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Not Model A Related But Still "SAFE"

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  • Not Model A Related But Still "SAFE"

    This is not regarding Model A's but it may help somebody trying to remove one layer of brushed on paint from a car body. Sad story, my Dad had a floor safe in his business which was about 3 feet by 3 feet high, steel walls with concrete in between, very heavy. It had the name of the local bank in gold leaf on the door, probably who owned it originally. It was not pristine, it was rough and used, lots of patina. Well one day my Mother decides it's ugly and paints it with rustoleum red primer! My only saving grace may be that she probably did not bother to clean it and painted over anything that was on the surface like 50 years worth of dust. I want to get that coat of paint off but try to preserve what was underneath if possible. Ideas from anyone who's been there please.

  • #2
    lacquer thinner would remove most primers except 2K (modern catalyst cured primer), but could also remove the paint you want.

    Find an inconspicuous area and try it. Just use a small amount and dampen the cloth lightly

    Rustoleum back then was a weirdo fish-oil based paint, this could be tricky.
    It may still be, but I don't think so
    Last edited by tbirdtbird; 02-23-2018, 11:31 AM.


    • #3
      I have heard that sometimes a mild solution of warm water and dish detergent and a light scrubbing with a slightly abrasive kitchen sponge will remove a thin layer of paint. There are a lot of variables involved, but it would be a safe thing to at least try. Not much hope for the gold leaf, I’m afraid. Let us know what happens.


      • #4
        We used to take painted on lettering on trade in trucks,names gvw’s etc, with easy off oven cleaner. Work fast so it does not sit very long.


        • #5
          Talk with a conservator of art. They know how to identify paint and what to use to remove each layer. It is a different process for each layer. Remember each layer was painted with a different paint with years between paint jobs. Removal is simple and painfully slow once the process is known. I have seen beautiful art work restored but it takes time and patience.
          Last edited by BudP; 02-23-2018, 10:11 PM.


          • #6
            Bud, that is the best answer so far!


            • #7
              OK so I sent an email to the Rustoleum folks regarding this and they advised to try mineral spirits or lacquer thinner. The mineral spirits did nothing but the lacquer thinner melted that Rustoleum red primer like it was nothing and best of all it did not remove the bank name or the old finish under it. Maybe this information may be useful to anyone trying to remove a brushed or rattle can Rustoleum product from an old Model A.


              • DaWizard
                DaWizard commented
                Editing a comment
                GREAT job Leo!!

            • #8
              Hi Leo,

              Glad you successfully removed the paint.

              If you ever lose the combination and cannot open it, send me an email.

              In about 1958 our 80 year old neighbor forgot his vintage safe's combination and told me about it.

              I asked my Dad and he told me how to crack this safe. It only took about 15 minutes.

              Please don't mention this to the new FBI director.


              • TOBKOB
                TOBKOB commented
                Editing a comment
                I have written the combination to my safes in various places so I wouldn't lose it..(in code)


              • CarlG
                CarlG commented
                Editing a comment
                A sticky note on the front of the safe works.

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