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 the
polyester a DPO apparently used to fill blisters. This was not a
problem at all since the blisters will be fixed correctly with epoxy
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.
Catalina must have used Awlgrip (or some similar product) for
their accent stripes since the strippers do very little to remove
them. Sanding is even less effective
Gloves, arm and other skin protection is mandatory with these
chemicals. They will burn your skin in a heart in a
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
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
Have fun and be safe!