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View Full Version : Removing paint from gaskets without damaging the material.



SergioG
02-27-2017, 01:54 AM
Hi, I'm seeking some advice from those that may have tried to remove paint from gaskets and/or weatherstripping - without damaging the material. My Stude was painted at some point in it's life and one thing the painter didn't have was masking tape...or at least he didn't know how to use it. So, I have overspray on almost every gasket and piece of weather striping on the car. I'm not too concerned about the weatherstripping, because I'm going to eventually replace all of it, but I really don't want to replace all the gaskets under the chrome, because I can't imagine I'll every find them all.

So, my question is this...what is the best way to remove automotive paint from gaskets --- without damaging the gasket material? I know I can use Acetone or Lacquer Thiner, but I'm afraid it may be too harsh for the older gaskets and dry them out. Has anyone attempted this with any level of success and if so can you share your technique? Consequently, has anyone "rejuvenated" older gaskets that may have been a bit dry, perhaps by soaking them in linseed oil or anything that rehydrates the material?

If anyone has any suggestions I'd appreciate your input and as always - thank you.

Best Regards,
Sergio

StudeRich
02-27-2017, 02:02 AM
What Part on your Studebaker has a GASKET under chrome? Also what Model and Year?

All I can think of, is just Tail Light housings and and some head Light Rims, but they are not Gaskets, just Rubber like the Weatherstrips, just wipe em down with Lacquer thinner.

SergioG
02-27-2017, 02:21 AM
Hi StudeRich, the first one I'm working on is the gasket (at least I call it a gasket, because its a black rubber material) under the truck locking mechanism. When you remove that entire chrome emblem unit that has the lever to open the trunk, there is a black rubber gasket under it. That has paint on it. I know that lacquer thinner would probably do the job, but I hesitated and decide to ask simply because of the age of the gasket. Also, the windshield has a gasket and that has paint on it as well.

Doesn't you car have similar gaskets? It doesn't matter if its rubber...its still a gasket. However, I looked it up in the Body Parts Catalog and its listed as a "PAD"... its made of black rubber. I consider it a "gasket."

I have a 1948 Champion Regal Deluxe.

48skyliner
02-27-2017, 02:39 AM
The car I restored is also a 48 Champion Regal,and I made new rubber gaskets for the headlights and tail lights. However, on previous projects I have used aircraft quality paint stripper to remove paint from rubber,with no apparent damage to the rubber. Lacquer thinner is fine to remove a little overspray before it is fully cured, but you might have to soak the rubber in thinner for hours if it is old enamel, and this might cause swelling and deterioration of the rubber. If you are only removing paint from the edges of head/tail light gaskets, a small belt sander with fine grit will also work.

On my project I made sure all the body and paint work was done, including buffing near the edges, before installing any of the gaskets and fender welting.

TWChamp
02-27-2017, 08:58 AM
Too late for this project, but for future reference, here's a tip I learned from a painter years ago. Use a small pointed paint brush and brush grease on the parts you don't want to have paint. I wanted to repaint this Tiny Tiger generator cover, and tape would have damaged the decals more than they already are. A bit of the decals are missing on the edges, but I brushed some grease over all that was there, then used tape on the rope and knob. After the paint was dry, I used a soft tissue to remove the grease.

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oilnsteel
02-27-2017, 10:24 AM
Dot 3 Brake fluid works well, and won't hurt rubber. Don't get it on any paint you don't want removed.

Jim

48skyliner
02-27-2017, 07:23 PM
" Use a small pointed paint brush and brush grease on the parts you don't want to have paint."

Never used it in exactly that way, but I have often used it on raised letters, wiping it on with a smooth rag wrapped around my finger.

The best paint remover I know of is the phosphate ester hydraulic fluid used on commercial jet airplanes- not really harmful unless you get it in your eyes, but very irritating on "sensitive skin". Standard practice is to wash your hands very thoroughly BEFORE going to the bathroom. Minor hydraulic leaks are often found when someone notices an area of missing paint.

karterfred88
02-27-2017, 07:36 PM
"Paint" is the key-what kind. Lacquer thinner and or Acetone and MEK all will soften lacquer. Enamels depend on type, urethanes and epoxies get into solvents that will melt the rubber. Try those first, the windshield gasket is the toughest, try it there. Remember, if it removes the paint on the gasket-it will remove the paint next to it !!!!! Also, be happy getting most of it off, if a colored haze remains it soaked into the rubber, and you may have to "blacken" it to save it.

SergioG
02-28-2017, 12:43 AM
Hi ALL, you all presented VERY good ideas. My fear was exactly what 48Skyliner mentioned in his post...that I might have to soak the rubber gaskets in Lacquer Thinner and that would not be a happy thing! I also thought of MEK, and I think I have some left over somewhere, but MEK is harsh. I also agree with Karterfred88 in that the "key" to my paint issue is "what type of paint was it" ....I can't tell, but it looks deep. Its not simple overspray. I would have just used LT on overspray. This is deep, caked on paint.

Brake fluid...interesting idea! I'll give it a try.

I am however intrigued by what 48Skyliner said...he made his own rubber gaskets. VERY cool and ingenious my good man! OK, so the magic question is - how? What did you use for the rubber material? And...was it noticeable that you had made them, given that some of these gaskets are shaped with small ridges and angled edges.

48skyliner
02-28-2017, 02:43 AM
"I am however intrigued by what 48Skyliner said...he made his own rubber gaskets. VERY cool and ingenious my good man! OK, so the magic question is - how? What did you use for the rubber material? And...was it noticeable that you had made them, given that some of these gaskets are shaped with small ridges and angled edges."

The tail light gaskets are black rubber sheet material, something less than 1/8 inch thick. I first cut to fit the inside around the bucket, leaving extra material around the outside. I installed these and marked around the chrome with a silver pencil, removed them and cut just inside the line with sharp scissors. A couple more fittings and minor trimming and they look just fine. If your paint is a light color, the trimming must be pretty accurate to look good, not so critical on a dark color.

The headlight gaskets were cut from some dark grey, almost black, peel-and-stick rubber foam, fitted as above with the sticky side to the bucket, NOT the paint, so the gasket comes off with the headlight. Fitted and trimmed as above. Sorry, but I did not take photos of the gaskets separately.

As for the appearance, no one will notice the gaskets except a concours judge, and he will certainly not be looking at my car.

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hausdok
02-28-2017, 04:17 AM
Mask off what you don't want to clean and then use a small detail sandblaster pistol loaded with crushed walnut shell media. It will clean up the rubber nicely. Just keep the gun moving. Pause too long and it'll go right through the masking tape.