I make windows and doors, and a great way to make sure that they open and close smoothly is to use silicone lubricant spray on the rubber weatherseals. While silicone lube is fine to use on painted surfaces, it does affect any repainting - the paint can't adhere to the silicone and causes "fish-eyes" or "pinholes" in the paint.
We use a water-based, micro-porous exterior paint. I've asked our supplier and they said:
That is a bit tricky, as we don’t want to use any solvent chemicals to remove the silicone, as it could remove some of the top coat too. We don’t mention any specific product in our maintenance guide, but we do recommend cleaning the surface with soapy (fairy) warm water to remove the environmental debris building up in the joints and on horizontal surfaces. This could partially remove the silicone lube, but it may still leave behind traces which will cause pin holes if recoated.
Does anybody have any good techniques for removing silicone? I'm thinking of telling customers to clean with soapy water, lightly sand and then clean again. Would that do it?
Of course I could stop using silicone spray but the stuff works miracles on sticking doors etc. so ideally I'd find a solution.
I'm also open to suggestions of alternative lubricants I could use which would achieve the same thing (not damaging paintwork or rubbers whilst being effective) but not affect paint and/or be easier to clean off fully.
Edit: Just to be absolutely clear, silicone lube has been sprayed on fully finished joinery (water-based paint), and I want to know how best to clean it off when repainting (which is required every few years as a maintenance operation).