I recently discovered that my wife makes plastic models of cars, boats, planes, and things like that. I didn’t know this because I didn’t ask, but that’s okay because she never tells me. (It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I’m not that interested in plastic model airplanes and boats.) Anyway, I wanted to learn how to get the paint off of them, so I asked her. It turns out that she was too embarrassed to tell me about this stuff when she was a teenager, so she has never taught anyone how to do it. (I think she was too embarrassed to ask her father for help, because he would have said “Don’t worry about it, it’s easier than you

I had always wanted to paint my plastic models, but I didn’t know how to remove paint from plastic models. I read about an easy way to clean plastic models and have been using it since. It works!

After the paint dries, you may need to remove the paint from the plastic model. This can be done with a paint stripper, which is often available in a spray can. If you have a strong enough solvent, you may not need to use a stripper. The primer paint will come off the plastic model easily with very little effort.

Unless you’ve done some sort of primer or work to the plastic surface, it won’t usually work with paint right away. But now that you’ve ensured that the paint will last, you’re forced to remove it because you’ve smeared it or it’s the incorrect hue. As a result, the purpose of this essay is to show you how to properly remove paint off plastic models while avoiding damage to the plastic beneath.

The problem with removing paint off plastic models is that many of the solvents available may damage the plastic as well. In the end, you’re left with a situation that’s much worse than the one you began with.

Fortunately, removing paint is a do-it-yourself project! Here’s how to properly remove paint off plastic models.

What should I use to get paint off of plastic models?


This disinfectant is an inexpensive and efficient method to remove paint off plastic models.

A bottle of Dettol, two or three medium to hard bristle toothbrushes, a toothpick or pin, a big container, some paper towels, two rubber gloves, water, and newspaper are all required for this.

Because the combination may create a lot of fumes, you should do this in a well-ventilated environment. 

To begin, make the Dettol solution by mixing equal amounts disinfectant and cold water. The ratio might alternatively be 1:2, but it would need the model to spend more time in the solution, so just eyeball it!

Place the solution in a container big enough to hold the model, then carefully place the model within the Dettol solution.

Most models will need approximately 24 hours of soaking, while newer models with the most up-to-date undercoat and paint technologies may require up to 48 hours. 

When it’s time to take the models out, put on gloves since there are a lot of unpredictable chemicals in the container that may harm your skin. The paint should create a coating on top of the model that can be readily removed with a toothbrush.

Spread a layer of newspaper on the work area and scrape the paint off with a toothbrush.

And there you have it! You’ve successfully stripped the paint off your plastic mode and now have a beautiful, clean model to work with.

Cleaner for the Oven

In two methods, oven cleaner may be used to remove paint off plastic models. The conventional technique involves spraying it directly on the model, similar to how you would clean an oven.

After that, you wait for the bubbles to appear before wiping them away. Repeat as many times as necessary before completely submerging the model to finish.

The alternative technique is more time consuming, but it is also safer. Apply a little amount of over cleanser to a cloth and wipe it over the painted surface. You’ll have a lot more control over the cleaning this method. The paint should start to come off onto the cloth after a few tries.

If it’s not removing the paint as well as you’d want, be patient; the paint will eventually break down. Rinse the area with water after you’ve removed enough paint and let it dry.

If you need to take a break, rinse the area with cold water and allow the model to dry. This procedure may be restarted at any moment.

It’s worth noting that oven cleaning works better on a hot day for some reason, which may be both good and harmful. If you use this technique on a chilly day, you’ll be less likely to lose control. On a hot day, though, you might work twice as quickly, so the decision is yours.

Isopropyl Alcohol is a kind of alcohol.

Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) will be your greatest friend when the paint on your model becomes too tenacious. From pharmacists to your local hardware shop, you can buy this pretty much everywhere.

The greatest benefit of rubbing alcohol is that, unlike strong paint removers, it helps remove paint without harming the plastic.

Nonetheless, use a face mask to protect your body from the fumes and gloves to protect your skin, and follow the bottle’s directions for safe usage.

Pour the liquid directly on the afflicted region and clean with a cloth. Continue to work on it until the paint begins to fade. Allowing the paint to soften for a minute or two before attempting to scrape it off may be necessary.

Paint Remover with a Name

Paint remover or thinner is a strong option, so use it with caution since there’s a high possibility it’ll harm your plastic model in some manner.

Consider this a last-ditch effort. Your best option is to attempt removing the paint using a bit of the remover mixed with water. As you go, you should raise the remover’s concentration. Remember, you can always add more, but once you’ve ruined your model kit, there’s no going back.

Begin by washing the plastic model in cold water to remove any wet paint that has adhered to the body. Then, combine some clean water and a little amount of remover.

At this point, don’t use more than 20% remover since it may cause damage to the model. To ensure the plastic is safe, do a patch test on it, ideally on the base or someplace out of sight!

However, don’t keep the mixture on for too long since it may be too strong. Even if it doesn’t damage the plastic right away, chronic contact may cause the body to deteriorate.

What Tools Should You Use to Remove Paint off Plastic Models?

If you deal with plastic models often, there are a few tools you should have.


Nitrile and latex are the two most common options in this category. Both function well, but prolonged use of latex products may produce a skin response, such as itching and peeling of the hands, so keep an eye on yourself!


To handle and clean your brushes, miniatures, and pretty much anything else while you work, you’ll need a rinse pot, a stripping pot, and a water pot. These may be found almost everywhere, including most likely in your Tupperware drawer!

Cleaning Brushes and Instruments

Obtain a number of toothbrushes, pipe cleaners, toothpicks, cotton balls, and other similar items. You can use a regular toothbrush with simple bristles, but what you actually want are some various textures to assist you remove the paint from your plastic model in big or little places.

A Towel

If you don’t want to spend hours cleaning paint off your walls or table once the job is done, don’t forget about the towel. All you need is something big enough to sit on top of the work table. The paint will most likely fleck off the brush and splatter all over the place.

It’s simple to remove paint off plastic models with the proper equipment and methods, and you can give your plastic models a new lease on life.


For as long as he can remember, Peter has been constructing model trains. This site is a creative avenue for him to go further into various sizes and elements of the model train community and hobby. He is an ardent lover of HO and O scale.

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This is a (general) blog about all things science and engineering related. I am a hobbyist builder, and have been building models for about 10 years.. Read more about youtube removing paint from plastic models and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get paint off of plastic models?

You can use a mixture of vinegar and water to remove paint from plastic models.

How do you remove acrylic paint from plastic models?

Acrylic paint can be removed from plastic models with a mixture of acetone and isopropyl alcohol.

How do you remove dried paint from models?

You can use a mixture of vinegar and water to remove dried paint from models.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • how to remove enamel paint from plastic models
  • how to remove acrylic paint from plastic models
  • how to remove citadel paint from plastic models
  • how to remove spray paint from plastic models
  • how to remove paint from plastic model kits
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