Normally when I go to strip pieces I use fume free Easy-Off oven cleaner which costs me around $8/can (I used to get the spray bottle which was easier to use but they no longer made it anymore and they switched to the cans apparently). When I was at the supermarket picking up a new bottle, I noticed this “Guaranteed Value” one for only $1! I thought to myself, are all oven cleaners equal in the area of stripping paint? For $1, I’d be happy to find out! So I grabbed both and waited until I had something to strip to give it a whirl. That day came today when the little gaming miniature I ordered needed it’s beat-up, paint job removed! Since I’ve done a tutorial on using Lestoil to strip, I decided to document a tutorial on how to use oven cleaner to do the same while also testing out this other cleaner. So here goes:
What you’ll need:
Easy-Off or Guaranteed Value Oven Cleaner
Liquid soap (dish soap is probably best but any soap will do really)
Respirator mask (for safety)
I did this part outside seeing as the fumes can be pretty potent from the cleaner and it was a nice day out so I took the safer option lol. However, I noticed that this one was less ‘offensive’ than the Easy-Off but was a bit more fume-y I guess? The smell was nicer and more mild but the fumes that came off were more potent if that makes sense. Easy off is a nose explosion of lemon and chemical and I do have to wear a mask at all times for that one.
First, don your gloves. You may want to get ones that go down your arms because I accidentally got some on my wrist and it started burning! 0_o so I ran inside and washed it off quickly. So this one also seems a bit more caustic than the Easy-off since I have touched the Easy-off before and never had it feel like that.
Next, spray the model really well on all sides with the cleaner. (Do not do this on or near a “good” surface).
Once sprayed, place in the bag and shoot the can in the bag for a bit until there’s a good amount of foam in there. I also notice that this brand has much better foaming action than the easy off as well. It’s much thicker foam and stays foamy longer. (If your bag is too small for the piece, stand it in an old bucket, etc. You may need to keep reapplying when the foam dissipates and drips off the model. The good thing about the bag is that eventually most of the foam will settle and your piece will be sitting in the ‘juice’).
Next, flatten the foam and contents in the bag down towards where your piece is so it’s all covering the piece.
Then fold over the bag so all you have is the pocket of cleaner encompassing the piece.
Wait…..mine took about 2 hours. Best to keep checking on your piece every hour or so to make sure the cleaner is not eating into it. Remember, this was a test on pewter so less cahnce of the cleaner eating into it. I have yet to try this one on resin though but I have used Easy-off. Easy off will start to eat the resin if you leave it on too long so I’m sure this one would as well and given how my skin felt when I touched it, probably more so!
When your’e ready, take your piece over a sink or garbage pail or what have you and start scrubbin’! I use a nail brush I got at the dollar store. Old toothbrushes work well too and the toothpics can be used to get in any small crevices like manes, tails and muscle grooves.
Once you’ve scrubbed off all your paint, rinse the piece. Apply some soap and rub around.
Then take some baking soda and sprinkle it on generously. Create a paste with the soap and rub it all around getting in all the crevices and creases. This will bind with any residues on the piece and help clean it off. It also gives a very light polishing to it. Rinse and then repeat as many times as you see fit. On the final rinse, apply ONLY the baking soda, no soap. This will get off any residue from the soap that may be on the horse. Then do your final rinse.
Voila! And there you have it–a nice, clean piece!
Overall this $1 oven cleaner worked REALLY well. I don’t know if it was because of the paint used on the piece or if it’s that good but all I can say is it worked! Very little effort in scrubbing and it got all of those crevices. I only had to use one toothpick for around the tail where I couldn’t get the big brush. I’m super impressed!! I do notice that it does leave a bit more of a film than the Easy off does but I still have to prep this piece anyway and wash again so it should be fine after that. I actually prefer this one over they Easy-off! Looking forward to seeing how it does on materials other than pewter though. But so far, for pewter, this will be my go-to now!