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Old 03-21-2015, 11:01 AM   #1
The Sign Lady
 
1969 23' Safari
1974 Argosy 22
1964 24' Tradewind
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The Sign Ladys tips for Removing Vinyl Stripes

I just had a Private Message asking for stripe removal tips as vinyl removal is something I do almost daily at work. I thought I would share what I typed up for them

For removing a stripe, heat is your best friend. I would recommend a household blow dryer over the heat gun though as I would be worried about burning your clear coat off.

I personally also use an actual metal straight razor scraper knife not the plastic scraper blades, but go with what you are comfortable with.

If you go with the metal straight razor, start with a fresh new one and dull it out. To dull it out I use a clean 2 by 4 or some similar flat semi-smooth piece of wood and scrape the blade...away from the blade, along the wood at about a 30 degree angle, then flip it over and do the other side repeating this process about 3 times. This dulls the blades edge out and making it less likely to dig in and gouge or scrape your finish, if you are seeing scratches or it starts gouging as you go, toss that blade and start a fresh one. I commonly go through about two or three blades on a truck stripe removal

Working on a warm day and having the side you are working on facing the sun helps tremendously with softening the vinyl stripes adhesive death grip. Start at one end and heating up about a one foot area as you go, use your blade to get just a little ways under the strip, just enough that you can get your fingers on it to pull it up. Depending on the vinyl and how much it has deteriorated you may be able to pull up several inches before it breaks. When it breaks just get your knife under the edge to start again.

When you have the stripe removed you will have a lot of glue residue left on the trailer needing removal. Get some Rapid remover, or goo be gone or whatever adhesive remover is available in your neighbourhood hardware store and using a spray bottle nozzle, spray it all over the sticky residue, leave it sit about 60 seconds if an area looks like it is starting to dry out spray some more on. It will not hurt your clear coat. Once it is puffed up to the consistency of boogers use a plastic scraper and scrape it off into a paper towel. Re-spray the area for the stuff left behind and when you are mostly done saturate a paper towel and just hand buff the rest off.

Usually at this point you will be left with a dark grey line at where the margins of the stripe where, this is from when the vinyl shrank slightly over the years and the exposed adhesive edge gathered dirt and it has become somewhat engrained so for the very final step if you do have that grey line problem saturate a Mr. Clean magic eraser (grocery or hardware store) in the adhesive remover and scrub it off. I cut my magic erasers into three or four pieces because they break up and disintegrate as you go... The magic erasers have to be wet to work so if the sponge starts to dry out add more of your glue remover to it. This process will also work to remove tar spots and tree sap.

Good luck
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:12 AM   #2
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Also, believe it or not, an alternative to the commercial type of goo removers, try "SHOUT" from your laundry room. It works great for removing all the sticky residue left behind. I didn't believe it either but it works better than all the ones I tried from the hardware store.


George
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gandttimes View Post
Also, believe it or not, an alternative to the commercial type of goo removers, try "SHOUT" from your laundry room. It works great for removing all the sticky residue left behind. I didn't believe it either but it works better than all the ones I tried from the hardware store.


George
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:24 AM   #4
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Thank you!

Moderators... Can you make this "sticky"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesignlady View Post
I just had a Private Message asking for stripe removal tips as vinyl removal is something I do almost daily at work. I thought I would share what I typed up for them

For removing a stripe, heat is your best friend. I would recommend a household blow dryer over the heat gun though as I would be worried about burning your clear coat off.

I personally also use an actual metal straight razor scraper knife not the plastic scraper blades, but go with what you are comfortable with.

If you go with the metal straight razor, start with a fresh new one and dull it out. To dull it out I use a clean 2 by 4 or some similar flat semi-smooth piece of wood and scrape the blade...away from the blade, along the wood at about a 30 degree angle, then flip it over and do the other side repeating this process about 3 times. This dulls the blades edge out and making it less likely to dig in and gouge or scrape your finish, if you are seeing scratches or it starts gouging as you go, toss that blade and start a fresh one. I commonly go through about two or three blades on a truck stripe removal

Working on a warm day and having the side you are working on facing the sun helps tremendously with softening the vinyl stripes adhesive death grip. Start at one end and heating up about a one foot area as you go, use your blade to get just a little ways under the strip, just enough that you can get your fingers on it to pull it up. Depending on the vinyl and how much it has deteriorated you may be able to pull up several inches before it breaks. When it breaks just get your knife under the edge to start again.

