Blast Cleaning options for a Porsche

If you’re wondering how to remove the paint from your Porsche 911, 912 or 936, then read on.  We’ve worked directly with these models, and always love seeing them at our facility.  Not only do we clean complete shells, but we’re also working on engine casings and components on a regular basis.  Here’s some more information on the various models we can really relate to:

How to strip paint from a Porsche 911

The Porsche 911 oozes history, and is a long standing and ever popular icon in the motoring world – with over 1 million examples produced to date.  It can trace its roots right back to 1959, when Ferdinand Porsche first put pen to paper, sketching what eventually became the 911.  The 911 acts as the larger, comfier replacement to the 356 model.  The hugely popular air-cooled engines were produced from 1963 right up until 1998.  The aluminium engine casings and covers can also be vapour blasted, to help return them to their original beauty.

Of course, we strongly believe that to get the best bare-shell finish for your Porsche, you should take advantage of soda and media blasting services. Soda cleans the paint away without the worry of damage.  It’s great on areas such as the roof, bonnet and front wings on Porsches.  Soda isn’t powerful enough to remove rust or filler though.  For that we utilise crushed glass media.  This process removes tougher coatings, still with minimal concerns around heat distortion.  Crushed glass also leaves the surface with a slight key, so it’s ready to paint.

The other option to remove paint from a Porsche is chemical stripping.  This process involves heating up your vehicle, then completely submerging it in a variety of chemicals (acid and neutraliser) which attack the various coatings making them peel away.  There are concerns surrounding the long term reliability of this process and it’s also worth noting that aluminium, carbon fibre and thin steel should not be acid dipped.

Edmonds Restos - Porsche 911

Common Issues with the 911 (and other Porsches too!)

White underseal

Practically every car produced by German manufacturers from the 1950’s through to the 1990’s has a particularly tough variety of underseal applied.  We’ve tried and tested a variety of stripping methods – from acid dipping to shot blasting. The only thing that works to remove the underseal seems to be burning it and then attacking with a wire brush. Understandably, we don’t offer this as a service, and wouldn’t recommend it (just ask Google how often rust gets into your eyes!).

In truth, if the underseal is this tricky to remove, then it must be doing it’s job of protecting the steel shell.  As a general rule, we remove the paint covering the underseal, and any bits that maybe loose/flaking.  These areas are left exposed so that you can see where new underseal needs to be applied.

If you want to attempt removing the underseal with a wire brush, we can remove the residual ‘bits’ for you (as they’ll be loose by this point!) as part of a complete shell clean.

Sound deadening

Sound deadening isn’t a huge issue to remove, but it does need some consideration.  If you watch National Geographic’s Car SOS, you may have seen our secret way to do this when vehicles are with us for complete shell cleaning.  Alternatively, a chisel and hammer should do the trick – it is a labourious task though, of course.  You may decide to leave it in place, which is not a problem, it’s the age old predicament that you do not know what the sound deadening is covering up though.

FillerPorsche bonnet with filler exposed

Definitely not a ‘Porsche only’ issue, but many, many Porsches have large amounts of filler in them.  All over them. Especially their panels, where they’ve been dinked, damaged, crashed into (thin racing pedigree) – and their roofs too on that note.  We record all filler that we find (sometimes it will blow off with the paint, but usually it’s thick enough that it doesn’t lift away with our first clean.  We then remove the filler back down to the base metal – unless it’s especially thick.  If this is the case, we contact the owner before progressing – as you may decide to leave it in place.


Flash Rusting

Paint Primer Porsche

To help prevent rusting of your exposed steel shell and panels, we offer a paint priming service for all vehicles worked on at our facility. Epoxy paint priming is our most popular option – as we are able to provide the paint, specially supplied by our local paint shop.  It provides protection to shells and panels during transportation and storage. Like everything we do, this process is completed in its own, purpose built area within our Wolverhampton facility.

Examples of blast cleaning Porsches

Ex-Racing Porsche 911 shell stripping

This Porsche 911 was used for racing.  It’s owner removed as much weight from the vehicle as possible.  He even resorted to cutting holes into the rear arches, which will most likely be replaced to reinstate the strength that could have been lost from the shell.  The car has since been retired and plans are to return it to a road-legal vehicle.  As part of this journey, the owner asked us to remove the paint, filler and rust.

Porsche 911 on roll over jig How to strip a Porsche 911 - car pictured on arrival

How to strip a Porsche 911 - car photographed on arrival Close up of Porsche 911

How to strip a Porsche 911 - rear quarter Porsche 911 offside rear quarter

inside of Porsche 911 Porsche 911

Once the paint had been stripped

You can see the white underseal in the arches.  We also left the seam sealer in place:

How to strip paint from a Porsche 911 - soda blasting How to strip paint from a Porsche 911 - blast cleaned rear arch

Blast cleaned Porsche 911 Blast cleaned inside of Porsche 911

Finally, we paint primed the shell and panels, so that they were protected during transportation and storage.

Paint primed Porsche 911 How to remove paint from a Porsche 911 - paint primed

How to remove paint from a Porsche 911 - paint primed How to remove paint from a Porsche 911 - paint primed

Porsche 912 Targa

In 1963, Porsche decided to create the 912 as a more affordable alternative to their 911 model.  Less than 2600 ‘Targa’ models were created making them an unusual and increasingly sought after model, almost 50 years after their production ceased.  Work requirements for this model are very similar to the 911 – they have the same ‘issues’ – white underseal, thin body panels – particularly the bonnet, and (often) a lot of body repairs that have been hidden by filler work.

This 1968 model was undergoing a complete restoration by a local engineering company.  To begin the transformation, we used glass media to strip away the various layers of old paint and underseal from the shell, doors and bonnet.  Once blast cleaned and excess media cleaned away, we then used an acid etch primer to coat the car with a protective seal, to prevent the steel rusting whilst awaiting new paint work.

Porsche 912 targa blast cleaned Porsche 912

Porsche 912 porsche 912


Porsche 356

One of a long line of restorations that we’ve worked on on behalf of DC Customs who are based in Dudley.  This particular example came to our premises to be completely blast cleaned and primed.  The paint was hiding poor repair work and accident damage – all of which has since been repaired and reworked by Darryn and his team.


Why choose SBL?

We’ve worked on a number of Porsches to date, each one subtly different. That means a keen eye is always needed to pay particular attention to the details.  We utilise a variety of cleaning processes but mainly focus on soda and media blasting as time and time again they produce the best results.

If you’re still considering how to remove the paint from a Porsche, why not give one of our team a call on 01902 256690 to discuss your requirements further.  Alternatively, send us a message via our contact page.