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How To Remove Paint From An RC Car Body

Removing paint from the body of an RC car can be a difficult endeavor. There are quite a number of reasons why an RC owner would want to take the paint off their RC car. 

It could be because the paint on the RC is really old and they want to make their car look like new again. It could also be because they simply want to give their RC cars a whole different look or add some cool art. 

Whatever the case, choosing to take the paint off your RC car is not unusual. Some RC owners may try to just scrape off the paint, but this is neither the best nor the most effective way. As a matter of fact, you could end up making a really big mess if you choose this method and will probably even end up damaging your car, especially if you’re using a sharp object. 

If you’re looking to get paint off your RC body, this article will let you know some effective methods that you can use.

You can also check out the video below if you prefer to see how to do it that way. 

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Removing Paint From Your RC Car Body 

There are a few different things you can do to take the paint off the body of your RC car. Each of them are preferred by different people so if you want to know which one you like best you will likely have to try them all! 

Use Nitro Fuel 

When using nitro fuel, you do not have to soak the RC car in the fuel. Just dip an old paintbrush in the nitro fuel and cover the entire car with it just like you’re painting it, and the paint on it will begin to come off almost immediately. 

If you have some nitro fuel that may have gone bad for any reason, you can use that to take the paint off your RC car as the fuel doesn’t have to be new or “good” to take the paint off. 

Use WD-40

This is probably one of the cheapest methods to remove the paint from your RC body. You can simply use WD-40 to get rid of paint from a Lexan body. Spray a large quantity of the WD-40 on the body of the RC car and then zip the body in an airtight container, or even a plastic bag and allow it to sit that way for a few hours. 

After that period, open it and scrub off the paint and watch the body become as good as new.

Use brake fluid

Brake fluid is something else that you can use but many experts don’t recommend it as it can make the body change colors as well as turn it brittle. This is especially a problem with Lexan RC bodies so if you have that type I would choose one of the other methods. 

Brake fluid is very cheap, and you can get it from virtually any local auto supply store. It’s a good idea to try it first on one small spot to see how well it works before using it on the whole car. 

If you do not test it first, you may be wasting a lot of brake fluid, and you also might make a huge mess either with the fluid or by damaging your RC body. 

Use denatured alcohol 

Another thing that you can use to get paint off the body of your RC is denatured alcohol. You just need to let the body of your RC car soak for a little while, and all the paint should come right off, leaving your RC car looking as good as new without any fogging and without getting brittle (two possible issues with the brake fluid method mentioned above). 

Use nail polish remover 

Sounds funny right? But nail polish remover is another thing that you can use to remove paint from the body of your RC car. Make sure that if you’re using this method, you do it in a well-ventilated area as the nail polish remover can often be quite smelly especially in large quantities. 

As a matter of fact, it’s always good to remove paint from your RC body in a well-ventilated area. You should never do it in your house or a closed garage. 

Use lacquer thinner 

This is a good option, especially if you are trying to take the paint off the inside of an RC car. Even if the body begins to fog, just repaint it and paint the areas around the window black.

If you are going for a clear paint job and the fogging will mess that up then you should not use this method and take a chance with it. 

Other ways to remove paint from your RC car body 

Using Brasso

For this method you would need to get Brasso (found here) which is a metal toothpaste-like substance.You will also need to get a rag or a piece of cloth as well as gloves to save you from having “old man fingers” (as we used to call them). This method works very well on Lexan bodies. 

So, what to do, wear the gloves and place the rag over your fingers so that the tips of your fingers are covered. This will ensure that you have more control over where the paint will be taken off of. 

Next, place a few drops of the Brasso on the tip of your fingers, which should have been covered with the piece of cloth and gloves. Now, place your finger where you want to take the paint off from and then make small circles over the entire area where you are going to take off the paint. 

Be careful not to make the small circles in parts where you do not want to remove paint. 

Don’t worry if the Brasso gets on any part of the body as it is an abrasive paste and not a harsh chemical. Keep doing the small circles, and slowly but consistently, the paint will start coming off.

The Brasso will get quite hard when it begins to dry, so if you’re satisfied, just use water to wash it off. 

You can repeat the process to get your desired results but be sure not to scrub too hard or you might damage the RC body. 

Use Shoe Goo

This is another weird one for you but some people swear by this method. It also works particularly well for Lexan paint. 

Shoe Goo (found here) is actually designed to repair shoes and boots but it surprisingly works to remove paint from RC cars as well. 

You will want to wear gloves on your fingers and use a popsicle stick to apply it (or use the applicator stock that comes with it). Use the popsicle stick to move the paint around until the paint sticks to the goo and begins to fall off.

At this point, you can choose to scrape and wipe or work in the goo until it begins to release the paint. 

Allow it to sit for 2-3 hours and dry; then you can peel off the whole body in only a few minutes. If you put drywall mesh on the paint when it dries, it is a lot easier to peel off because the mesh does not stretch as the goo does. 

To remove the paint from your headlights, you can use masking tape to mask off the headlights then use the goo mesh method to remove the paint from the headlights after you have allowed it to set and dry overnight.


As you can see there are a lot of different methods that you can use to remove RC paint from your RC body. 

Each method has people that love it and hate it and some methods require purchasing special products while others use things that most people will have around the house. No matter what method you use it is important that you are careful not to scratch the body itself. 

If the RC body gets scratched during the paint removal process it will be incredibly difficult to get your paint to be perfectly smooth ever again and could even make you have to buy a whole new RC body is the scratches are deep enough or there are enough of them.