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How to strip paint from glass?


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  #1  
Old 01-17-2011, 09:17:47 PM
Jim Sears Jim Sears is offline
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Default How to strip paint from glass?

Here is a really different one.
I acquired an antique greenhouse, cast iron and cypress,18'x24', made in 1911. I disassembled and brought it home to put in the back yard. Problem: the last owner got tired of putting whitewash on the glass in the summer and covered it with white paint some years ago.
How can I remove paint from maybe 400 pieces of 100 year old glass. Don't suggest razor blades or $15 a quart stripper. I haven't determined if it is latex or oil. I thought there might be a simple solution that I could soak batches of them to soften.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:24:16 PM
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wegotallama wegotallama is offline
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Default Re: how to strip paint from glass

If it is latex, hot water will soften it up and may cause it to lift off. But it will still be a long process as you can only do a few pieces at a time. No easy answer I know of if it is oil based.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:36:36 PM
Jake Jacobs Jake Jacobs is offline
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Default Re: how to strip paint from glass

I would try a solution of lye.Some sort of container where you can stand the glass upright.If you want to paint the lye solution on each sheet you can mix corn starch with the lye and make your paint stripper.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:40:57 PM
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Default Re: how to strip paint from glass

Lye will degrade the glass - turn it white....frosted. It might be OK if the contact is brief. It depends on the glass and this glass is old. I wouldn't do it.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:40:11 PM
Gary in da UP Gary in da UP is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

Brake fluid will wrinkle that paint making it easy to scrape off with a wood or plastic scraper.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:08:54 PM
Roland Hayes Roland Hayes is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

Lay a good flat plywood board on the ground in a drained area and cover it with a piece of unwanted carpet. Lay the glass panels on the carpet paint side up and pressure wash the paint off the surface. In order not to crack the glass it must be fully supported by the flat board and the softer surface of the carpet, which when wet will hold the glass down by suction. I have used a very hot water pressure washer to clean paint from glass and it really peels the paint off fast, use the washer lance set in a fan pattern not the concentrated jet. There is a bit of a technique to this, you need to get the water jet under the paint layer and peel it right off. If you find you have a residue left on the glass you can make a wood frame to securely hold each glass panel and use a low speed polisher and compound to buff the glass to a perfect shine. Use safe practices when handling glass for obvious reasons.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:53:10 PM
Jim Sears Jim Sears is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

Thanks guys, I think a combination of idea as may be the answer. I will make a tank that I can stand 50 pieces in and soak them for a while (days/weeks) and since I have one, then the hot pressure washing. The brake fluid is the fall back if things don't go well.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:24:24 AM
PTSideshow PTSideshow is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

A word of caution, check each glass piece to see if it has thinned on what would have been the top standing edges, as over time it tends to thin at the top standing edge and thicken towards the bottom. Since it also has a tendency to crack at the slightest, provocation. Any power washing of the thinned glass may solve the problem. Of paint on pieces of broken glass.

It also may be old, poured and not rolled glass so it will not have a smooth surface for scraping. Our house is around that time frame and all the windows had thinned glass. Some had become so bad that there was a slight paper thin cap at the top of the panes.

If it is lead based paint in the sludge be careful of disposing of the sludge, as the greenies get crazy a bought it.

When painting window splashes on the out side of store windows with the modern paint H2O based latex. to remove it we used ammonia in the water and wet it down good it wood soften the paint. Then scrape it off, and rinse, in the olden times we used water color paint and painted on the inside of the window backwards. We then would scrape it off, then wash the windows. The clear cling film and computer printing, took a large chunk of income from small town sign writers!
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:08:21 PM
Jim Sears Jim Sears is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

I have not noticed any thinning as i handled the glass (removed each one and packed them). I have seen window glass "run" with age, but usually with another hundred years on them. Also, the greenhouse roof slants at about 30 degrees so the glass is more more laying down than standing. I will try some ammonia in one of the soak batches to see what it does.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:15:51 PM
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

Biodiesel is surprisingly good at removing paint, which is funny, because it is non-toxic (just don't get it on your lawn). Try a little bit to see if it eats the type of paint on your glass. If so, you can usually find it at about the price of diesel.

Use copper or brass pads instead of steel to scour. It won't scratch the glass.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:41:24 PM
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

heat might help to soften too. I'm not sure about the temp differences between water and glass causing cracking but i'd think the hotter the water in the pressure washer the better.
good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:38:06 AM
Jim Sears Jim Sears is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

hey, thanks guys. I've got lots of pieces to test ideas. I'll have to wait a bit before I can start, warmed up to about 20F today but another foot of snow possible tomorrow night.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:08:39 PM
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

I haven't tried it yet, but a friend of mine uses vinegar to clean old glass lanterns that have been painted. Just pours it in a bowl big enough to hold what he's cleaning and submerges it until the paint softens and peels off.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:25:03 PM
PTSideshow PTSideshow is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

Yes vinegar which real name is Acetic acid, will soften and loosen paint like it will remove the light galvanized plating from hardware

after 4 or so hours in a plastic bucket of regular household vinegar. You have to watch it, as it does tend to rust if not rinsed and dried.
Depending on the quality and thickness of the plating.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:41:00 PM
Jim Sears Jim Sears is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

I have used white vinegar to "bright dip" brass and copper, results as good as parts sent out to a plating/cleaning shop. I hadn't thought about paint. I guess 50 gal. of vinegar wouldn't cost much. I don't believe that it would have any effect on throughly cured enamel, but should work well on water based/latex paints.
Thanks, another good idea.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:45:43 AM
930dreamer 930dreamer is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

Soda Blasting.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:36:43 AM
M.Canute M.Canute is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTSideshow View Post
A word of caution, check each glass piece to see if it has thinned on what would have been the top standing edges, as over time it tends to thin at the top standing edge and thicken towards the bottom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Sears View Post
I have seen window glass "run" with age, but usually with another hundred years on them.
That has been proven to be myth.
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:07:49 PM
PTSideshow PTSideshow is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

Well then the glass panes in my house didn't get the memo! As the oldest ones that wear poured and had one side wavy. Were thin at the top edge.
You may be confusing that it was taught that glass was a very viscous liquid at one time, and was in the constant state of movement. That is and was the myth, the liquid part. But I changed enough of the panes in my house that were thinner at the top edge.
I now have replaced all 25 windows with vinyl frames and gas filled glass. I never thought to save any of the pieces, and this was BC/DC before computers and digital cameras. So didn't have any reason to take photo's
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:31:43 PM
Darxen Darxen is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

I have used LACQUER THINNER to remove a lot of paints. I am sure Lowes or Home Depot, or a little research on the Internet, will turn up some miracle product ! 100 windows,,wow,,what a job.

I did learn some interesting new ways though,,I will keep a few of them in my bag of tricks,,I like the Vinegar, (acid) one.
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:15:47 PM
Roland Hayes Roland Hayes is offline
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Default Re: How to strip paint from glass?

The vinegar treatment will probably work better if the vinegar is hot, wouldn't do to have neighbors houses nearby though, hot vinegar does stink.
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