Instruction for cleaning

Cleaning is elementary for good painting results.

All work must be performed with the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) What does PPE include?

We can divide the type of cleaning into

object or component cleaning, type of contamination (oil, grease, dust, resin, etc.) and

the Cleaning between the work steps.

Everything that is cleaned before the work can not cause problems in the coating afterward!

The object- or component-cleaning takes place before the first work step. Depending on the nature of the component and/or the degree of soiling, the following can be used for this purpose

  • High-pressure cleaner
  • Brushes
  • Abrasive fleeces
  • Cleaning clay
  • Thinner
  • Degreasing agents
  • and other cleaners

can be used. Careful cleaning should be ensured. Likewise, after cleaning, the component should be dried with the same care. Water or cleaning residues can lead to defects later. Hygroscopic materials such as wood should not be cleaned very wetly due to the absorbent nature of the material. The water causes the material to swell and may destroy the component.
Solid woods can be lightly watered to raise the capillary hairs. More on this elsewhere.

Contamination by industrial dust

  • Use of cleaning plasticine. After using plasticine, it is usually necessary to polish the surface afterward.

Removal of grease, oil, and tar stains

  • Here not only water is enough! Depending on the type of soiling, you can use
    • Silicone remover
    • degreasing agents such as washing-up liquid
    • tar remover
    • High-pressure cleaner with soap
    • New galvanized steel sheets should be subjected to a wetting agent wash

Tree sap, bird droppings, and insect remains

  • To protect the paint and the environment, you can first put a cloth with very warm water with detergent on the contaminated areas.
    It is advisable to soak the cloth again with water after some time. Do not lift the cloth.
  • Bird droppings can destroy the paint structure with acids! Here I advise removing bird droppings immediately and not leaving them in the sun.
  • Edge zones can be removed with luck by polishing. The acid that has penetrated the coating can only be repaired by a new paint structure down to the bare sheet metal. With some sheet metal, the markings may reappear due to the acidity despite a new buildup. In this case, however, there is no patent solution!
    or the use of special resin, tar, and insect removers.

Cleaning between the operations

After all sanding work, the object is again cleaned dust-free. This can be done by blowing off and dusting with the dust binding cloth.
Contamination with hand perspiration or grease must be prevented here.
Wearing gloves is recommended (see also PPE – personal protective equipment).

A clean, grease- and the dust-free substrate is elementary for the coating build-up in each layer.
After sanding, filler or primer is also cleaned as described above.

Cleaning before coating

Before applying the paint, it is important here to clean the surface again with silicone remover and, depending on the paint application, with alcohol cleaner. In this step, the silicone remover removes grease and greasy substances. The alcohol or water cleaner removes the last salt residues from the surface.

Then the object is blown off again and wiped with the dusting cloth. Here there is a special feature of the various clothes.

First, there are the so-called „honey clothes“, which are very sticky from the surface.
These clothes should NOT be used for water-based paints. Rubbing with these cloths can cause streaking on the surface, which can show up in the waterborne paint. Thus, the paint finish would be „destroyed“ for some color tones. Likewise, the adhesion of the basecoat to the substrate is interrupted or disturbed by the residues.
The markings caused by the sticky residues can only be removed by repainting.
For this reason, please use the corresponding non-sticky dust-binding cloths for water-based paints.

Some example products* that can be used for cleaning (for most chemical products, preliminary tests on non-visible areas are necessary!)

For the water-based paint, you can get in the trade specially made for this purpose non-stick dust-binding cloths. This should be taken into account when purchasing the materials for the work to be performed.

Now the surface is ready for further paint application.

We also process solvents in the cleaning process. Here you should be aware that a respirator mask should also be worn during this work. For large surfaces, it is absolutely necessary!

Material and tool list

with sample products*

Disposable nitrile gloves

Dusting cloth „honey cloth“ for solvent-based materials or especially for water-based materials – „non-tacky

Silicone remover

EP thinner (slowly volatile thinner. Very good for large bare metal surfaces)

Microfiber cloths

Sanding fleece red (grit approx P240/P360 – before filler application or bare metal. Do not use on the paint!)

Grease and protein solvents (concentrates against stubborn insect residues, grill residues, etc.) – prior testing required!)

Insect remover (spray, soak, rinse. Of course it’s not that simple 😉 )


Work gloves

Disposable gloves

For long hair and working on rotating and cutting tools, tying the hair together is a must!

Safety goggles

Coarse dust mask for grinding and sawing work

Respirator mask for painting and cleaning A2P3

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