Paint Stripper vs Rock Warrior Wheels. Anyone have experience? (1 Viewer)

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I picked up a set of Rock Warrior Wheels and tires yesterday off CL for a crazy low price. The only bad is that someone put a pretty awful looking rattle can black paint job on them. I kind of doubt that they even sanded the wheels before painting. I would like to figure out a way to remove the rattle can paint without potentially damaging the original grey finish if possible. Does anyone know if aircraft paint stripper will damage or take off the original grey finish on Rock Warrior Wheels? Any potential other suggestions on how to remove the rattle can paint without damaging the original RW finish would be welcome. Thanks
 

suprarx7nut

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I would expect the stripper to eat the factory paint immediately.

Are you sure it's not plastidip? Plastidip is easy to remove by spraying more dip on and then peeling it off. Share a picture, maybe.
 
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Most of the rattle can paints will come off easier than the original coating. I would start with naphtha or acetone and see what that does. If that doesn't work, MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) should work. Put any of them on a rag and try wiping the paint off. Find a spot that you can try first that isn't as noticeable in case it doesn't work as advertised. Just make sure to wear gloves as they are not good for the body.

As for the aircraft stripper, I would think that it would take the original coating off and leave you with a mess. Also, are the rims made from aluminum or magnesium? If I recall correctly, aircraft stripper isn't very friendly to magnesium.
 

gregnash

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I would start with something easily attainable locally and not overly harsh, if that doesn't work then work your way up. Other option is to take one of the wheels into your local auto paint store and see what they recommend for removal. MEK is pretty nasty stuff so be wary of using it if you do, but then again most paint strippers are.

Other option, if you have a decent sized compressor, is to go with an abrasive gun and use a lighter abrasive like baking soda. That may be able to strip things easily and less harshly but it makes a hell of a mess if you don't enclose.
 
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MEK is pretty nasty stuff so be wary of using it if you do, but then again most paint strippers are.
8096D6AF-EB32-4A86-8A98-ABEA8F94604A.jpeg
 
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OK, getting lots of good questions and suggestions from everyone, big thanks! The paint does not appear to be the Plasti-dip variety, at least not the type I have used previously on wheels. As far as the possibility of the wheels being magnesium, according to info on the TRD USA website, they have an image of this style RW wheel and have a pop out that refer to the material as being aluminum. I have attached a picture of the wheels from the CL ad to give you a better idea of what I'm dealing with, but it may be a bit hard to see how bad the paint is. I would call it a 25 footer paint job.
I am thinking that starting with the mildest approach suggested, which is pressure washing, with maybe a focus on areas with some existing paint damage and edges to see if I can get the water under the paint. I remember purposefully stripping all the paint off the hood of a girlfriends Chevy at a car wash back in the 90's when they had all the paint adhesion issues, man that was fun watching big pieces of paint fly off. If that doesn't prove successful, I might try some citrus based products and work my way on up the chart of aggressive solvents laying around my garage, with the methylene chloride based air craft stripper as a last resort. I am hoping that the original finish might be some sort of baked on power coating that would offer more chemical resistant than the solvent carrier based rattle can spray paint. I am think that the blast media will be on my reserve list for the case if the original paint finish is deemed too damaged and a re-coat is in order. Also, in part due to the media blasting being a process I would want to out source. If anyone thinks of anything else, feel free to chime in. I'll update on how it goes.

RW wheels 1-20-21 CL 1.JPG


TRD RW material.JPG
 

suprarx7nut

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OK, getting lots of good questions and suggestions from everyone, big thanks! The paint does not appear to be the Plasti-dip variety, at least not the type I have used previously on wheels. As far as the possibility of the wheels being magnesium, according to info on the TRD USA website, they have an image of this style RW wheel and have a pop out that refer to the material as being aluminum. I have attached a picture of the wheels from the CL ad to give you a better idea of what I'm dealing with, but it may be a bit hard to see how bad the paint is. I would call it a 25 footer paint job.
I am thinking that starting with the mildest approach suggested, which is pressure washing, with maybe a focus on areas with some existing paint damage and edges to see if I can get the water under the paint. I remember purposefully stripping all the paint off the hood of a girlfriends Chevy at a car wash back in the 90's when they had all the paint adhesion issues, man that was fun watching big pieces of paint fly off. If that doesn't prove successful, I might try some citrus based products and work my way on up the chart of aggressive solvents laying around my garage, with the methylene chloride based air craft stripper as a last resort. I am hoping that the original finish might be some sort of baked on power coating that would offer more chemical resistant than the solvent carrier based rattle can spray paint. I am think that the blast media will be on my reserve list for the case if the original paint finish is deemed too damaged and a re-coat is in order. Also, in part due to the media blasting being a process I would want to out source. If anyone thinks of anything else, feel free to chime in. I'll update on how it goes.

View attachment 2560886

View attachment 2560887
As another option, if you just want it done "right" and cash isn't as much a concern as time, you can seek out a local wheel refinishing shop. There's an awesome place in Denver (at least there was 5-10 years ago) that did professional grade refinishing for a flat fee of ~$150/wheel. Drop it off, pick it up a week later and you'd swear it was brand new.

If you can strip off the existing paint without tearing off the original paint that's great, but if you have to get aggressive enough to strip off the OEM finish you're probably going to have to repaint them from scratch. If you're not familiar with painting, paying a pro might be the best option.
 

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