I need to remove spray paint from steel. Do you have any recommendations for me?

I have an old steel toolbox that's been spray painted. I'd like to strip the paint off in the most efficient (and cost-effective) way possible.

What say you, Instructables' Smart People?

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Chemical stripper.

If you'd been in the UK, I'd suggest the amazing "Eco-strip" stuff I use at work - Completely environmentally safe, and as long as its wet, it keeps on stripping. We cover the parts, then put them in a polythene bag for a couple of days - and come back to NO paint.

bajablue (author)  steveastrouk5 years ago
Best succinct answer to me! I found a similar product at Home Depot.

Vyger5 years ago
But ---- If you paint it up nice and pretty it will look like you never do anything with the tools. Which mechanic would you trust more, one who's tools are scratched and have a little grease on them or a mechanic who's tools look brand new just out of the box. You need to let your tool boxes have a grizzled look. A few dents and scrapes and scar's. It adds character.
Burf Vyger5 years ago
Whoa, my dad had an old Studebaker truck just like that one. He bought it new in 1941 and finally traded it in on a new Ford truck in 1960. It had a flat head, in-line 6 cylinder that he re-built several times. Quite possibly the ugliest American made pick-up truck ever built.
Vyger Burf5 years ago
What I like about that picture is what it says on the side of the hood, "auto parts and accessories" and the contrast with the condition that it is in. It also has "John Deer" painted in small letters on the front and they apparently tried to paint it John Deer Green. The picture doesn't show up to good for being posted here. It actually has a lot higher resolution. The finishing touch is the giant wood beam in place of the bumper. "We don't tow um, we push um". I have been taking pictures of a lot these old junkers that are left sitting all around the country here.
bajablue (author)  Vyger5 years ago
Yes... BUT it's not going to be used as a toolbox anymore! ;-)
iceng5 years ago
Is this the manufacturer's paint ?
or a user's post spray...  Paint Thinner.

IF you are going to paint it again try using a cleaning primer like
then use the Rust-Oleum of your choice..

bajablue (author)  iceng5 years ago
It's post spray paint.

I need the steel to be and to remain paint-free but it also needs to be rust resistant.

eGaads... another question! 8-/
Burf5 years ago
Media or water blasting
Wire brush and/or wheel
Chemical paint strippers
Heat gun (taking care not to overheat the metal causing warping.)
bajablue (author)  Burf5 years ago
Thank you for your time, Burf!