View Full Version : Remove paint from cloth grills?


atrac
05-25-2009, 05:16 AM
Is it possible to remove (what I believe to be) latex paint from a cloth grill? I bought some JBL 5T's that sound great, but would love to look at them without squinting. ;)

I've attached a pic of the "damage" in a previous post found here:

http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showpost.php?p=2764083&postcount=109

A Google search doesn't really point to much of an answer -- so either it's not possible or no one has tried. :(

Thanks!

avguytx
05-25-2009, 09:10 AM
I know this may sound like a pain in the rear but do you have some latex paint around the house you can drop on some fabric of some sorts then try various things to take it off? Typically, paint thinner will remove a good chunk of it as that's what I use to clean paint brushes after using latex paint. Just a thought....

Mark W.
05-25-2009, 02:39 PM
You might consider recovering the grills

kcollins4
05-25-2009, 02:47 PM
Professional painters use laquer thinner to remove paint from clothing, and objects which got overspray on them. I've seen it used on many things, from carpet, to cars. Can't say what that would do to your fabric, but after being told by a painter to use it on my clothes, after leaning on some freshly painted walls, it did the trick nicely. I'd try it on the back of the grill somewhere first. As Mark W said though, be prepared to get some new grill cloth.

mongo22
05-25-2009, 02:48 PM
Being a painter for many years i think i may be able to help. If it is latex (water based) paint then paint thinner will do nothing. Paint thinner or mineral spirits will only soften oil based paints, not water based or lacquer based paints. My favorite latex remover is plain old rubbing alcohol or what they sell in the paint store, denatured alcohol.

Remove the grill cover and lay it on the ground. Soak a small rag with the alcohol so its almost dripping wet and set it on the spot to be removed. This is so it will keep the spot wet with alcohol as it does tend to evaporate quickly. Wait 5 min so the alcohol has time to soften up the paint. Then take a small knife or something similar to carefully scrape the now soft paint from the fabric. You may have to repeat this a few times to get it all but just keep the paint soaked with plenty of alcohol. Ive saved brushes full of dried latex paint this way. It wont hurt most surfaces, safe for your skin and really cheap.

If its any other type of paint you may have to get some lacquer thinner at the paint store or Home Depot/Lowes. Same technique but be carefull of the plastic frame of the grill cover. Lacquer thinner will soften many plastics. Goof-Off will also work but again try a test spot and be carefull as ive had it melt some surfaces.

hope this helps!

-andy

avguytx
05-25-2009, 03:53 PM
And, mongo22, let me applaud you on a helpful first post here! Man, you've been quiet this long? :D

Welcome to AK......stay with us for awhile!

Radfordman
05-26-2009, 08:35 AM
If paint has not soaked through to other side, perhaps remove cloth and turn it over.

Old_Tech
05-26-2009, 08:40 AM
Professional painters use laquer thinner to remove paint from clothing, and objects which got overspray on them. I've seen it used on many things, from carpet, to cars. Can't say what that would do to your fabric, but after being told by a painter to use it on my clothes, after leaning on some freshly painted walls, it did the trick nicely. I'd try it on the back of the grill somewhere first. As Mark W said though, be prepared to get some new grill cloth.

Try the Lacquer thinner it should do the trick. If you can, scuff the surface of the spots to open the pores of the dried paint. It will come off. Then use dishwash to clean up after.

atrac
05-26-2009, 02:32 PM
Thank you everyone for the fantastic suggestions (although "Fantastik" was never mentioned...lol).

I'll be sure to post my results with pics! :)

Tucker99
05-26-2009, 04:56 PM
Atrac....

The speakers look like bookshelf size with black grill cloth? am I right?

If you post the outside dimensions of the speakers and PM me your postal address, I will fire a piece of black speaker cloth in the mail.

You are doing a bunch of work to try to clean the cloth ... I would recommend the same amount of work but with the old Rolls Royce adage about 'repairing parts'... they used to have instructions for various parts that was "Do not repair. Replace."

Anyhow, just an offer.

ricohman
05-26-2009, 05:07 PM
I used some spray on contact cleaner. I know it was latex paint as I am the one who splattered it. It just took me 18 years to get around to it.

Rybeam
05-26-2009, 05:43 PM
Mongo's advice should work. Even hot water might get it. Poke paint spot with a bunch of pin holes to aid penetration.

You could also try freezing it. First try your home freezer, than freeze spray or dry ice. Freeze it and then tap with a hammer, or brush it off.

atrac
05-27-2009, 06:40 PM
Tucker99: Thank you for your VERY generous offer (!). I'd like to try some of the other suggestions first before I put you through any hassle. ;)

Interestingly enough, I realized last night that I have contact cleaner, so I tried that route first. There were paint specs all over the sides of one speaker. So I sprayed contact cleaner on a paper towel and voila -- the paint specs are gone!

So, I eagerly moved on to the grill itself. Sprayed some contact cleaner on and used a toothpick to pry, twirl and poke the paint off. Some of it came off, but alas, contact cleaner dissipates to quickly and it seemed like it was going to take literally hours of patience to go over the whole grill. I then proceeded to try a toothbrush -- it didn't do anything at all.

The good thing is, the grill is still in the same shape as it was when I started. So the contact cleaner and the poking and brushing didn't stain or harm the fabric in any way.

JBL used a dark grayish brown (if that's a color) material on these, and that's the color I hope it will be when I'm finished (to match the other grill which is paint and spot free).