Getting paint off plastic...

So I picked up this sweet 83 YZ80 this weekend for a project, and it is in very good condition, except the kid who owned it painted the tank. I want to take it down to the original white plastic, and I don't want to f-up the plastic. Anyone have any pointers for doing this kind of thing?


Acetone should work. Very strong thinner which I have used on the rubber of inflatable dingy to attach Rubber handles. Used the acetone to prep the surface.

Remove the tank and test in it on the bottom side.

This is my best guess. Acetone is much much stonger than your standard paint thinner.

Also these new Orange "Oil" based cleaners might work but I doubt it. One more item is "Goof Off", but I think that may hurt the tank itself.

Acetone, I belive is your best choice.


I did that today. I bought a 90 XR200 yesterday. It was painted purple and turquoise.

I used BIX tuff job paint stripper. It will remove auto, powdercoat, enamel, and almost any paint. It is a water wash to nutralise.

It took the tank back to bright red. The white fenders the purple paint had stained a cute lavender shade. So I painted them flat black with flexirised bumper paint for plastic bumpers. I dont think it will hold up. its just till I can win some replacement fenders on ebay.

Before pouring on the acetone try it in a place that doesn't show. Acetone can attack many types of plastic and mar the surface. It may not hurt your plastic but I'd test it first.

I do this kind of stuff all the time!!! It's easy!! I just picked up an 85 YZ125 last week, that I have already sold. The bike was painted flat black, every peice of plastic in and out including the seat cover!!! The paint on the fuel tanks comes off quite easily with a home pressure washer. On the rest of the plastics I use easy off oven cleaner. Remove the parts from the bike, as overspray will usually damage other paint, aluminum, and anodizing. Spray a couple of coats of easy off on the plastic and leave it sit for a few hours, even over night. Spray off with COLD water. You will be amazed at how well it works. I even cleaned the seat cover with it it! Just let it sit for only a couple minutes though before rinsing. If you have your doubts in believing this, get an old painted piece of plastic like a model car or something. Spray it on, let it sit and rinse it off with cold water. The paint comes off like an old rubber coating.:thumbsup:

Damn...I want an 85 YZ125 :( Anyway, thanks for the help...I'll try that. I don't have a pressure washer, will the easy off work on the tank as well?

I have never used it on the tank, because I have never had to. Paint doesn't stick to plastic too well, it sticks even less to a fuel tank. Take the bike to a do it yourself carwash, or borrow a buddies pressure washer.

Thanks for the help dude...much appreciated:thumbsup:

I just bought a salvage(stolen) xr200 from the police auction. The seat and all of the plastics were spray painted-rattle can black. It looked like crap. I used the EASY OFF oven cleaner on everything. Let it soak for about an hour and hosed it off. Everything looks like new. GREAT TIP!

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