How to remove paint from a classic Porsche 911

How to remove paint from a Porsche 911

Porsche 911

If you’re wondering how to remove the paint from a Porsche 911, then read on!

The Porsche 911 oozes history, with well over 1, 000, 000 produced to date.  It can trace its roots right back to 1959, when Ferdinand Porsche first put pen to paper and sketched, what eventually became, the 911.  A larger and comfier replacement to the 356 model.    The hugely popular air-cooled Porsche 911s were produced from 1963 up until 1998.  The engine was replaced with the water-cooled version in ’98 and continues to be produced today!

How to strip paint from a Porsche 911

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 (acid leeching), it’s also worth noting that aluminium, carbon fibre and thin steels should not be acid dipped.

Common Issues with the 911

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 can then be re-applied if required.

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.

Why choose SBL?

We’ve worked on a number of Porsche 911s 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.

Epoxy paint priming is a popular option that we are pleased to offer.  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.

Just take a look below at a few of the Porsches we’ve worked on to date.

Some quick examples of the Porsche 912 Targa and Porsche 356 can be found by clicking on these links too.

Examples of paint removal from Porsche 911’s

Ex-Racing 911

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

If you’re still considering how to remove the paint from a Porsche 911, 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.