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Loosen the lid on Testors enamel square bottles.


R. Thorne

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Usually open ‘em with my large pliars after running hot water on the lids, but had one that wouldn’t give up the ghost today.  YouTube to the rescue.  Tapped on the top of the lid with the plastic handle 3 or 4 times, then turned it 180 degrees and tapped it again.  Viola!  High tech stuff.

F15175FD-C84B-4A91-8860-FF6411312335.jpeg

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Nice!  There are multiple ways of dealing with stuck lids.  Another way is to stand the bottle upside down then using an eye dropper apply some lacquer thinner or acetone between the lid's lip and the glass bottle.  That will penetrate into the dried up paint in the threads.

I never have this problem because I'm really fastidious in keeping the threads and seal in the lid impeccably clean before closing the bottle.

Edited by peteski
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17 hours ago, Hi-Po said:

I use the upside down/ lacquer thinner approach on any size of Testors or Model Masters paint.  Works like a charm.

If the cap is really stubborn, I use this Jar Opener, 5 Inch Diameter Capacity, Kitchen Aid jar lid and bottle opener, opens screw caps, vacuum caps, pry up lids easily (micromark.com) or a pair of channel locks.

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Personally I use a bic type lighter to heat the cap which works quick, and the cap comes off when using a paper towel .. My main issue is that the paint hardens just after a couple of month's now, and becomes like a rock in the bottle! Odd but true thing is this year at the  U.S. 127 garage sale I bought a set of bottle paints with a copyright for 1986, yet the paint is still perfect and useable. Only the thinner was fairly empty. Original price was 3.99 from Harts..

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27 minutes ago, Jim B said:

Maybe I'm missing something here, but how does lacquer thinner work on enamel paint?

Lacquer thinner is a "hot" solvent.  JUst like you not supposed to apply hot paints over enamel (becuase it will wrinkle the enamel), the lacquer thinner will soften the hardened enamel in the lid.  We are not going for liquefying the dried paint (which cannot be done anyway) - just to soften it enough to unscrew the lid.

Like I mentioned earlier, I always make sure the threads, the lip of the bottle and the cap and seal are clean before closing the lid, so I don't have this problem.

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On 9/22/2023 at 11:25 PM, Bills72sj said:

I go old school mechanical. Channel lock pliers. If it is really bad then then I use my plastic jaw Pana-vise to hold the bottle. Too lazy to clean the cap/threads after every use.

You have to be careful with this technique. I once cracked a bottle using pliers and a vise. It was like the cap was welded on.

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Another idea if you don't have any thinner handy. Place the bottle upside-down in a container of warm water. This seems to have the same effect as using thinner.  Remember to clean the inside of the cap along with the bottle opening so that the paint doesn't reseal the bottle. 

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