When you have the stripe removed you will have a lot of glue residue left on the trailer needing removal. Get some Rapid remover, or goo be gone or whatever adhesive remover is available in your neighbourhood hardware store and using a spray bottle nozzle, spray it all over the sticky residue, leave it sit about 60 seconds if an area looks like it is starting to dry out spray some more on. It will not hurt your clear coat. Once it is puffed up to the consistency of boogers use a plastic scraper and scrape it off into a paper towel. Re-spray the area for the stuff left behind and when you are mostly done saturate a paper towel and just hand buff the rest off.

Usually at this point you will be left with a dark grey line at where the margins of the stripe where, this is from when the vinyl shrank slightly over the years and the exposed adhesive edge gathered dirt and it has become somewhat engrained so for the very final step if you do have that grey line problem saturate a Mr. Clean magic eraser (grocery or hardware store) in the adhesive remover and scrub it off. I cut my magic erasers into three or four pieces because they break up and disintegrate as you go... The magic erasers have to be wet to work so if the sponge starts to dry out add more of your glue remover to it. This process will also work to remove tar spots and tree sap.

Good luck
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:34 PM   #5
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Tanks a lot for this, especially the dulling of the blade process. My 97 lived in the winter in Florida with one side facing the sea. Te striping is hardened and cracked. I tried the heat gun with no success. I'll give it another try next summer.
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Old 05-03-2016, 03:57 PM   #6
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ZERO Luck using Shout, did not do much if anything to remove glue residue
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:38 PM   #7
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Go with a proper made for the job glue removers
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:50 PM   #8
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Vinyl stripe removal

After finishing the striping of the clear coat, I really laid into the vinyl stripes.

Tried heat, regular paint remover, the eco friendly remover I used on the clear coat. goof off, xylene, lacquer thinner, WD 40, Shout. Nothing would touch the glue. The trailer had been in California and Arizona most of its 25 years. I have added a picture of the condition of the vinyl.

So, I went to the local auto paint supply shop. Asked for "Aircraft Stripper", they knew of that product, but was not in their inventory, several day to get. They did have NAPA water rinsable paint remover part No. 6806, $26.49/qt. Its a pretty serious stripper, wear rubber gloves, eye protection, long sleeves, well ventilated, etc. Clerk promised it would do the job.

Took 2 applications, but I finally had something that was working. Used a plastic body filler tool to scrape goop off. I had sharpened the edge with a file. Needed a better tool. I had read signlady's tip about dulling a razor blade, tried that in a hidden spot. Not for me. I remember seeing plastic razor blades. But that would mean running 12 miles to a store. So I get the idea to use a common paint stick. Put a 45 degree chisel shaped bevel on the end. WOW Now the goop was starting coming off without any risk of putting a scratch or gouge in the aluminum. To my eye the paint stick was made of Aspen. Kind of a semi hard wood. I had some thin pieces of Oak, so I made a few scrapers out of it. Cut the 45 degree bevel, pic 2, on the table saw, then burned it on the belt sander. See pic 3, figuring the burn would make the edge a little harder.

That worked so good I'm going to have a drink. No kidding the oak wood tool removed the goop without any damage at all. Now I had to apply some pressure and it took 2 apps of the remover, but, it worked great. And you can sharpen it on the belt sander if needed.

I have not done a complete wipe down and wash yet so I don't know how the stripped area compares with the adjacent aluminum visually.

I do think that rubbing the oak over the aluminum may have a burnishing effect. So the texture of adjacent areas may have a different sheen. Not a problem for me, may bother some people. Its your call. I am just glad it is working on the most stubborn thing I had ever tried to strip.
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:24 AM   #9
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Correction that NAP part number is 6802
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:31 AM   #10
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Sorry I double posted the correction
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Old 05-06-2016, 02:03 PM   #11
The Sign Lady
 
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Ooh, that likes like a whole lot of nasty fun. Are you putting the striper directly on the vinyl or removing the vinyl first?
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Old 05-06-2016, 02:12 PM   #12
The Sign Lady
 
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I used an environmentally friendly striper called Safe strip in conjunction with one of my screenprinting squeegee when I striped my Argosy. The safe stuff didn't touch the vinyl but did an amazing job of taking the paint off without marring the underlying Aluminium. Maybe you could try picking up a squeegee and using the Aircraft striper to melt the vinyl off and squeegee it away
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