Spray paint remover

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Spray paint remover

Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 31, 2006 11:08 am

I saw this today and thought it might be worth a shot for removing spray paint in a cave. I haven't tried it or even heard of it before, so if anyone has any experience with it or buys some and tries it, let us know what you think.

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001468.php

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Postby John Lovaas » Oct 31, 2006 12:31 pm

Eek! It's a mix of MEK, toluene, and trichloroethylene. You'll definitely get a good buzz on if you use that in a cave. That cocktail will remove any sort of paint or finish from any sort of surface, to be sure! I don't think humans in the cave would like it much- nevermind the critters!

That being said, I have to say Crown makes a lot of really effective(but really heavy duty solvent based) spray compounds. They make some great spray-on greases, and used to offer a 2 stage spray-on "Teflon"- PTFE- coating system. Pretty cool stuff, but I would never use that stuff in anything less than a really well ventilated space.

As an auto painter friend once told me about some of the two stage paints that people used incorrectly- "First you get a headache, then you drop dead."
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Oct 31, 2006 3:22 pm

Eek! It's a mix of MEK, toluene, and trichloroethylene. You'll definitely get a good buzz on if you use that in a cave. ...I don't think humans in the cave would like it much- nevermind the critters!

"Anti-Vandal Spray" ??? I think it is meant to be sprayed on vandals, not on their paint!! :rofl: :banana: :bananaguitar:

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Postby Grandpa Caver » Oct 31, 2006 5:57 pm

All I can say is; I'm glad I dont work where they make that stuff! The trichlor alone is enough to make me shudder.

I'm not sure it would repell vandals but it would likely make em forget what they were doing and go pass out somewhere!
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Postby Ralph E. Powers » Oct 31, 2006 8:37 pm

Hell, I'd be all for that... as long as they pass out in a jail-cell for vandalizing other caves. :grin:
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Postby Teresa » Nov 1, 2006 10:36 am

Also beware of orange citrus oil graffiti/paint removers.

We found some at Wally World, read the label (2 people with college level chemistry educations) decided it might be worth a shot--not too noxious if cleaned up afterward. Sprayed the orange foamy gunk on the cave wall attempting to loosen bright blue enamel. Waited the 10 minutes. Then we had blue AND orange gunk to remove--the orange had lightly sunk into the porous rock in that short time, and didn't do anything much to help loosen the blue.

Plain water or dry ice in water, and nylon then wire brushes. Seems to work best of all in 90% of all cases.
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Postby Dane » Dec 6, 2006 5:04 am

It would seem that it is a constant dilemma between removing the unwanted without harming the wanted - big patches of wall or formation that have had the outer "patina" removed may not be any more desirable or less destructive.
Just because it is no longer day-glo orange doesn't mean it is not still defaced.

There is a dry ice-based system that works similar to sandblasting. It is semi-portable, but you would need an air compressor. It might be worth looking into where access is not too restricted and there is a great deal of graffiti to address.
The level of abrasive removal is completely adjustable, so damage to the underlying surface should be minimal

There was another thread on this general subject, and someone had a link to a laser-based paint removing mechanism. Seems the data in the link was a couple of years old, and I have not heard of anything on it since, but the technology sounded perfect for what you are discussing - it removes the paint without harming the underlying surface.
Of course, I'm sure it would be prohibitively expensive, and I don't think it gave any indication of the size of the system, so not sure of its portability, and then there is the question of power source.

And even beyond all of that, in any removal project, there is the question of how to capture the paint - it may be "vaporized" or whatever, but I'm not sure that "vaporized" paint lying around is any better other than aesthetics.

Sorry - I guess I am rambling, but my hope is to get more involved in clean-ups and other such projects next year, and I am trying to "bone-up" on the subject.
I'm sure that the NSS has a link where I can find more on "approved" methodologies.
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Postby mgmills » Dec 6, 2006 8:46 am

Dane wrote:Sorry - I guess I am rambling, but my hope is to get more involved in clean-ups and other such projects next year, and I am trying to "bone-up" on the subject.
I'm sure that the NSS has a link where I can find more on "approved" methodologies.


The NSS has just this year published a book titled Cave Conservation and Restoration The book is the result of many people working together to pool ideas. It was edited by Val Hildreth-Werker and Jim C. Werker. It has lots of good information. There is an 8-page chapter devoted to graffiti and graffiti removal is mentioned a few times within other chapters.


Also, in your area there is the SERA Karst Task Force (SKTF) which is an active group doing clean-ups. Jim Wilbanks, the current Chairman, is a member of the Chattanooga grotto. The day after the SERA Winter Business Meeting the group will be doing a clean-up in the Chattanooga area. Meeting is scheduled for Feb 3, 2007 and Clean-up for Feb 4, 2007.

The SKTF is doing a sinkhole trash removal project on Saturday Dec 9, 2006 at a sinkhole in middle Tennessee. Directions to the location aren't being publically posted due to the fact the clean-up is on private property but if you are interested e-mail or PM me (see buttons at the bottom of this message) and I will provide you with directions.
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Postby Teresa » Dec 7, 2006 9:25 pm

On the other hand, don't be afraid to try new things as long as you are mentally in the 'first, do no harm' mode.

Most of the stuff in the NSS cave restoration book are results of trial and error, not a received body of knowledge. What works in one region or in one cave may or may not work in yours. Most of the people who have written chapters for this book are experimenters themselves. They've taken notes on what they do.

However, like vertical work, no book can replace hands on training in cave cleanup and restoration. I recommend the SKTF cleanup as a good place to start learning.
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