Saturday, 18 February 2012

Product Review: Biostrip 20 - Metal AND Plastic Paint Stripper

At last, a water-based paint remover that REALLY works!
Biostrip is a revolutionary new range of water-based products, specifically designed for all aspects of paint removal. The range includes paint and artex strippers, graffiti removal products, textured paint remover and wheel stripper. The Biostrip range has proven performance and is comparable with traditional solvent-based technology. 
The wonderful team over at Biostrip have given me the chance to review one of their top products.
To start with, here is the info on the Biostrip paint stripper direct from the site.

BIOSTRIP 20 ™ is a revolutionary new paint stripper that is safer for both the user and the environment. It is suitable for use in the home by the DIY enthusiast and also for large industrial applications as an alternative to Methylene Chloride based products.

Product Benefits include:
  • Water-based - no losses due to evaporation, non flammable, odour free, solvent free, VOC free
  • Non Toxic - safer for the user and the environment
  • Non Caustic - Does not darken wood, pH neutral, does not cause burns
  • Thixotropic (thickened) solution - Clings to vertical surfaces - no drips or runs, hence no waste, Economical in use.
  • Does not give off hazardous or noxious fumes - ventilation not required. Suitable for use indoors or in confined spaces
  • Non Irritant

Suitable Substrates:
  • All wood types
  • All metals, including alloys
  • Stone
  • Brick
  • Marble
  • Concrete
  • Plastered surfaces
  • Most plastics (test a small area before use)

Coatings removed:
  • Polyester and epoxy powder coatings
  • Water based coatings
  • Varnish
  • Primers, including aerospace primers
  • Chrome containing primers
  • Oil based paints
  • Emulsion
  • Wood stains
 Sound good? It does to me. I have spent several hours with pots of nail varnish remover trying to clean up models picked up from ebay. Usually ending up stinking of the stuff and with a slight headache.
After speaking with a rep at Biostrip, I had a parcel arrive at the door.
A sample bottle of Biostrip 20
(click any pics to view larger)

Before trying it out I did the sensible thing. Read the instructions.
According to the bottle you apply liberally all over the surface then leave for 30-60 mins. After that you wash or scrub the surface to remove the paint.
To make sure I tested it one a variety of different substances, I picked out 4 models.
1 GW metal, 1 GW plastic, 1 Heroclix plastic and 1 Heroclix clear plastic. I didn't try resin to start with as I couldn't find a spare resin bit anywhere.

Following the instructions I covered them with the Biostrip using an old paint brush.

1 hour later, I took the model to the sink and brushed off all the Biostrip with an old tooth brush.
And what did I find?
The metal Chaos Marine used to be an Ultrmarine. It didn't remove all the paint but there were some very heavy layers on there.
The plastic Marine had most of the paint removed. With absolutely NO loss of detail or damage to the plastic. That's a win in my book already. It also removed some of the glue which is why some bits are now missing.
The Heroclix figures were barely touched. I don't know if it was the paint or the plastic but something didn't work. I'm sorry Heroclix users but looks like you will have to stick to quick acetone.

Time for test number 2.
I kept with the 2 Marines from the first test to see if I could get any more paint off.
Then added another 2 figures. A plastic Imperial Guardsman and another heavily painted Marine.

Another liberal slap of the Biostrip over all of them and I was ready to test again.
But this time I decided to try it out for longer than the bottle suggested. An entire 24hours!
This could go badly wrong. 
Using acetone to strip minis before I have often left them over night so the time frame wasn't too bad.

The next afternoon came around and it was time to see if the paint was gone. Or even if the models had gone!
I will show them this time separately

The metal marine had very minimal traces of colour left in the deepest recesses. But apart from that, the rest of the paint had gone. The end result was better than any I have had with acetone.

Plastic Marine from test 1. Small sections of colour where there was glue but on the plastic itself it was all gone. With absolutely no loss of detail or damage.

Plastic Marine from overnight test.
This model had LOTS of black spray and paint to start with. After stripping the blacks did leave some stain on the plastic. The paint though had gone. All this would need is another shot of undercoat and you would never know it had been painted and stripped.

The Imperial Guard from the overnight test.
All I can say for this one is 100% success!
No paint, no staining and no damage what so ever.

At the end of these test I was VERY impressed with the Biostrip. Although it didn't clear the paint after an hour, it does say on the bottle that if there's any paint left you should do it again.
My advice would be to leave it overnight in the first place. Great results from that.

I would have to give this a final score of  9 out of 10 
It would have been a 10 if the bottle didn't say 30-60mins.

I didn't pay for this bottle so cant really comment on the price but looking at the Biostrip Site (link)Warhammer army or large Warmahordes force no problem.
I still have LOADS left after doing the above minis a couple of times.  

Biostrip do a range of other products as well. So if you need to strip textured game boards of the poop deck of you ship, they have something that can do the job.

What do you think of the paint stripper?
Are there any other materials you would like to see it tested on? (Privateer Press plastic, Black Scorpion resin etc)
Is it something you would buy and test out?

I have now posted a second part to this review. Testing the stripper on different plastics and resins.
You can find it >>HERE<<

Hendybadger out

Set up another 24 hour test with different plastics and resins as people have requested


  1. Very informative. This is stuff I've never even attempted but it is very interesting.

    1. Its great of you want to pick up a cheap and heavily painted army from ebay or one of the trading sites.

  2. Great review Mr. Badger - useful and informative as Tom Badguy says. I think I will be in for that stuff soon. Cheers.


    1. Cheers Leon.
      Its quite good. And safe aswell.
      Will definatly be using it again soon. Want to do a couple of PC repaints

  3. Hi there! Thank you so much for doing this review. I have been looking for a good way to strip Heroclix for years. Looks like the hunt continues. Just a quick question tho......I wonder what would happen if you left it on the Heroclix for 24 hours?
    Thanks again!

    1. No worries.
      I think Im going to have to sort out another batch of models to try out.
      Will add a couple more Heroclix for a 24 hour test

  4. I was a little curious about what the stuff would do to HeroClix if left longer, too.

    1. I will set up another batch for a 24 hour test.
      Got LOADS of Heroclix around here

  5. Ok, new test all set.
    3 different plastics and 2 different resins.
    24 hours to go......

  6. Very interesting review thanks, I get very mixed results with my all purpose 'Green' cleaner. This may be worth disturbing the moths in my wallet; how do you think it would fare on vehicles?

    1. Which sort of vehicles do you mean?
      GW tanks, diecast cars etc?

    2. Lol, ah yes not very specific of me, I was thinking GW tanks and such like.

    3. As long as there are no resin parts on them it should work perfectly

  7. I am really enthralled with your effort which you have so evidently perfected into this content. I have also liked that you have presented your own point of view with this topic, especially while making your points very much clear with this topic

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