Drezek Environmental Stripping Systems (DESS), where our ’39 has received a new Bitchin Products firewall, dash and floor, specializes in the clean and safe removal of old paint. DESS utilizes a high-pressure blasting method to strip cars and trucks to bare metal, but the blasting medium is either baking soda or a combination of baking soda and slightly more aggressive media for heavy-duty cleanups such as deep rust pockets. Baking-soda blasting strips only paint from the car, leaving all rubber, glass and chrome unaffected. Body filler is also unaffected by the process, so previously repaired areas may be evaluated after stripping and either left intact or reworked. If desired, DESS can also strip the filler.
Baking soda also offers poststripping benefits. Paint components can be separated from the medium and, because it is biodegradable, the residual baking-soda medium can simply be washed away without fear of harm to the environment. In addition, baking soda acts as a rust inhibitor, so the vehicle can sit coated in the blasting medium for a reasonable period of time after stripping without the formation of new surface rust. DESS stripped the ’39 to bare metal in only a few hours. The same results, if done by hand with abrasives, would take days and require extremely meticulous detail work around body creases and seams. At the end of its stay in the blasting booth, the car was ready for primer, any needed repairs and the custom sheetmetal touches we had planned.