Another Paint Stripping Thread! On a 65 year old Starcraft

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DanOStarcraft

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Well, after picking up this orphan, or rather, after it followed me home a few weeks ago I knew the first thing was going to be to get that paint off. The color, design, and quality of the job wasn't doing it for me. There were runs and globs and stuff, and I prefer tinnies to be natural. I may paint the deck but the sides, I doubt it.

So, the challenge was to get 65 years of paint off this 1959 Starcraft Constellation. So far I've found at least four colors. I knew it would be a lot of work, but ugh, yeah, a lot of grungy gloppy work and slow. I started with using the Citristrip stuff. I may try another stripper as this is going to take a long time. To get to this point has probably been around three hours. I've read some of the threads on how others have handled it. But I'm always open to new suggestions.
 

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In my experience, the CitriStrip is as good as any other less-than-good product out there.
The trick, is to keep it wet and active for a maximum amount of time. In the shade and covered with plastic wrap helps exponentially.
In some cases, I've had it last overnight and still be wet and able to be pushed off without scraping.
(the pics below are two different boats, but I thought I'd throw in one with "runs and globs of stuff" just for solidarity. lol)
 

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Thanks all for the replies. Comments are always very appreciated. I'm making progress extremely slowly but nonetheless getting it done. For a 65 year old boat and my 55 year old body it's kind of physically demanding but far better than just sitting on a couch. I've renovated and repaired many fiberglass boats but this is my first tinny resto. A couple friends suggested I get it soda/sand/glass blasted. So just to gather information I called a local blasting company. The guy was really friendly and helpful and asked what my plans were after the paint was removed. I said I wanted to leave it unpainted. He said that if they were to blast it there would be a rough surface remaining that would be prepped for paint but not for buffing and shining. I thanked him for his honesty.

So.... looks like I'll just keep nibbling away at this. Maybe an hour or two at a time rather than full on hard days. So far I've got probably six or eight hard hours into it. The bottom I may leave alone and just repaint. I'm okay with the black and it looks like a very good paint job. The side colors were really unappealing to me so they had to go. The deck I'll either paint a seafoam-ish green or strip it too. The boat is just a hair too big to flip without a lot of help that I don't have around.
 

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And, oddly, what seems to be working better is to use the Citristrip, let it sit and do its thing, then scrape, and THEN, get a sponge soaked with turpentine and rub it in. The paint slurry then runs off and gets absorbed with the sponge. When the sponge is loaded and just can't be squeezed out, pitch it and get a new one. Then, literally, rinse and repeat.
 
I am in the process of rebuilding a 1977 Mirrocraft 14' deep vee. It had a couple of paint jobs over the original paint. I used Citristip, as well as trying a couple other products. The Citrastrip did great. Be sure to put it on thick or it won't work well. Lower temps and shade are very helpful. Cover it with plastic wrap (generic saran wrap) and let it sit 6-8 hours at least, overnight is ideal just don't let it dry out. I quickly scrapped off the majority with a plastic putty knife, then power washed it. It actually came out clean and shiny. Which would be perfect for your plan. I'm sanding mine for an epoxy barrier coat. FYI the other 2 products worked well also. Funny thing is they are exactly the same as each other. Same manufacturer, same exact printing on the back, wording and font. $8 difference for the brand name..lol
 
I am in the process of rebuilding a 1977 Mirrocraft 14' deep vee. It had a couple of paint jobs over the original paint. I used Citristip, as well as trying a couple other products. The Citrastrip did great. Be sure to put it on thick or it won't work well. Lower temps and shade are very helpful. Cover it with plastic wrap (generic saran wrap) and let it sit 6-8 hours at least, overnight is ideal just don't let it dry out. I quickly scrapped off the majority with a plastic putty knife, then power washed it. It actually came out clean and shiny. Which would be perfect for your plan. I'm sanding mine for an epoxy barrier coat. FYI the other 2 products worked well also. Funny thing is they are exactly the same as each other. Same manufacturer, same exact printing on the back, wording and font. $8 difference for the brand name..lol
 
We were actually out of plastic wrap but had plenty of tin foil so I went out mid afternoon and slathered up a side and let it sit until after dinner. We are supposed to get rain tomorrow so I wanted to see if the foil and a few hours would do anything. It actually worked better than I was getting on the other side. I’ll try a longer time in a few days.

