Saturday, 8 February 2014

Tutorial: Paint Stripping

Today I will tell you all (well, British people at least) the secrets of how to paint strip models easily and effectively. To tell the truth, this method is not my idea but rather a method taught to me by Big of 50 Shades of Geek. It's a very simple way to strip paint, being that before today I had never paint stripped any models (yeah, I know, rookie or what!) and I achieved amazing results.

For this you will need the following items:

  • Fairy Power Spray
  • An air tight container
  • A towel you don't mind getting a little dirty
  • An old tooth brush you will never stick in your mouth again
  • Hand wash
  • Models to paint strip

Why Fairy Power Spray?

I have heard of various different paint stripping agents that people use, none of which I have personally used. In the US I have heard a product called Simple Green works wonders, but is incredibly expensive to get hold of in the UK without selling your children. Likewise I have heard Brown Dettol also works, but is incredibly irritating (dangerous even) to handle with bare skin and smells awful to use. Fairy Power Spray on the other hand is safe(r) to use than Dettol, is easier and cheaper than Simple Green to get hold of in the UK and actually smells quite pleasant when you use it for stripping miniatures, and I've reliably been told that it is the swiss army knife choice for paint stripping miniatures in the UK. My sources were reliable when it comes to the hobby in all it's aspects so I was particular in getting my hands on a bottle of Fairy Power Spray myself to use for the process.

Step 1 - The Paint Stripping Preperations
The first thing you will need to do is grab your air tight container and chuck your miniatures into the jar. You don't really need to be gentle with your miniatures as you're not worried about chipping the paint and generally the miniatures won't dent as long as you're not hurling the things into the jar. Now take your Fairy Power Spray and liberally squirt it into the jar, ensuring the miniatures are fully immersed.

Once that is done, seal the container and put it to one side whilst you carry on with your day. Have lunch, watch a film, whatever tickles your fancy (I painted miniatures). The miniatures I used were metal and I left them soaking for 9 hours. I don't know for certain how this stuff works on other miniatures, though I've reliably been told this works on plastic but is best done in short shifts, however the plastic bases I put in there seemed to survive intact by the end even if they were dyed an odd blue colour. No word on resin though I'm afraid.

Step 2 - Scrubbing Off The Paint
Once you are ready, fish the miniatures out of the container (I have been told you can use the same mixture for future paint stripping sessions but I foolishly chucked it) and put them on a surface that will soak up the excess liquid. I used many strips of paper towels for this.

Now get your old, knackered tooth brush and put the miniatures either in luke warm soapy water or under a running cold tap (not hot, this will weaken the metal!) and scrub those miniatures clean! You'll instantly notice the paint just fall off the model.

Step 3 - Finishing Up
Once you've stripped the models clean, towel dry the miniatures, leave them on a couple of strips of paper towel to soak up any excess moisture and your work is done. Once dry they can be sprayed up once more and painted again! If you aren't using rubber gloves to do this (like I didn't) I strongly suggest that you wash your hands with hand wash after doing all this. Although Fairy Power Spray is a pretty mild paint stripping chemical, it is still an irritant.


  1. I've pretty much avoided painted eBay buys because I didn't want to buy Dettol and everything else is only for use by Americans, apparently, so this comes as pretty fucking awesome news. Cheers for the awesome news. I'm gonna spend some Paypal cash and see how it goes.

    1. Glad to help! Let me know how your adventures go, I was pleasantly surprised myself :)

  2. I have just downloaded iStripper, and now I enjoy having the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.