How to remove paint from Bakelite

Written by joshua black | 13/05/2017
How to remove paint from Bakelite
Restore your Bakelite collectibles. (ziquiu/iStock/Getty Images)

Bakelite was a common material used for creating sturdy household goods (including telephones) and jewellery in the early 1900s. If you are trying to remove paint and restore a sturdy Bakelite object to its original form, you can accomplish this using heavy-duty paint stripper. Bakelite is a very durable material and its properties allow it to withstand exposure to harsh chemicals. This process should only be used on sturdy objects.

Things you need

  • Paint stripper

  • Metal bucket

  • Shoe polish the colour of your Bakelite

  • Cloth rags

  • Putty knife

  • Coarse brush

Fill the metal bucket with paint stripper approximately the depth of the object laying flat.

Soak the object in the paint stripper a few hours, or until the paint begins to peel off easily in small sheets.

Remove the paint. Using a putty knife, gently scrape off the paint. Remove any hard-to-reach areas with a coarse brush.

Wipe off the excess paint stripper with a rag. Allow the Bakelite object to dry overnight.

Restore the Bakelite object to its original lustre by polishing it with a rag dipped in shoe polish the colour of your object.

Tips

  • This method is to be used for larger, sturdy items. This process could damage small jewellery pieces, so you'll want to test a small piece of the item before dipping the entire thing in paint stripper.

Warnings

  • Make sure that you use the paint stripper in a well-ventilated and wear eye protection. The fumes can be very toxic.

Things you need

  • Paint stripper
  • Metal bucket
  • Shoe polish the colour of your Bakelite
  • Cloth rags
  • Putty knife
  • Coarse brush

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