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I have a customized Mattel GT350 die cast car, but the current hot wheels paint isn’t my taste. Getting advice on how to remove paint from hot wheels over the internet and forums has proven to be futile. It was through costly trials and errors I managed to strip the paint and get excellent results.
I wrote this article to help many other model car enthusiasts strip the ugly paint. Reading through each step will help you avoid making mistakes in the long run. Remember to collect the tools and materials mentioned before preparing your diecast car for the process.
Why Remove Paint from Hot Wheels?
Paint stripping is an important job when creating a custom hotwheels. It helps remove the old paint and the decals and/or Tampos that does not suit your taste and preferences.
Leaving the hot wheels bare makes it easy to repaint with a new color. However, removing paint from hot wheels can be a daunting and intimidating experience for beginners.
Painting stripping also helps correct a poor past paint job. It gives the hot wheels a more uniform, polished, and finished appearance.
Keep reading this guide to learn how to remove paint from hot wheels and prepare them for something new.
Preparation for Painting
Hot wheels body prepping is a vital step in quality custom. It determines the final appearance of your diecast car after the new coat application.
Always protect the surrounding areas from damage during the paint stripping process. Ensure the area is well-ventilated to avoid the effect of paint remover odor.
Take apart the hot wheels and strip the old paint from them. Use fine sandpaper to wet sand these parts and clean them. Allow the diecast car parts to dry and repair any imperfections.
Tools & Materials
As with any project, the right tools help make the process go even smoother. Before painting, we naturally must remove the previous paint job.
Below are the essential tools and materials for removing paint from hot wheels:
- Drill: The tool is ideal for taking the hot wheels apart before removing the paint from them. Ensure the drill press can handle small and large rivet heads with the assorted drill bits.
- Vice Grips: Vice grips hold the hot wheels to spray with a paint stripper. It helps reduce the risk of coming into close contact with these corrosive paint strippers.
- Paint Stripper: The easiest way to remove paint is a chemical paint stripper like acetone (nail polish remover) helps remove the layers of finish of hot wheels casting. Use caution around plastic parts, as some paint strippers can ruin plastics. Use a brush or Q-tip to apply the chemical to the paint. These types of chemicals are harsh on the skin and highly scented.
- Toothpicks and Paper Towels: Toothpicks help scrape the bubble paint from the hot wheels casting. Consider thumbtack or wire brush to scrape the bubble paint from spots that toothpicks are less effective and efficient, but be careful to not scratch the metal underneath.
- Spray Paint Can and Brushes: Paintbrushes are suitable for applying paint strippers on the hot wheels casting. They are also ideal for removing dust and debris before applying the modeling paint. The spray can help a user apply the new modeling paint on the diecast car.
- Masking Tape: The tape helps hide some areas while painting others. This material is ideal for those wanting to use different colors on their hot wheels casting.
- Sandpaper: It is a vital tool for polishing or buffing the hot wheels bare casting. It keeps the casting clean before the application of the new color. With the proper attachments, a Dremel tool can help with this.
- Super Glue : It is ideal for putting hot wheels parts together after applying the new color. Exercise precautions when dealing with super glue.
How to Strip Paint from Hot Wheels?
In terms of removing paint from hot wheels, it isn’t all that difficult. It helps create a fresh start for customizing your diecast car with colors that suits your taste and preferences. Below are quick methods on how to remove paint from hot wheels:
Step 1: Split
Taking the diecast car apart is the first thing to do. Use a drill or drill press with a smaller bit to create a pilot hole and cut the rivet head using a larger bit.
Use a screwdriver to pry the bottom of the car. After removal, spread the diecast car pieces and see what you have got.
Step 2: Strip
Use a pair of vice grips and clamp the diecast car underneath. Put the painting stripper in a spray can and apply it to the hot wheel body.
When stripping paint, allow it to sit on the casting for a minute and use a toothpick to scrape bubble paint. After that, make sure to give the car a thorough cleaning. Use a paper towel as a way to clean hot wheels by wiping the surfaces and rinsing with hot water. Repeat the process to remove all paint traces.
Step 3: Wheel Swap
Getting the wheels from the hot wheels base can be challenging. Use a drill to remove the rivets and a wire cutter to cut off the locks.
If the vehicle has a metal base, use an axle and pop out the old wheels. If you want new ones, put the tires on the base and stick them with a few drops of super glue.
Step 4: Prime & Paint
Apply a primer coat on the hot wheels’ bare cast and wet sand to make things smoother. Rinse it thoroughly and dry it for the next paint. For stubborn dirt or grime, use a cleaner.
Select your favorite color and follow the guidelines on the spray can. Apply the first layer and allow it to dry before coating it again.
Step 5: Detail
The fun part is grabbing a paintbrush and adding color. Remember to mask tape areas that do not need painting. Take time to handle small sections at a time to avoid messing up. The options are endless in how you want to create your end result.
An example is, you can use a yellow color to coat the headlights and sharpie to add some details. Peel the masking tape and create beautiful stripes on the area.
Step 6: Finish It
Use super glue to put all parts together. Seal the rivet drillings and gaps between the base and casting. Set up the hot wheel car to its original shape.
Need To Read: How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Chevy Tahoe
Learning how to remove paint from hot wheels plays a crucial role during customization. On top of that, the process can be messy and cumbersome for beginners. But thanks to some trial and error, hopefully this article has sped up the process for you.
I hope this information gives you the confidence and peace of mind to learn how to strip paint from diecast cars. Feel free to share with friends or family and share your photo and experience in the comments section.