They really put this paint on heavy. So thick. Slowly making progress.

Quick question; that filled hole on the bow port side, I think that was probably a puncture at some time over the last 65 years or does anyone think it was for a light or something else?
 

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If there is such a thing as a paint stripper that works worth a crap, I've not found it yet. I almost never use stripper after wasting a lot of time playing around with diff types. What works the best for me are those abrasive discs that go into an angle grinder. If you've been researching this I imagine you know what I mean. I think 3M makes them, but you can also get a similar item at Harbor Freight. They are about the size of a hamburger patty. They eat through 1 or 5 coats of paint as fast as you can move. I've done an entire car in a day. I got to say though I've not used them on aluminum, but wouldn't hesitate to try. My only reservation would be you might have to DA the whole boat with 80 grit if you scuff it up. I'll betcha a case of beer though I could do both in 1/10 the time it will take you using stripper.
 
I'm guessing puncture. It looks like a puncture and it is only on one side.
Yeah. I'll need to figure out a way to make it look like it's supposed to be there since I'm not planning on painting the aluminum.
 
If there is such a thing as a paint stripper that works worth a crap, I've not found it yet. I almost never use stripper after wasting a lot of time playing around with diff types. What works the best for me are those abrasive discs that go into an angle grinder. If you've been researching this I imagine you know what I mean. I think 3M makes them, but you can also get a similar item at Harbor Freight. They are about the size of a hamburger patty. They eat through 1 or 5 coats of paint as fast as you can move. I've done an entire car in a day. I got to say though I've not used them on aluminum, but wouldn't hesitate to try. My only reservation would be you might have to DA the whole boat with 80 grit if you scuff it up. I'll betcha a case of beer though I could do both in 1/10 the time it will take you using stripper.
I've not been overly impressed with the paint strippers. I mean, they kinda work but this paint is so thick and has been on there for so long, probably baking in the sun with the dark color that it just really got stuck on. I think it's a mixture of oil based and latex and it gets pretty gunky. I almost grabbed the grinder but was really hesitant to dig too deep into the aluminum. We will get it done, just slow and sloppy. I've got paint on everything in the process; door knobs, keys, watch, glasses, etc.
 
Still nibbling away at the paint removal. I've gotten the other side mostly done. Need to clean that up a bit and then move onto the transom. Need to also make sure the trailer support bunks are set right so I can get in the boat while on the trailer to work on the seats and dash. Walked the paperwork through and all registration is set and clean for both the boat and trailer. I've owned a lot of boats but this is the oldest at 65 years old. I think that's kind of cool. Just don't see too many of these oldies around.

And, yeah, still chewing on how to finesse that bow wound. Not so sure about eyes.
 
Still nibbling away at the paint removal. I've gotten the other side mostly done. Need to clean that up a bit and then move onto the transom. Need to also make sure the trailer support bunks are set right so I can get in the boat while on the trailer to work on the seats and dash. Walked the paperwork through and all registration is set and clean for both the boat and trailer. I've owned a lot of boats but this is the oldest at 65 years old. I think that's kind of cool. Just don't see too many of these oldies around.

And, yeah, still chewing on how to finesse that bow wound. Not so sure about eyes.
Without paint, not sure what you could do to hide that wound. Any possibility that you could cover it with the state registration sticker? Kind of a strange spot for that, but if you have wiggle room on placement of the registration number, maybe you could work something along those lines?

Metal colored paint? I've only used that stuff a little, and not on a boat. But it might hide that spot a little.

Failing that, leave it. It's a 65 year old boat. Make it part of the patina of the boat.
 
Okay. Next question, how to nurse the old steering wheel off for epoxy repair without damaging it. Bolt is off and have been gently tapping the back with a block of wood. I sprayed the threads with pb blaster and will give it time. I’m sure it’s been in there since 1959.
 

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If it was me, I'd try a puller. They look something like this:

Screen Shot 2024-06-02 at 6.00.01 AM.png

This pic was off the innerwebs so I could give you an idea of what they look like.

These things are made for heavy stuff, so "easy does it" is paramount. The advantage these devices have is that they apply even pressure around the item being pulled.
 
Thanks. Yeah, that thought crossed my mind. I’ll keep gently trying to pb blaster it off but may need to do that.
 

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