Sand or use paint remover on PolyLink

Recently bought a green kayak someone had painted black. Some of the black paint remaining although alot was power washed off.

The remaing patches are approx 4 x 6 some larger some smaller: Has anyone had any experience in removing paint from a Polylink 3 kayak. Should I sand…can I sand to deep? or try to remove with a chemical? Any help will be appreciated.

I don’t think
any plastics are going to respond to paint remover in a way you’d like. I patch my royalex canoes by melting abs in acetone. Luckily the acetone flashes off nearly instantaneously, but paint remover requires time to work. Probably has some cautionary statement on the instructions as well. Maybe a light sanding and paint over whats left.

If you
have access to a pressure washer, try to soffen up the paint with hot water and soap, let it sit in the sun, and keep applying soap and water for a few hours then pressure wash.

Have you tried a paint scraper?

Can you tell what kind of paint it is? If it is hard to scrape off, try the soap and hot water then scrape it off, if that doesn’t scratch it up.

Sanding will be a lot of work and will sand the plastic into uneven patches.

I would look into water based paint removers. Be careful it doesn’t melt plastic. Apply just enough to a test area to see how much you need and how fast it works.

If you can apply the paint remover then pressure wash it off. Be on the cautious side, and reapply if necessary, or scrape off what little is left.

If there is a paint store near by they know a good bit about stuff like that.

risky situation, but it’s probably doable

with paint removers the idea is to apply it long enough to remove the paint but not long enough to damage the surface

when you put the kayak in the sun, put some dark wet towels over the paint, saturate with hot soapy water, and leave it in the hot sun, keep applying hot water.

try a plastic paint scraper that won’t scratch the plastic, then maybe a pull scraper.

hopefully that will sofen up the paint enough, if not, be careful with the paint strippers, don’t get any in your eyes, damage your boat, etc.

Your Old Town polylink …

– Last Updated: May-21-08 12:29 PM EST –

.......... is a sandwich laminate construction of one "polyethylene" very thin layer laminated to both sides of the foam core material ......... the poly layer is "soft" and agressive sanding can penetrate it into the core , but if you focus on your sanding using a lighter high quality #220 grit paper , you can actually remove the paint without hardly removing any of the poly layer ........ this is accomplished by "not" applying heavy pressures to the paper when sanding but letting the paper do the work at it's own design speed , which will be slowly (let the tool do the work , not heavy pressure) ......... in any case , the original smooth (shine) surface of the poly layer "will" become roughened and sheen will be lost .......... Polyethylene "is" one of the more chemical resistent plastics , and it is not unreasonable to experiment with various solvents in your case due to limited available options ......... "TEST" wipe several times with Acetone over the existing paint and monitor the evaporation rate of the Acetone , you will see that it will evaporate very quickly and not soften the polyethylene (if softening does accure , don't continue)......... you may experiment with other quick evaporating solvents as well , some are much more aggressive than Acetone and monitoring the results to the poly are even more critical with those ......... I have poured Acetone directly onto Polyethylene and let stand until complete evaporation with out "any" softening at all .......... any abrassive scruber (kitchen pads) will aid in breaking the paint finish up simular to sand paper but will still roughen the smooth surface layer and result in loss of sheen ......... the only way to remove the paint and not effect the sheen is by liquid and cloth wipe repeating many many times .......... if you can see the original poly layer finish in between remaining painted areas as it sounds like you can , the question then is , " does it still have a sheen , or has been previously sanded" ......... if it has already been sanded once , then wiping off the paint to preserve sheen is not a factor (already lost it's sheen) , although repeatedly wiping down with the Acetone and allowing to evaporate between sanding "does" aid in sanding removal as it breaks down the paint ........ once the polyethylene has been sanded , the best thing to do is paint it (use bonding agent such as primer for first coat) , or just leave it all scuffed up and dull which isn't so great either .......... applying the primer coat is your best chance of any reasonable addhession to the poly because traditionally poly does not accept top coat finishes very well , or retain them for very long , so the preperation by sanding and sterilizing before primer coat is your most important step ........... spraying is the only way to go as far as I'm concerned , and spray many consecutive thin ghost layers allowing to cure or dry between ghost layers ....... these ghost layers will air dry quickly as opposed to one or two thicker layers ........ don't expect the paint to stay stuck perfectly forever though , but it is worth doing if you feel like it ........... the grey cloud appearence you discovered when you test sanded the paint is the result of the paint smearing into the soft surface of the poly , use Acetone to remove as much as possible before prime coat is applied , and wipe frequently with Acetone when sanding to aid in keeping the paint "out of" the poly surface as much as possible ......... don't be afraid to experiment on your boat because it is a used and painted Polyethylene , not high end boat ......... if you are going to use an electric sander such as a random orbit , be careful not to use much pressure at all , even consider starting with lighter paper such as #340 (the lighter the paper , the less aggressive it is) ........ remember , the primer coat will be your bonding coat to the poly and finish top coat paint you choose must be compatible with the primer you choose ...

Sounds like pilotwingz has a good answer
and very definitive.

I’m just curious. Was the whole boat painted black at one point? Perhaps the previous owner painted it black in patches on purpose. Camouflage pattern? Perhaps it served as a duck boat?

If it looks good as camouflage why sand/repaint/etc. when you can spend the time paddling your ‘stealth’ boat?

Seems odd to me that anyone would buy a green kayak and paint it black all over (previous owner) unless they were REALLY goth! If they did paint it black all over and it is now “patchy”, then the paint shouldn’t be that hard to remove as it has started to remove itself. That’s what made me think ‘duck boat.’

Again, just curious.

This is what I would do:

  1. hot sun, hot water, towls, plastic scraper. total cost less then a dollar. If the paint is latex and comes right off your done.

  2. hair dryer and plastic straper, be careful with the heat, but see if that works after soaking, etc.

  3. solvent, pilotwings had some good tips there.

  4. sandpaper. try it but it’s probably going to be a lot of work for patchy results. my guess.

    ok, this is getting kind of trolish… good luck!

I agree with islanders …
… do try the heat and water method first to see if the black paints’ bond with break from the poly … the heat will cause the poly expand some which may make the bond break easily , it is the least aggressive approach which is a good idea to try before more aggressive tactics …

duck boat???
Don’t know, but it is a good insight.

I’m more confident about the ability of
poly to withstand available paint removers. I would have had the job done by now.