How to remove paint from a racquet?

Ripper

Hall of Fame
Without removing or damaging the racquet material? I don't want to re-paint it, just leave it without paint. I'm thinking the best way could be, maybe, wet sandpaper in grade 1000 and a lot of care.
 

enwar3

Rookie
There are instructions in the stickies. If you're looking for information other than that, I can't help you =(

Maybe someone else can!
 

Ripper

Hall of Fame
There are instructions in the stickies.
Ok, it says there:

"Now that you've read the instructions of your paint stripper, apply the paint stripper to your racquet per the instructions... Wearing the rubber gloves to protect your skin, carefully scrape off the paint using either the plastic spoon (the spoon may melt, be careful!) or sandpaper."

The part I'm interested in is where it says: "the spoon may melt"!!! If paint stripper can melt plastic, isn't it, potentially, harmful to graphite? Or is graphite like metal, in the sense that it won't be affected by paint stripper?
 

Racketdesign

Semi-Pro
The spoon may melt as it is made from a thermoplastic material. Racquets are made from a combination of Carbon fiber and thermoset resin. Both are usually unafected by solvents such as paint stripper.

Having said that... during the process of moulding a racquet, there may be areas where moulding is less than perfect. These areas will be filled with a different resin and may be susceptible to the paint stripper.

Unless you are stripping back a fully braided racquet, I wouldnt bother. Un braided carbon fiber is pretty boring to look at and just looks grey / black.
 

Mad iX

Semi-Pro
There are different grades of paint strippers. The weaker ones you don't have to wear gloves but they probably won't remove the paint that well.
1000 grit sandpaper would take hours.
 

diredesire

Adjunct Moderator
Without removing or damaging the racquet material? I don't want to re-paint it, just leave it without paint. I'm thinking the best way could be, maybe, wet sandpaper in grade 1000 and a lot of care.
1000 grit sand paper would take an eternity, to be honest. You should pick up some Klean-strip, it's in a metallic orange can with (most often) a white cap. It's available at most home improvement stores (even fred meyer's carries it).

It'll bubble up the paint, and you can scrape it off. If you don't want any paint at all, and just bare graphite, steel wool will make quick work of the paint. It WILL however, mar/scratch up the primer underneath, which is more or less like a layer of paint. You'll want to work on that stuff with the sand paper. I'd start with 320-400 grit, and once you get most of the thick stuff off, move up to 800 grit for the finish.

If you have lots of tools available, a rotary tool with a sandpaper attachment will work wonders, too. It'll take you at least 3 hours, I'd guess.

Ok, it says there:

"Now that you've read the instructions of your paint stripper, apply the paint stripper to your racquet per the instructions... Wearing the rubber gloves to protect your skin, carefully scrape off the paint using either the plastic spoon (the spoon may melt, be careful!) or sandpaper."

The part I'm interested in is where it says: "the spoon may melt"!!! If paint stripper can melt plastic, isn't it, potentially, harmful to graphite? Or is graphite like metal, in the sense that it won't be affected by paint stripper?
Racketdesign said it well, it might melt depending on the make up of the plastic. Acetone (nail polish remover) will melt plastics, including polycarbonate (nalgene bottle material). Can you imagine how potent PAINT remover is? ;P

The spoon may melt as it is made from a thermoplastic material. Racquets are made from a combination of Carbon fiber and thermoset resin. Both are usually unafected by solvents such as paint stripper.

Having said that... during the process of moulding a racquet, there may be areas where moulding is less than perfect. These areas will be filled with a different resin and may be susceptible to the paint stripper.

Unless you are stripping back a fully braided racquet, I wouldnt bother. Un braided carbon fiber is pretty boring to look at and just looks grey / black.
Yeah, it is boring. It will look a little shiny/glimmery, but that's about it. Braided frames look SWEET. I have a fully stripped 6.0 85 that i've been meaning to paint, but I'm still debating what kind of color scheme to go with, and painting frames is very low on my to-do-list (currently i'm working on stringing videos!)

Also, an excellent point racketdesign mentioned is the "filler" material that smooths out imperfections in frames. It's similar to "bondo," if you've ever done car work. It fills in the pits, and it is easily sandable to form fit the frame. Those little nicks/etc will severely ruin a classic "bare" frame. It's one of the reasons my 6.0 85 is sitting in my closet. I want to simply clear coat that frame and hit with it, but there are small white filled in "dots" all over the frame. It's a shame.

There are different grades of paint strippers. The weaker ones you don't have to wear gloves but they probably won't remove the paint that well.
1000 grit sandpaper would take hours.
Yep. If you do want to start straight sand paper, i'd go with some wet-sand capable 320 grit (if available). 400, 800, and finish. You'll be sanding off a tiny bit of material whichever way ou go with.
 

Ripper

Hall of Fame
I am just curious , why are you removing the paint?
It's all scratched and looks like crap. Thought it would look kind of cool without any paint. However, now, I'm thinking about re-painting it black (apparently, I just don't like colors, lol). The doubt I, now, have is: why does the sticky talk about stripping the old paint? I think I'll just sand it a bit and use the smooth sanded old paint surface as a primer for the new paint. Does this sound wrong?
 

diredesire

Adjunct Moderator
It's all scratched and looks like crap. Thought it would look kind of cool without any paint. However, now, I'm thinking about re-painting it black (apparently, I just don't like colors, lol). The doubt I, now, have is: why does the sticky talk about stripping the old paint? I think I'll just sand it a bit and use the smooth sanded old paint surface as a primer for the new paint. Does this sound wrong?
It's OK to do, especially if you are painting the frame flat black.
However, if you plan to do multi toned paint jobs, it is best to prime the frame, so it has an even, smooth, well finished base. it's also helpful to have the same color as a base, it'll provide a more smoothed out job (colorwise) later. If you have accents etc, it might bleed through. You really shouldn't have anything to worry about with black, though.

Another thing about primer is that the paint will STICK evenly across the entire frame. With a base paint layer, you may have smooth areas, and rough(er) areas. The paint will stick better with the rough areas. Priming helps get an even texture across the entire frame.

HTH
 

fearless1

Rookie
Without removing or damaging the racquet material? I don't want to re-paint it, just leave it without paint. I'm thinking the best way could be, maybe, wet sandpaper in grade 1000 and a lot of care.
Fine grit bead blaster should do the trick. Fast, easy, no toxic chemicals, and very easy to control how much of the finish you want to remove. The end result will also produce a finish that is very clean, uniform and satiny.
 

AJK1

Hall of Fame
Every time you hit a ball you break the graphite fibres in your racquet, if it's well used it's probably due for replacement. Get a new one.
 
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