A Song for the Bus

Stripping paint on a schoolbus

Acetone, my friend
You scrub the paint so easy
You poor old solv, you see it’s only practical to use you on small areas darn it

5 Responses to “A Song for the Bus”

  1. Eric Wolf says:

    Keith, I wonder how easy it would be to just pressure wash that household paint off, maybe if you threw a chemical like simple green or (my choice) Sitz into it.

  2. Eric Wolf says:

    Sorry, my wits are NOT about me tonight. I didn’t mean Sitz (I don’t even think you can get it anymore, not as in sitz bath) I wanted to say, slather it in a real light coating of soygel (by FranMar) let it sit for about an hour and then pressure wash it off. Make sure you get it all off though, because that soy will get down under every coat of paint you have in the metal until it’s bare. Once the household paint starts buckling, time to pressure wash it off!

    Oh yeah, Franmar Soy Gel is non toxic but a little pricey. A little will go a long way though.

  3. robert says:

    Why don’t you have the blasted purple stuff blasted away with walnuts before you go nuts yourself ? It seems the yellow stuff and the primer come of anyway whatever you toss at it. Alternatively you could employ the local population of kitties with a lot of scratching potential. Valerian root is your friend no matter what ;-)

  4. neufeld says:

    Eric, my brother and I did try pressure washing (with no additive) and the paint didn’t come off. I’d be interested in hearing more about your experience with soygel and whether it’d really let me take off only one coat. I’d also like to know more about its environmental impact — the only place we have to do this is outdoors where there’s no real way to collect what washes off.

    Robert, you’re suggesting something like

    I can strip a coat of paint
    with one swipe of my claw

    ? :-)

    Seriously, though, I’ve given the paint job some thought and I’m not ready to undertake a full, high-quality recoat right now. It’s very labor-intensive (I’ve been doing it on my van and there’s a post in the works) and I don’t want that to stand between me and using the bus. Even if I could snap my fingers and have all the paint fall off, I don’t think I want to tackle the repaint.

    So I’m thinking pretty hard about giving it a light once-over with the fine wheel on the angle grinder, pressure washing it, and rolling on a coat of white enamel for now. It should improve the appearance, get rid of the purple, reflect more sun, and shouldn’t make it any more difficult to strip to bare metal later (the coarse wheel takes all the paint right off) when I am ready to repaint the whole thing.

  5. Eric Wolf says:


    Soy Gel is non-toxic, as well as bio-degradable (I use it with no filter gear on my face). That is it’s claim to fame. People use it to pull stain out of outdoor concrete, and all kinds of things all the time, and just wash it into the soil. I actually called FranMar and asked them *how* non toxic it was, and they said, and I quote, “Well, you can eat it, if you like poo-ing non stop, but it won’t kill you.” (and the award for best vendor response goes to…). It is pure soybean that is concentrated into some kind of gel binder. It will soak into anything porous (even plastic, which is why they have to flourinate the inside of their containers before shipment)

    I’ve taken off latex paint from wood furniture in a couple of hours and it will leave most of the underlying shellac if I am very careful to not let it go too far. Other times, I’ve had to go all the way down to bare wood. When I restored my wife’s school girl desk that she inherited from her mother, it had a layer of black and yellow latex, then a layer of white, and then the stained finish. Best suggestion I have is to do it in a small test area like you have been doing if you wanna try it out.

    Here’s their Youtube channel if you are interested:


    The one on the blue chair as well as the concrete stain removal might be especially interesting.

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