All Replies on removing printing from PVC

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View Karda's profile

removing printing from PVC

by Karda
posted 11-10-2018 07:07 AM

17 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


7478 posts in 2709 days

#1 posted 11-10-2018 07:24 AM

Nail polish remover smears it but I would have to use too much to be practical [...]
- Karda

Can’t really help with a recommendation, but thought I’d point out that nail polish remover is basically just Acetone – sometimes with a little bit of coloring and/or perfume added. Bought as nail polish remover, you will pay through the nose for it. If that’s what is holding you back from using it, you can get gallons of it at the BORG for cheap. I believe it was around $13 a gallon at my local Sherwin Williams store last time I bought some (about 6 months ago). Also, PVC cleaner, which has always removed lettering and other stuff when I’ve used it in the past, is mostly Acetone (75%-95%).


PS: The wife hasn’t bought ‘nail polish remover’ in over a decade now. I just fill up her little 8oz bottle now and then when it runs low ;-)

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View WoodenDreams's profile


742 posts in 421 days

#2 posted 11-10-2018 09:27 AM

Test a high grit sand paper

View GR8HUNTER's profile


6447 posts in 1222 days

#3 posted 11-10-2018 12:32 PM

brake parts cleaner :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Hermit's profile


235 posts in 1835 days

#4 posted 11-10-2018 01:05 PM

The purple primer takes it off immediately but you’re on your own getting the primer off. A light sand may take it off or possibly use mineral spirits, lacquer thinner etc.

-- I'm like the farmer's duck. If it don't rain, I'll walk.

View johnstoneb's profile


3130 posts in 2683 days

#5 posted 11-10-2018 02:17 PM

Lacquer thinner works well

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View bondogaposis's profile


5541 posts in 2861 days

#6 posted 11-10-2018 02:32 PM

Nail polish remover is just lacquer thinner.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5751 posts in 3003 days

#7 posted 11-10-2018 03:12 PM

Guys, I was wondering about the lacquer thinner. I have a small piece of PVC and tried the thinner on it…didn’t even smear it around. DNA didn’t either. I’m out of acetone at the moment, but it seems to me that’s what the contractors at my plant (when i had a day job) used.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Karda's profile


1711 posts in 1064 days

#8 posted 11-10-2018 04:42 PM

thanks for the suggestions, didn’t want to use sand paper but that may work out anyway Mike

View Vicki's profile


1118 posts in 3854 days

#9 posted 11-10-2018 05:51 PM

I use sandpaper, works great.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Planeman40's profile


1452 posts in 3271 days

#10 posted 11-11-2018 02:17 PM

Also try alcohol. And be aware that acetone may melt the PVC pipe surface. It melts a lot of plastics. Try some on a piece of scrap PVC first.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View johnstoneb's profile


3130 posts in 2683 days

#11 posted 11-11-2018 03:33 PM

Lacquer thinner has always taken it off for me. You said nail polish remover was working for you and that is lacquer thinner in a small bottle with a high price.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View xeddog's profile


253 posts in 3517 days

#12 posted 11-11-2018 05:13 PM

I have also used an abrasive pad with some running water. If you need to keep a really smooth surface, some 600 or so wet-or-dry sandpaper under water will leave a smooth surface.


View Karda's profile


1711 posts in 1064 days

#13 posted 11-11-2018 05:31 PM

I said polish remover smeared it but it was hard, sandpaper work better and faster and gave me the rough surface I need. I thought that nail polish remover was a weak acetone

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

2014 posts in 672 days

#14 posted 11-11-2018 06:43 PM

whatcha makin ??

sandpaper it just to get some tooth – then spray it with Krylon enamel.


-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View roofner's profile


134 posts in 2793 days

#15 posted 11-12-2018 11:29 PM

I use acetone

View torus's profile


329 posts in 923 days

#16 posted 11-12-2018 11:42 PM

1. There are some “nail polish removers” without acetone. They most likely will not work.

2. Acetone is harmful both as vapor and through your skin – use gloves and good supply of fresh air.

3. Sand paper and rattle-can are working superb!

-- "It's getting better..." - put this on my RIP stone!

View CaptainKlutz's profile


1892 posts in 2004 days

#17 posted 11-12-2018 11:58 PM

Acetone works, just needs little scrubbing action with rag.

MEK works best, but also softens the PVC if use too much as it is primary ingredient in plastic welding cement.

lacquer thinner can work, depends on what your local brand of generic lacquer thinner is made from. Folks in CA or other EPA restrictive states with ‘safe’ lacquer thinner may be less effective.

+1 Use proper safety equipment when using solvents.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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