There are times when you’ll need to remove paint from miniatures. The best solution would be to use the most effective and low-cost methods.
Generally, you can easily remove paint from miniatures using an ultrasonic cleaner or a chemical solvent. The approach you select is mainly informed by your knowledge and budget.
Here, we’ll help you understand the best approach to removing paint from miniatures.
1 – Using An Ultrasonic Bath
An ultrasonic bath is a small device that employs the principle of ultrasonic cleaning to clean miniatures. The principle makes use of ultrasound (20-40 kHz) to produce a cleaning effect.
To use the device, just put your dirty miniatures inside, close the lid and initiate the program. Within no time, your miniatures will be sparkling clean. However, you might have to scrub it with a toothbrush.
One benefit of employing this approach is that it’s easy to access parts that are loose yet hard to reach. Compared to chemical solvents, an ultrasonic bath is easy and quick to use. Many people prefer using an ultrasonic bath thanks to the absence of fumes that can lead to skin or lung irritation.
Avoid having many cycles at once if you choose to use an ultrasonic bath. Cheap devices usually build up a lot of heat that can potentially damage the miniature.
Below are simple steps for using an ultrasonic bath:
- First, check your device’s user manual before anything.
- Put your dirty miniatures in it, close the lid and initiate the program.
- Repeat the process for about 3-5 cycles. If necessary, you can do more cycles.
- You can include dishwashing soap in your bath. However, we recommend using only plain water to avoid potential damage to your device.
2 – Chemical Solvents
Chemical solvents are mainly used for plastic and metal miniatures. Be careful while using chemical solvents on resins since the material could become mushy and soft.
However, before you apply the solvent to your miniature, we recommend trying out a throw-away model to monitor the results. This is the only way to determine whether the miniature will withstand the treatment.
Follow the steps below to use chemical solvents effectively:
- First, select a chemical solvent and fill it in a jar. Place your miniature into the jar and give it enough time to soak. We recommend that this process take 3-24 hours for the best result. However, check your miniature from time to time to ensure that no damage occurs.
- Remove the miniature from the jar after the solvent turns into a soft, loose slime. At this point, you can scrub it with a toothbrush to give it a sparkling finish.
- Dry your miniature to let off chemical solvents. Luckily, most chemicals are volatile and will dry quickly when left for a few minutes. You can rinse the miniature using clean water and wipe it with a clean cloth.
- Keep your chemical solvent in a safe place for reuse in the future. Most solvents can be reused for years.
You’ll notice that old paint will take more time to come off than new paint. If the paint fails to come off completely, consider using an ultrasonic bath discussed above.
But what are the best chemical solvents to use for this purpose? Let’s break them down below:
This solvent has proven to work effectively in removing paint from miniatures. However, with certain miniatures, you might require harder scrubbing. We highly recommend it for plastic miniatures.
Depending on the type of paint, you’ll have to soak your miniature between 3-48 hours. Miniatures with thicker paint layers will require more time. Just ensure you use enough Dettol to cover your miniature.
After soaking, scrub the miniature with a toothbrush to give it a perfect finish.
You can either use whisky or other types of alcohol. In most cases, people use methylated or isopropyl alcohol. The two are effective for dissolving miniatures. With whisky, don’t consume it after using it on your miniature.
Like with Dettol, soak your miniature in a jar full of whisky. Leave it there for some time before scrubbing it with a toothbrush.
The only downside with whisky or alcohol is the smell it’ll leave your miniature with after application.
This is an effective solvent whether you’re working with acrylic or oil-based paints. You can also reuse it for several years, especially when stored well. Additionally, it guarantees good results on both fresh and old paint.
Like with Dettol and alcohol, pour acetone into a container. Insert your miniature into the container and leave it there for some time. Finally, brush it well with a toothbrush. Alternatively, you can wipe it with a rag.
Simple Green Concentrated Formula
The Simple Green product you use should be the concentrated formula. Since this product is water-based, it isn’t as aggressive as other solvents.
To use the solvent, put your miniature in it and leave it there for about an hour. After that, brush it well with a toothbrush to give it a sparkling finish.
Safety Measures When Taking the Removing Procedure
Since you’re dealing with chemicals here, you should be careful not to harm yourself or those around you. This is only possible if you:
Wear A Protective Mask
Some chemicals emit poisonous fumes that might harm your breathing system.
For this reason, we recommend a ventilator mask. Avoid using normal dust masks since they’re only meant to prevent large dust particles and not tiny particles from chemicals and fumes.
We all know that most chemicals lead to skin irritation and, in the worst cases, serious burns.
It would therefore be wise to protect your skin from getting into contact with such chemicals. There is no better way to do this than using a pair of disposable gloves.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
While applying the chemicals to your miniatures, ensure that you do so in a properly ventilated space.
If possible, open your doors and windows. We recommend carrying out the process in an open space outside your house.
Safeguard Chemicals from Pets and Children
Without question, pets and children are the most vulnerable and shouldn’t be exposed to chemical solvents.
Whether during usage or storage, ensure that everything happens away from pets and kids. The chemicals are harmful and cause death in the worst cases.
Removing paint from miniatures is easy, especially as long as you have the right tools.
Generally, you can use either an ultrasonic cleaner or a chemical solvent for effective performance.
Chemical solvents are available in different forms, including acetone, Dettol, and whisky. For the best ultrasonic cleaner, you can try the DK sonic digital cleaner.
To safeguard yourself, ensure you observe the above safety measures.