How to strip paint from models

Stripping miniatures is something which every hobbyist will want to do at some point, either because they have purchased a load of cheap models second hand, made a mistake in their own painting, or just want to scrub some miniatures so they can start again.

There are two main considerations with stripping paint off the models, the material the models are made out of, and the toxicity to the hobbyist!

Metal models

By far the easiest models to strip because they are nigh-on indestructible.


Also known as Nail Polish Remover.

Use: Put the acetone in a sealed glass container and soak the models.

Time: Results will take place almost immediately, a stiff scrubbing brush can get the majority off a model after an hour or less soaking.  Metal models can stay in the acetone for years without issue.

Safety: Extremely flammable, hazardous to breathe, will dry out hands.  Use in a well ventilated area.

Cost: Low.

Availability: High.

Warnings: Will destroy plastic and resin.

Alternatives: Biostrip

Plastic models

Also relatively easy to strip with only acetone and heavy solvents to be careful off.  There are lots of options here, and almost everyone on the forums have their “perfect” paint stripper.


Use: Paint a thick coat of Biostrip on the miniature, let sit for an hour, rinse off under running water.  Light scrubbing with a toothbrush and/or reapplication and soak as necessary.

Time: Plastic models can sit in Biostrip for a month or potentially more.  Metal can soak indefinitely.

Safety: Safe to touch, but will superhydrate your hands.  Low odour, safe for the environment. Wear gloves if you have a lot to strip or your hands will hate you.

Cost: Moderate. 1 tub should do around 100 miniatures.

Availability: Average. will sell to Britain and Europe, Australia and New Zealand have a stockist at

Warnings: Will destroy resin.

Alternatives: Isopropyl Alcohol, Dot3 Brake Fluid, Simple Green, Super Clean, LAs Totally Awesome