Bob's Big Stripper Show

February 29, 2004

This is a test of 3 strippers on the old bottom paint of my C22.  Interlux  229E, ZipStrip and KS-3.  The Interlux and ZipStrip claim to be compatible with fiberglass, the KS-3 does not.  I noted no problems with the KS-3 other than it seemed to strip whatever the DPO used to fill blisters.  This was not a problem at all since the blisters will be fixed correctly this time.

I applied the Interlux in an area about 1' by 3'.  Then I cleaned the applicator brush in mineral spirits.  Next came the Zipstrip, in a similar area.  Finally, I applied the KS-3, after cleaning the brush again in mineral spirits.  The application and cleaning took a little over 5 minutes.

I  went to the Interlux area and scrapped a test area - labeled "5 min."  About half the paint was removed by all three products after 5 minutes.  I could not tell a difference between them.

Then I waited another 5 minutes and repeated the test.  After 10 minutes, the Zipstrip was stripping the full layer of red paint.

After 15 minutes total,  the KS-3 was doing a good job, although with a little more effort than the Zipstrip

After 20 minutes the KS-3 was starting to dry out and become ineffective.  The ZipStrip nearly made the paint fall off.  The Interlux was still working, but not as well as the ZipStrip.

Conclusions: The ZipStrip is my choice.  It has a slightly longer working time that the others.  It is water soluble and requires the lowest effort of the three.  It has the advantage of being available very close at my local Ace Hardware at a reasonable price.  I believe I need less than 2 gallons to strip my C22.

The timing  is very critical with the KS-3.  Not enough time and it won't penetrate the paint.  Too much time and it dries out and becomes brittle.  The brittle residue is very quick to sand; however, that defeats the purpose of using a stripper, doesn't it?  KS-3 is my second choice since it is priced favorably (just about half the price of the other two) and does a good job if the timing is spot on. 

Gloves, arm and other skin protection is mandatory with these chemicals.  They will burn your skin in a heartbeat! 


Interlux was the thinnest of the 3 tested, accordingly it was the easiest to apply. 


Zip Strip was the thickest, so most difficult to apply, but also the least likely to drip or fall off during this overhead application..  Zipstrip is about the same cost as Interlux from Ace Hardware. 


KS-3 says it is not fiberglass compatible, but I experienced no problem with it.  I got it at West Marine and it was the cheapest of the three. 

Have fun and be safe!