Author Topic: Fastback Interior Panel Paint Removal and Restoration  (Read 1186 times)

Offline OldMustangGuy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 65
Fastback Interior Panel Paint Removal and Restoration
« on: August 06, 2016, 07:18:59 PM »
There are several previous threads on techniques for restoring the interior fiberglass panels on Fastbacks. I thought I'd share a couple of things that I've done that seem to work (for me anyway).

Easy Off oven cleaner (heavy duty - yellow can, etc) has been mentioned as the "go to" stripper for the interior fiberglass textured panels. I think the Easy Off approach works best if you have panels with the original paint. In my case anyway, a previous owner had painted everything with a thick coat of high gloss black enamel ...it was so thick that there was almost no visible grain in the textured panels. Per other threads and research on this and other forums, I applied Easy Off, wrapped them in plastic and let sit for a couple of days. Absolutely no effect whatsoever on the paint except that it looked really clean!

On a recommendation from a local automotive paint supply store I then tried SEM Urethane Bumper Stripper. That was the ticket...it works very fast...literally within a few minutes...and it peeled the top layer of paint off like nobody's business. I'm not sure how long a person would want to let it stay on the piece without causing damage but I limited the exposure to 15-20 minutes and then cleaned every thing off with a garden hose and scraper. Now we  were down to the original factory paint.

Back to Step 1, I then applied Easy Off, wrapped the panels in Saran wrap and let them sit for about 24 hours. That more or less did the trick...it softened up the paint enough that with water and plastic dish scrubber most of the paint then came off. There was still paint present in the nooks and crannies of the texture that wouldn't come out no matter how much elbow grease I applied.

Knowing that the remaining paint was soft and wouldn't take much to come off I decided to finish the job with my blast cabinet. I loaded it with crushed glass - size "fine" and turned the air down to about 30 psi. The remaining paint blew off quickly with no damage at all to the texture. It ended up being a multi-day project but I'm very happy with the results.

For painting, I've become a big fan of epoxy primer and use it on virtually every part of the car that has paint. It seals surfaces very nicely and is essentially bullet proof...a little expensive and more difficult to learn to paint with than other products but well worth the effort. Where its particularly nice is on the smooth fiberglass panels...when those pieces originally came from the factory they were smooth as glass but over the years of being installed they get dings, scratches, rough areas,  etc that jump right at you with fresh paint. The process I'm doing is to hit the smooth panels with a good coat of the epoxy, let it cure for a couple of days and then sand smooth with 400 grit. At that point (unless you have major defects that sand clear though and need body filler, more sanding etc) you apply the color coat (charcoal black in my case) and you end up with a beautiful result. For the textured panels, I also shoot a thin base coat of epoxy primer followed by the color. As others have mentioned, the color coat, especially the charcoal black doesn't seem to cover all that well without a dark base coat.

Not sure if this approach will work for others but, for my current project anyway, things have turned out great.


Offline J_Speegle

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14084
Re: Fastback Interior Panel Paint Removal and Restoration
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2016, 07:38:02 PM »
Thanks for sharing

Did you take any pictures to document and illustrate your steps and achievements?

As far as epoxy primer (or any primer at all) I'll skip that step on mine projects. Just a personal choice   :)
Jeff Speegle

Anything worth doing is worth doing concours ;)

Offline OldMustangGuy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 65
Re: Fastback Interior Panel Paint Removal and Restoration
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2016, 07:53:27 PM »
I have a few pictures that I'll try to post when I get them organized.

You should come to the dark side and try the epoxy Jeff....with a mix of 25%-30% reducer it's a perfect match to semi-gloss black and impervious to brake fluid, solvents, etc.   :)

Offline J_Speegle

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14084
Re: Fastback Interior Panel Paint Removal and Restoration
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2016, 08:01:09 PM »
I have a few pictures that I'll try to post when I get them organized.

You should come to the dark side and try the epoxy Jeff....with a mix of 25%-30% reducer it's a perfect match to semi-gloss black and impervious to brake fluid, solvents, etc.   :)

Just hate filling up any textured surface.

As far as other worries I understand there is some issues with sun exposure (why some changed from using it as engine compartment paint I understand)  and I don't carry allot of open brake fluid or solvents in the back of any of my fastbacks any more    ;D
Jeff Speegle

Anything worth doing is worth doing concours ;)

Offline OldMustangGuy

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 65
Re: Fastback Interior Panel Paint Removal and Restoration
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2016, 08:59:57 PM »
I hear you on the textured surface...the key (if you are going to do it) is to apply a very thin basecoat. With the epoxy primary, I actually heat it in a water bath to around 100 degrees ...that really reduces the viscosity and allows it to flow very nicely.

UV degradation has been/is an issue depending on when/where you sourced product. I buy mine from Southern Polturethanes and they started adding UV inhibitor to their black epoxy primer several years ago. Between that and the fact it would take a LOT of direct sun exposure it hasn't been a problem for me.

Offline 1967 eight barrel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
Re: Fastback Interior Panel Paint Removal and Restoration
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2016, 07:38:40 PM »
I had a similar issue. The Easy off in the yellow can didn't touch them. I even tried a stripper that was specific for fibreglass. I elected to use the low pressure plastic media method. It worked very well on the panels and the fold down seat assembly. The issue with blasting is something Jeff and I mentioned.
It removed the surface coat on the glass. The panels soaked up an immense amount of paint to get good coverage, but also left hair of the glass in the finish. It prompted me to knock the fuzz down with 600 paper and spray another light coat.
As suggested by Jeff, if you can get it off without media blasting, do it. NEVER use glass or sand.
A Commander has to make vital decision on incomplete information in a matter of seconds, and afterwards the experts can sit down at leisure, with all the facts before them, and argue about what he might, could or should have done.
Field Marshal Sir William Slim

Offline midlife

  • Wiring Guru---let me check your shorts!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1302
    • Midlife Harness Restorations
Re: Fastback Interior Panel Paint Removal and Restoration
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2016, 09:29:40 PM »
The Easy-Off Oven Cleaner works well, but you have to buy the right version.  The Heavy Duty version and then you have to check the ingredients list to find lye.  That's the one you can use. 

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Off-Oven-Cleaner-Heavy-Aerosol/dp/B001SJB5TW

Offline 1967 eight barrel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 726
Re: Fastback Interior Panel Paint Removal and Restoration
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2016, 03:18:32 AM »
Randy:
Yellow can has Lye, the blue can is worthless for our use..
A Commander has to make vital decision on incomplete information in a matter of seconds, and afterwards the experts can sit down at leisure, with all the facts before them, and argue about what he might, could or should have done.
Field Marshal Sir William Slim

Offline DKutz

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 268
Re: Fastback Interior Panel Paint Removal and Restoration
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2016, 07:56:55 PM »
The easy off didn't do a great job for me.  I ended up using an orange solvent paint stripper from Home Depot that was recommended on a forum.  That worked pretty well.
1965 Mustang Fastback 'A' Code, silver Blue Met, Med blue int. Auto, San Jose, 10/8/64 #1449**

Gone but not forgotten - 1996 Mustang GT