Extracting paint from a spray can

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DeltaVee
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Extracting paint from a spray can

Post by DeltaVee » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:20 am

How can I best extract paint from what I think is a dead can? I've got a nice can of Krylon silver metallic. I thought the nozzle was clogged. I checked a couple of other spray cans and made sure their nozzles worked pulled them off and tried both on the dead can and it was still dead. That's why I think there's no pressure. And yet I don't want to wind up looking like the Silver Surfer. Should I try to go through the top of the can where the nozzle was or somewhere else, or totally blow it off as a waste of time and potentially embarrassing?

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TazMan2000
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Re: Extracting paint from a spray can

Post by TazMan2000 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:30 am

I would just go and buy another can. Even thought it may not seem like there is any pressure in the can, poking something into it may cause a huge mess, and may be costlier to clean up than the cost of a new can.

TazMan2000

aussie cylon
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Re: Extracting paint from a spray can

Post by aussie cylon » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:34 pm

Or you can try placing the can and a sharp screwdriver in a sturdy clear plastic bag and pierce it using a sharp blow from a hammer. If there's no pressure, you can simply empty the paint into a container. If there is pressure, at least the paint explodes inside the bag and not all over you. You can probably use a couple of bags just to be sure. I've had no need to ever try this, but can't see why it wouldn't work. Just a thought...


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Madhatter
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Re: Extracting paint from a spray can

Post by Madhatter » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:38 am

Easiest way I know of is to cut the longer section of a bendy straw to roughly the same length as the shorter bit, stick one end over the nozzle of the spray can and press down - letting the paint flow directly into an airbrush cup. Wait a few minutes for the paint to de-gas and then paint away.
I do this a lot using Tamiya rattle cans. Even primer to. Just remember to wear gloves!

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Rogviler
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Re: Extracting paint from a spray can

Post by Rogviler » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:26 am

Most likely the valve is simply glued shut with paint. I didn't watch all the videos posted above, but if one of them suggests putting a strong solvent like lacquer thinner into the cavity where the nozzle normally fits then I've had good luck with that before. You only need a drop at a time. Let it soak until it evaporates and then add more if it's still not freed up.
Madhatter wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:38 am
Easiest way I know of is to cut the longer section of a bendy straw to roughly the same length as the shorter bit, stick one end over the nozzle of the spray can and press down - letting the paint flow directly into an airbrush cup.
Ah, forums. Reading the thread title but not the body of the post. Good times. \:D/

-Rog
You can now buy gluten-free apples and non-GMO water. We are truly living in the future!

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southwestforests
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Re: Extracting paint from a spray can

Post by southwestforests » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:12 pm

Somewhere at some time in both magazines and forums it has been mentioned that auto body shops often have tools to do this.
Or maybe what was said back then is not true any more; I now wonder after poking around in Google a bit.
did find this conversation, http://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showt ... id/273180/
12-07-11 11:23 PM - Post#2166225
In response to 56sedandelivery

Did it. First, this is not about a clogged nozzle but rather a stopped up valve in the can. Still around 75% full with aerosol and paint charge. Pretty much followed what Butch (56sedandelivery) recommended. In addition to lots of rags I used latex gloves, safety goggles and a clear plastic bag (so that I could see what I was doing). Also, I cleaned off the bottom of the can (so as not to contaminate the paint) and chilled it for around 20 mins in my freezer (wanted to slow down those molecules as much as possible).

I had very little mess and lost very little paint. Some have mentioned using a small punch or drill but I figured that I wanted to eliminate the nozzle effect as soon as possible and the beer can opener was perfect for that. Upon puncture the spray was pretty intense but went flat as the opener cut on into the can. Small punch or drill will probably work fine on a fully discharged can.

After opening the can I poured the contents thru a paint strainer into a clean glass jar. At this point the paint is really thin and the aerosol is flashing off -- which takes some time. To speed the process I placed the jar (lid off) in a pan of hot tap water and after about 20 the bubbling had quit. I then loaded it into my touch-up gun with a 1.0 nozzle and went to work. Paint still pretty thin and took about five coats, at about 3 to 4 inches, to get full hiding. Results were excellent, however, and I even put two coats on the piece that had been painted earlier with the can in order to get a balanced (and much better) finish.

This has been great to learn as I have several cans that I have had similar issues with. However, since they were stuff that was locally available I simply bought another can and added to my collection. In addition to saving $20 I also was able to beat the cold front that came in late this afternoon. Today's high was 76 and tomorrow's is to be 59 and the seven day forecast shows nothing higher.

Thanks, Butch for the benefit of your experience (that is what this site is all about) and thanks to the rest of you for chiming in on this. Regards, Don
"There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good."
Tom Mueller of SpaceX, in Air and Space, Jan. 2011

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