Re: [MV] Best way to remove paint

Mon, 4 Oct 1999 22:39:10 -0700

Others have tried pressure washing (e.g. Clell Ballard and M7 snowmobile
half-track story in Army Motors) and had success. I have also heard of oven
cleaner being used but have not tried it.

My VERY slow but (pretty) sure method: Research first so you have an idea
what to expect and where. Have good light, e.g. daylight to be able to lick
up subtle colour (color) differences. I personally use a SHARP Swiss Army
knife dragged at 90 degree angle sideways, unless paint is flaky. Once I
find traces of markings then I go at it with hand held (sanding block is OK
too) wet and dry sandpaper, with water, and the knife. I use medium to fine
grit (e.g. 600) for final touch ups. Don't use coarse as it will scratch
through several layers at once. If markings are indistinct, try wetting the
paint with water as it makes the colours (colors) brighter temporarily -
unless of course you are in the Texas panhandle where the water will
evaporate before it hits the metal! In your case Nelson, the water is likely
to freeze on the steel first..... Have rags or paper towels to wipe away
the dirty water and dust particles.

Sandpaper is dangerous as it can take off the markings paint along with
surrounding paint. Try to uncover ONE layer, one letter or number at a time.
In your case, gently removed all red paint layer from area where you expect
to find makrings, THEN going down layer by layer to uncover more markings.
Even though you have one layer of civy paint, there will likely be several
layers of army paint and markings. Many markings will appear twice e.g.
each side of vehicle or front and rear. Practice on those before you go at
any one of a kind markings. Take photos as you go for the record. Make notes
on colour (color) layers, markings at each layer. When you are done, do the
scrape test in places where you don't expect to find markings but where
soldiers could have put markings. You may be surprised!


Paint remover is indiscriminate and one friend recalls seeing traces of
white markings curl up and disappear before he could read them.

Ditto for sand blasting.

Colin Macgregor Stevens
MVPA Member 954 (since 1977)
& member B Coy 1 Canadian Parachute Battalion (Living History)
Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada
Personal web site:
1944 Willys MB
1942 BSA airborne bicycles (2)
-----Original Message-----
From: Nelson Dionne <>
To: <>
Date: Monday, October 04, 1999 5:28 AM
Subject: [MV] Re; Best way to remove paint

>Hello List;
> I recently bought an MV with a "broom quality" red paint job over the
>original paint. Might anybody on the list be aware of the best way to
>remove this top layer ONLY. I would like to try and find any original
>markings/decals I believe are still under the dime store red.
> I was told that oven cleaner would only take off the top layer.
>try or hear of this tactic. Should I go to a find wet 'n dry sand paper ??
>Your thoughts ??
>Nelson Dionne
>Salem, MA
>Collector of military bicycles, hand carts & motorcycles

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