George Washington said, "Experience enables you to have good judgment. Experience comes from making bad judgment." Such is the case with my paint job. Lots of effort and expense, only to strip it off. I started noticing a problem when I mounted the shock. By the time I got to the steering, it was really getting bad. It turns out that the base coat of galvanizing compound is very weak. Little specs are flaking off, taking the top coat with it. So, I have the opinion that it was better to deal with it when I can get to the entire frame rather than taking it apart later.
So I made another trip to the hardware store to say goodbye to around $100. This is for two cans of stripper compound, scraper, metal brushes (large and small) and disposable respirator. In addition, I bought more primer and paint for a second try. All this, with drying time, took two days to strip and another two days for drying time (although paining itself only took 15min per coat).
Hopefully, you won't need to take paint off metal. However, if you do, using paint stripper gives good results. Paint stripping compound is amazing stuff - but very dangerous! Within a few minutes of spraying it on, I found the paint and undercoat turned into a goo that could be scraped off after a few passes. Just don't scrimp on the safety gear! Wear safety glasses, mask and spend a few bucks to get the special stripping gloves (rubber dish washing gloves are NOT good enough). I would also recommend wearing nitrol gloves underneath these too. Why? Just one tiny splash of that stuff burns! I found when I splashed just a tiny particle of the stuff on my arm, I had to wash it off quickly due to the pain. Fortunately, I had a working garden hose handy to flush off the occasional drop that would land on me - and I used it several times!
So far, doing the paint job again has cost around $100 in chemicals and disposable tools plus
1 hour shopping
3 hours stripping rear assembly. 7 hours stripping main frame. Prime and paint take 15 minutes per coat - but drying time is over 6 hours. So, that's a minimum of two evenings and mornings.
After repainting the bug, I found that the paint looks about the same but it's much more durable. I do wonder if undercoat material would do even better. Ah well, perfection is the enemy of progress.