removing paint from plastic ground effects



the paint on this car I am painting is really thick and I would like to remove it. I have heard of chemical strippers for plastics but I have never heard of anyone using it.

do they work or should I just sand, sand, sand?


Paint Fanatic
Staff member
The few 70's trans-ans i have done, I have sanded the paint off the flair pieces with 180 and the factory paint comes off real easy, don't really like the idea of stripper on these parts.

Bob Heine

I removed the paint on the urethane bumper and fiberglass ground effects on my 87 Corvette using a heat gun and putty knife. I initially used a single edge razor blade in a holder but the sheets of paint jammed against the holder. I counted 14 layers of paint and primers on the bumper. It was a custom paint combo put on at the Chevy dealer and they seemed to be playing with different colors (gold, copper and everything in between). In the few places where the paint really adhered, I hand sanded it off.


I have a bumper cover that the paint lifted and peeled in one area. I want to strip the rest of the bumper cover. It appears the raw plastic has a texture to it. How do I strip this cover? Do I sand it down to the bare plastic removing the texture? I'm painting it a different color.


If you have the ability to blast, you can use walnut shells IIRC. I used them on a 79 TA shaker scoop and it worked pretty well. I just drained the normal media out of my cabinet, filled it with walnut shells. When I was done I switched back, saving the shells in a 5 gallon pail to reuse until they are worn out.


Trying to be the best me, I can be
Soda blasting would be the most effective and also the least destructive way to remove the paint. Next choice would be using a special bumper cover paint stripper. SEM 77713 would work. It is designed to remove refinish coatings. Buy several cans as it takes quite a bit to do a bumper and is quite a bit of work, messy, and a pain in the a**. If you can find someone locally who does soda blasting that would be the ideal method as it would cut out all the mess and is much quicker.

Here is a link for the SEM. You can also get it at your local jobber.


evil painter
I've also had success with modern TEO plastic bumpers using aircraft stripper for flexible plastics which I've found at some pep boys stores.
Now if you have a part that has an actual texture to it, such as chevy avalanche, etc, then I'd sand the texture. In that case, you may be just as well off to just da , & then hand sand everything down rather than messing with stripper or blasting.


I sand most but some bumpers have to many hard to reach pockets to sand.
I've never had a problem using stripper on bumpers.
I do check first by doing a small unnoticed area test first.
The key is cleaning it thoroughly once stripped.
I use a red scotch pad and sanding paste to scrub it really good when done.
then I wash it with Dawn dish soap.
And make sure it's totally dry before priming.
Then Epoxy, of course.


I had a stripper that was made for plastic warp my front bumper on a 93 Firebird....but that was in high school and it could have been applied incorrectly.


I assume after being stripped and cleaned then you spray adhesion promoter before spraying epoxy primer ?? ? Thanks for the responses guys. I know someone that does soda blasting. I'm gonna go that route I believe.