paint thinner + perspex

Hi,
At a local community centre I need to clean paint from perspex windows but despite going to several diy shops I can't find anything which will not eat into the plastic. Does anyone have any ideas on what to buy or where to get it ?
thanks, dee
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dee wrote:

What's the paint? Gloss? Emulsion?
There aren't many solvents which will dissolve the paint leaving the perspex intact - perspex is horribly easy to dissolve.
--
Grunff

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Grunff wrote in message ...

Are you sure the windows are perspex? Normally 'plastic' windows are polycarbonate one trade name of which is makrolon. I think this is more resistant to some paint solvents. If you are trying to get spray paint off then there are proper 'vandal' cleanup preparations. Maybe one of the orange oil based cleaners might help. Following Grunff's lead, first find out the paint you are up against.
Bob
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dee wrote:

1) Are you sure it's Perspex? It might be some other type of clear plastic.
2) How much paint (great splats, pools, and drips, or tiny spots) ?
3) What sort of paint is it? If it's emulsion, you might get some joy using meths (test plastic somewhere inconspicuous first!).
4) Brasso is good for polishing Perspex.
J.B.
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Depending on the type / amount you may be able to remove it with those "razor blade" type paint scrapers used at the shallowest angle possible. Then Brasso or similar if you need to remove fine scratches.
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Thanks for all the replies so far. To answer few questions: 1) No I am not sure it is perspex - I should have said 'some sort of plastic' ! 2) Very much - around 2 solid layers + little bits of other layers over one set of door windows and one other window 3) Car / graffitti spray
Thanks again, dee
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dee wrote:

What are you hoping the windows will be like when you're done? Totally clear? Clear enough to let light through?
For this type of paint, you need to use cellulose thinner. This is a mixture of ethanol, propanol and ethyl acetate (and various other alcohols, depending who you buy it from). Readily available from anywhere that sells car paint. But it almost definitely will change the appearance of the plastic, making it cloudy/smeared. It will also be a lot of work to remove - this isn't a wipe-on wipe-off solution; much rubbing will be required.
--
Grunff

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Be far quicker to run a sander over it. I cant imagine getting all that off and having clear plastic afterwards.
Regards, NT
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dee wrote

Tried nail varnish remover? I dunno if it will damage the perspex but it's worth a try I would say. Have a go with in an inconspicuous corner.
Peter
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Peter Taylor wrote:

Acetone will completely dissolve perspex, and soften polycarbonate significantly.
--
Grunff

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Grunff wrote

Really? My wife's stuff seems so mild - hardly any smell etc. But what do I know about chemistry? I once tried cleaning the garden sink using builders' brickwork cleaner (hydrochloric acid) - it got rid of all the cement someone had painted on it, but I ended up with a chrome-less brass waste fitting. Brand new it was too!
Oh well, just a thought...
Peter
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That's cos nail-varnish-remover as sold at cosmetic counters isn't pure acetone, but a water-acetone mix with a bit of colouring and perfume too. Not only does that keep the materials cost down, but it makes the product less immediatealy flammable: handy when someone's taking off their nail varnish while lighting a ciggie...
Stefek
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Hi Dee,
definitely do not use anything like acetone, cellulose thinners, ethyl acetate. Have you considered caustic soda? Can be bought as a powder to mix with water for paint stripping from DIY shops, or as drain cleaner and thicken with something neutral say flour to form a paste. Very messy but removes all except cellulose car paint, have been stripping furniture covered in Lord knows what for years with it. PROTECT EYES - SKIN - DON'T let SOLUTION OVERHEAT WHEN MIXING. Nasty stuff.
Regards Al, Dorset
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AL wrote:

Which is exactly what's on the window, if you'd care to read the rest of the thread.
--
Grunff

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