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How to Strip Paint Off a Resin Statue

Updated July 20, 2017

The paint on resin statues may crack or peel over time or owners may simply desire a different look. It is possible to simply paint over the existing paint job but sculptural details may be obscured by so much paint. Numerous methods can be employed to strip the paint off resin statues. Most of them involve using chemicals to loosen the paint and then scrubbing off what does not slip off on its own. This method requires commonly available materials and can be employed by most careful amateurs and hobbyists.

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  1. If the paint is flaking, scrub the dry statue with a toothbrush to remove what is already loose.

  2. Pour the degreaser into a plastic container. Carefully submerge the statue in the degreaser and allow it to soak about 24 hours.

  3. Remove the statue from the degreaser and scrub any paint off with a toothbrush. Use warm water to help remove paint while scrubbing. Continue until the paint is removed or scrubbing ceases to be effective.

  4. If necessary, repeat steps 2 and 3 to remove more paint. Continue until as much paint as possible has been removed.

  5. As an option, for stubborn paint, spray Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner on the statue and seal it in a plastic bag. Leave for 30 to 60 minutes and then scrub off any paint with a toothbrush.

  6. Pick and scrape off paint flecks with a hobby knife or dental tool.

  7. Wash the statue with dish soap and warm water. Allow to dry thoroughly before repainting.

  8. Tip

    If the plastic container is not large enough to submerge the entire statue, it is possible to soak only parts of the statue at a time. The degreaser is unlikely to damage the statue unless it is excessively soaked. Castrol’s Super Clean and other degreasers are widely available in auto-parts, hardware and retail stores. If Super Clean is not available, Purple Power or Greased Lighting are two common alternatives.


    Always wear rubber gloves and eye protection. Children should not strip the paint off resin statues without proper protective clothing and close supervision by an adult. Do not use metal containers for soaking. Degreasers can eat through them. Make sure to dispose of or store chemicals according to instructions on the packaging. Particularly stubborn factory paint jobs may require extremely powerful, dangerous solvents to remove all the paint. Degreasers and Easy-Off will generally remove enough to make it possible to repaint the statue without visible flaws from older paint that could not be removed.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Toothbrushes
  • Gallon jug (or more for larger statues) of Castrol’s Super Clean or comparable degreaser
  • Plastic container large enough to submerge statue
  • 1 can Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner (optional)
  • Plastic bag large enough to hold statue (optional)
  • Hobby knife or dental tool
  • Dish soap

About the Author

Gary Powl began his career as a professional journalist in 1989, serving as a copy editor, reporter, columnist and supervisor. He now works in a paleontology lab, molding and casting fossils, and runs his own molding/casting business. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Colorado State University.

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