would imagine that not all chrome is created equally, and the type you have might have problems with chemical stripper. But if you wanna preserve the chrome, I don't see any other option than chemical stripper. Sanding will obviously destroy it.
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Old 07-04-19, 09:28 AM
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autobody and paint tech with 30+ years experience.
if it really is chrome, paint stripper won't hurt it. pain't doesn't stick to chrome very well. you probably could wash it off with thinner.
the problem is you don't know if the person who put the paint over chrome did for prep work. if he sanded it first the chrome is probably shot.
i would suggest as posted start at the lower not so obvious areas and see what's under the chrome. if you do this have a back up plan in place encase the chrome is shot or the chrome really isn't chrome just shiny metal.
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Old 07-04-19, 01:11 PM
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Often the base metal was only polished where it was to be exposed ,

and left rough, sand blasted, where it was to be painted over..

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Old 07-07-19, 01:03 AM
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Thanks for the response
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Old 07-07-19, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I think you would be OK, especially since the stripper only sits there for 15 minutes or so, and then gets wiped off along with the paint.
Just out of curiosity, what do you do with the paint-and-chemical-encrusted rags?
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Old 07-07-19, 11:33 AM
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having stripped everything from motorcycle and cars to espresso grinders to painted building and fire escapes over the years there a few thing to know.

All paint removers will burn your skin, so its a good idea to use gloves that will not be chemically effected by the stripper. And don't assume all gloves are created equally. the stripping chemical can go through a lot of rubbers.

Second, keep a big pail of fresh water and a clean rag or new sponge in your working area to wash off any stripper that get on you and be near a hose or sink.. eye protection, long sleeves etc. should be the rule.

I have found that peel-away 7 works great on metal and can be neutralized with vinegar. Downside is the metal needs to be dried and protected from rust quickly.

The second stripper I've had great results with is Aircraft stripper. I get it at auto paint supply stores. I have remove enamel epoxy paint with it.

My big trick is to coat the frame as heavy as possible and wrap it with plastic wrap so it doesn't evaporate and dry onto the surface. Let sit for 30-60 minutes before removing.

After you remove as much of the paint and stripper, wash down with a second pail of water. Never use your emergency water pail.

You most likely will not get everything the first go around so spot strip the missed areas.

One of my favorite products is Corotech rust encapsulation. This product will convert any rust, so it is paint-able with primer. It's similar to POR-15 but less expensive and more industrial quality.

Also, protect all your thread surfaces like the bottom bracket. Those fine thread will be hard to clean if painted.

Last edited by michaeldb; 07-07-19 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 07-07-19, 11:41 AM
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Iíve had great success with citristrip.
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Old 07-07-19, 01:41 PM
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As mentioned, typically a fully chromed frame is only polished where the chrome will be exposed. The painted areas, while chrome, often are not looking like the rest of the polished areas. That's not to say it won't look OK, just don't be surprised.
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