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Removing Old Vinyl Decals

This is a discussion on Removing Old Vinyl Decals within the Showcar and Detailing forums, part of the General Help category; Well, I've got this gaudy hood decal. It's cracked from years of exposure in the Fla sun. So, from trying ...

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    Member tpilews's Avatar
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    Removing Old Vinyl Decals

    Well, I've got this gaudy hood decal. It's cracked from years of exposure in the Fla sun. So, from trying various methods, I was able to get the vinyl off by using a steamer and plastic scraper. Now my problem is the adhesive residue that is left behind. I've tried Goo-gone, some other off brand "goo-gone", all to no avail.

    I was at the point today where I decided to start wet sanding in a small area to see what happened. I was able to get some of the adhesive off, but it'll take me 30 hours of sanding to get it all. I need some suggestions. So far getting it hot in the sun doesn't help, it just smears the glue. I'm thinking of trying more steam while using 0000 steel wool, or a kitchen scrub pad.

    Anyway, anyone dealt with this before and could point me in the right direction? Thanks

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    Just me Y2KPewterSS's Avatar
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    3M makes a fantastic adhesive remover, much better than goo gone. Give it a shot.

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    Member tpilews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Y2KPewterSS View Post
    3M makes a fantastic adhesive remover, much better than goo gone. Give it a shot.
    I'll check it out. Thanks.

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    Lifes A Garden, Dig It!!! 02convertibleT/A's Avatar
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    buy the 3M headlight kit and use the drill adaptar and the 3000 grit paper and wetsand with that. Thats the exactmethod im using to remove the Vinyl pinstriping on my 98 Silverado...

    Heat it up with heat gun

    peel/scrape it off

    wetsand with 3000 grit foam pad on the drill adaptar (comes with 3M Headlight Kit)

    Use the 3" buffing pad that comes with the kit and some polish to buff the wetsand marks, or use a DA or rotary if you got one. Since im doing a skinny line on my truck, the 3" pad that comes with the kit works perfect!!

    That kit comes with stuff that can be used in soooo many other applications besides headlights! The buff pad that comes with it can be used for HOURS and HOURS worth of buffing. I use it on small spots of cars, like pillars and around emblems. I use it on motorcycle paint and plastics. I have bought so many kits i have like 10 buff pads and like 15 drill adaptars that i havent even touch yet...

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    Member tpilews's Avatar
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    Just to let everyone know, I got the 3M Adhesive Remover and it took care of it all. Took me about an hour of scrubbing my ass off, but it all came up. I used a kitchen scrubbing pad to help. Thanks for the help.

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    Just me Y2KPewterSS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tpilews View Post
    Just to let everyone know, I got the 3M Adhesive Remover and it took care of it all. Took me about an hour of scrubbing my ass off, but it all came up. I used a kitchen scrubbing pad to help. Thanks for the help.
    That stuff works significantly better than any other adhesive remover I have ever used. Glad it did the job for ya

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    Senior Member Z06-Goose's Avatar
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    I can tell you by experience, that it won't be easy no matter what you try.
    I worked on a 35th Anniv. Camaro that had all the decals and stripes removed, and let me tell you, it was no fun.

    You need patience here. If it's going to take 10-20 hours, so be it.
    Two things that worked for me were the 3M Adhesive remover and Tarminator by Stoners.
    One more thing, if you happen to have decals on the bumper or on any plastic surface, use caution if using a heat gun. It can warp the surface if too much heat is applied.

    You can get one of those plastic "spatulas" body shops use to apply bondo and use that to scrape up the glus residue. Make sure the glue soaks in the 3M Adhesive Remover if that's what you'll be using, then little section at a time, start lifting up the glue

    I'll stay away from sanding. When sanding a surface you need to sand with even pressure across the surface as to not cause highs a lows onto the finish.

    The plastic spatula may cause some little scratches, but that's going to be almost impossible not to have that happen.
    Save the wetsanding for last if your paint will need it to remove scratche.
    Ususally a good buffing job would take care of those issues...

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    Senior Member Z06-Goose's Avatar
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    Oops!
    I guess you got it off already!

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    Member tpilews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z06-Goose View Post
    I can tell you by experience, that it won't be easy no matter what you try.
    I worked on a 35th Anniv. Camaro that had all the decals and stripes removed, and let me tell you, it was no fun.

    You need patience here. If it's going to take 10-20 hours, so be it.
    Two things that worked for me were the 3M Adhesive remover and Tarminator by Stoners.
    One more thing, if you happen to have decals on the bumper or on any plastic surface, use caution if using a heat gun. It can warp the surface if too much heat is applied.

    You can get one of those plastic "spatulas" body shops use to apply bondo and use that to scrape up the glus residue. Make sure the glue soaks in the 3M Adhesive Remover if that's what you'll be using, then little section at a time, start lifting up the glue

    I'll stay away from sanding. When sanding a surface you need to sand with even pressure across the surface as to not cause highs a lows onto the finish.

    The plastic spatula may cause some little scratches, but that's going to be almost impossible not to have that happen.
    Save the wetsanding for last if your paint will need it to remove scratche.
    Ususally a good buffing job would take care of those issues...
    Yeah, that 3M Adhesive Remover worked like a charm. It was still hard to get the adhesive off, took me an hour or so of scrubbing with a kitchen scrubbing pad. Thanks for the reply; hopefully if someone runs into this problem they'll have your answer to help them. I'm going to wetsand the hood just to make sure everything it smooth as glass when it all get buffed out.

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    Member tpilews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z06-Goose View Post
    You can get one of those plastic "spatulas" body shops use to apply bondo and use that to scrape up the glus residue. Make sure the glue soaks in the 3M Adhesive Remover if that's what you'll be using, then little section at a time, start lifting up the glue
    The best tool in helping remove the vinyl was actually a plastic paint scraper that I got from Home Depot. The plastic is a little more hard than the plastic spatulas from the body shop. I was able to get something like 75% of the adhesive off with just steam and the plastic paint remover.

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    C Dave Go TheSilverSurfer's Avatar
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    Old credit cards work great as a scraper
    2002 Silver Trans Am WS6
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    Think Spring..... 4get gto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSilverSurfer View Post
    Old credit cards work great as a scraper
    Use the wife's cc's. Just throw em out when done...........








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