Removing paint from inside of a steel cabinet

I have this enclosure
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and I would like to remove paint from inside, and to preserve paint
on the outside.
The reason why I want to remove the inside paint (and replace it with
a BBQ grill paint) is food safety. I do not know what kind of paint it
is. The expected temps inside are going to be about 250 degrees max.
The reason why I want to keep the outside paint is for looks and to
prevent rust.
I think that I have a few alternatives.
1. A wire brush on a drill.
2. Sandblasting. Can I do it relatively inexpensively with a
harbor freight compressor? We have a HF store nearby and perhaps I
could buy some sand blaster kit, which I would then keep for future
projects. I know nothing about sand blasting.
The advantage of a wire brush approach is that I do not have to drive
to harbor freight, spend money and time on that, but it is a time
consuming task nevertheless.
thanks
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29670
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I'll trade you all the brushes that you will need for smoked meat...no pets please, freezer full of kittens and puppies.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
That cabinet is powder coated and it's going to be really resistant to paint removal. Sand blasting that thing with a good blaster would take quite awhile, with a HF POS it would be very difficult depending on if you have the necessary CFM available. It will also make the most godawful mess you've ever seen. Basically, you'll cover about a city block with sand and paint dust. Chemical removers will work but are very unpleasant to work with.
What I suggest is to entirely strip the thing and then redo the outside with hi-temp paint. The easiest way to strip it is to build a nice charcoal fire inside using 5-10 pounds of charcoal, and when that's done, it should be easy to wire brush off the residue, wipe it down with thinner, blow it clean, and paint. The inside should be thoroughly cleaned before painting the outside, of course.
GWE
Ignoramus29670 wrote:
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Grant, if the cabinet is indeed powder coated -- and that means you identified the coating -- it makes sense to ask now, is that powder coating possibly hazardous in a meat smoker environment. Do you know anything about that?
That makes sense. I am just afraid that after it is all done, the enclosure will look like shit, whereas it looks not so bad now.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29670
I found some MSDS on some powder coatings:
`` THERMAL - SOOT, SMOKE, TOXIC/IRRITATING FUMES (IE, CARBON DIOXIDE, CARBON MONOXIDE, ETC)''
another MSDS:
``HAZARDOUS DECOMPOSITION PRODUCTS: May form toxic materials if burned in insufficient amount of air (CO fumes, soot, CO 2 )''
The gases specifically mentioned here do not seem like they would present any danger in food smoking. They are probably present in every wood burning smoker.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29670
Nice cabinet. Don't paint the inside. You want the smoke to coat the inside. In fact, after you get rid of the paint inside, run several cycles of smoke to coat the inside before you put any edibles in. After stripping, you should heat the inside for an extended period of time, a few hoiurs or so, at a fairly high temperature, to be sure you drive off all bad taste. I worked with a guy who use a steel cabinet about fridge size for his smoker. The first batch of salmon was ruined because even though he thought the inside was clean enough after using paint stripper it wasn't. ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
Good point. I will keep it hot for a few days before attempting to smoke anything.
So, any suggestins on removing powder coating?
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29670
I cut up some powder coated tubing with a gas torch a few years ago. Laid waste to my olfactory for about a year. Tainted everything I ate.
Other folks have suggested very high temperatures to burn it off. As in 'put it in a forge'.
Safest bet is probably to grind it off under a stream of water.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
Funny, I googled newsgroups and came across your (my guess)post from some time ago. You mentioned how coke tasted funny, etc.
Was that you?
``A year later, all carbonated soft drinks had a really funny aftertaste.''
I learned that a good product is "aircraft paint remover", which is sold at our Autozone store.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29670
Aircraft paint stripper will do it, won't be cheap though. Burning it off may work, also may warp your enclosure and your neighbors will not love you for it... If it's powder coating, it'll be pretty resistant to abrasion, that was one of the tests I used to use to check for a good cure. Sandblasting may also build up enough heat to warp the thing. Really, the best way is to use a good chemical stripper and then bake things afterwards to get rid of any possible residue. You probably won't be able to find anything in a hardware store that will shift powder coating in a reasonable length of time, you want methylene chloride and lots of it in your stripper. The stuff I like comes form a auto body supply place.
Stan
Reply to
stans4
AutoZone has aircraft paint remover for $22 per gallon. I would buy it, considering that I will probably use no more than a quart or likely even less, so I can either sell or keep the rest.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29670
Now, if I wanted to go the burnoff route, what is the best option?
1) put in a bunch of charcoal, a steel pipe connected to a compressor, and pump in compressed air as the charcoal is burning. Would that per chance generate too much heat?
2) put in a bunch of diesel fuel soaked crumpled newspapers and provide modest access to air
3) put in a "firelogg" made os sawdust, and let it burn
Any thoughts?
The enclosure is roughly 3x3x1.5 feet.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29670
Blowing charcoal will get it too hot. Just make sure there's airflow somehow, maybe lie it on its back so it can draw air through the grill and leave the door cracked just a little, maybe by putting a piece of scrap metal in to keep it from closing. Then build a nice long-lasting fire. If you have a weed-burning torch you can burn it off by hand but it will be real easy to warp it that way too. And don't be too particular about looks, this is just a sheet metal box. A clean coat of hi-temp paint on the outside and it will look great even if it's a little wavy. Plus, you can learn to flatten with a hammer and auto body tools if you need to. Just figure a plan and build the thing, and if it doesn't work out, scrap it and redesign it and move on to the next design. Don't be afraid to get in there and make a mistake.
Aircraft stripper is miserable stuff. Buy new rubber gloves, goggles, and the correct filters for your mask and USE THEM. Also, work on about a square foot at a time. Don't let it dry out. And yes, you will certainly have to cook it afterwards.
I wouldn't want a smoker that looks like a server rack. I'd strip that ugly corporate-ass paint off it and paint it redneck style. Smoking meat isn't for corporate weeenies.
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
OK.
Airflow is not a problem, it hs openable front and top. My concern is that too much airflow would not let the neclosure become hot enough.
I do not have one.
Okay. I know that they sell black BBQ/grill paint at home despot etc, is that what you are talking about?
What I do not want is for it to look like shit. I think that the white corporate look is funny for a meat smoker. If I can get a decent result with high temp paint, I am open minded.
Good point on not being afraid to try stuff, this cabinet is basically free as far as my costs go.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus29670
Yup, hardware store BBQ paint is fine, or engine block paint if you want to go that route, lots of colors available that way. A nice Rambo camo look would be cool .. :-)
Ignoramus29670 wrote:
Reply to
Grant Erwin
There's something I don't understand here. If this is for a smoker, will the temperature ever get hot enough for the coating to cause problems?
--RC
Reply to
Rick Cook
That is a powder coat finish (probably epoxy, looks like the same santex powder we used on Xerox stuff) Unless your getting the temperature over 400 degrees it won't cause a problem. To remove the powder without destroying the case your in foe a LOT of work. Aircraft remover will work but you need to apply it a couple times and then heat the cabinet for a couple days to get those fumes out. Sandblasting would work BUT the pressure required would warp the steel. Wire brush would take FOREVER.
Powder is tough if applied correctly. As long as it is clean it is safe around food. Heck we used to cook pizza for lunch in the baking ovens. Never had a problem in 10 years. Now BURNING powder can be a problem, it really STINKS and gives off some toxic fumes.
Personally I would just whip up a new cabinet out of bare steel and paint it with grill paint.
Reply to
Steve W.

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