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Bones750 05-01-2013 05:17 AM

I once was shiny, but now I'm not.....
I know I've seen some posts from inmates who do vinyl (sp) transfer & sign work. Here's my question....I've got a cargo hauler that is lettered for business and I have been taking the lettering off so I can sell it (the trailer, not the lettering). It has navy blue lettering on white and I was able to strip virtually all of it off in under an sweat. My actual business logo is the same blue over a silver/gray background (NON-reflective) and that part doesn't want to come off for crap. I have MAYBE a third of it off after many hours of toil. Have been using a heat gun and that worked great on everything but the silver. It appears to be a different type of vinyl since any that does come off leaves no trace residue and the finish underneath is like day-one original. Any words of advice??? At the pace it's going, it feels akin to scrubbing a basketball court with a toothbrush. Any help would be appreciated.

josjor 05-01-2013 05:23 AM

Don't know that this helps, but I was removing the decals off my KLR ('08) and most of it was easy-peasy. Came to some of it that was you describe, cleaning a basketball court with a toothbrush. Turned out that that portion of the decal was put on UNDER the clear coat. Could be the same for your trailer?

Bones750 05-01-2013 04:47 PM

No clear coat as I had the lettering applied about 8 years ago....strictly a vinyl transfer job.

Tmaximusv 05-01-2013 05:23 PM

Having worked in the industry that makes such stuff I can say definitively that you are more or less screwed.

The lettering is from a laser cutting stock that would have used an adhesive rated "removable" and would be easy to remove without leaving residue.:clap

Since your logo was printed, the shop probably used a premium sheet vinyl with a permanent adhesive tat is a biŁ€h to remove. Your best bet is to continue with the heat to soften the adhesive and scrape gently. I doubt GooGone will touch the stuff but you never know.:cry

If it is as good an adhesive as it seems to be, you might have to scrape to the primer and repaint.

Bodwick 05-01-2013 05:28 PM

I've used a gel type paint stripper on vinyl. Applied carefully with a paintbrush it curls up the vinyl. After a minute or two peel it off. Use rubber gloves, eye protection. Grab the vinyl with paper towels and pull...


Bones750 05-02-2013 04:00 AM

Since it is near the top of the box, I thought I would check to see if a coat of heavy white vinyl would go over the area to cover it enough so as to not be too conspicuous. i know there will likely be shadowing but I'm just trying to get the trailer cleaned up to sell and it has now cost me way more hours than I had planned and more money for supplies. Has turned into a real PITA undertaking.

Bodwick 05-02-2013 07:06 AM

Post a pic... Try the paint stripper. It doesn't go through the vinyl so doesn't effect the base and works very well.


dwayne 05-02-2013 12:14 PM

I have seen what varsol or kerosene can do to vinyl gloves; they get really big and weak. I dunno if you would have the same result with a decal. It needs to be in contact for a pretty long time for the reaction to take place.

kfsinc 05-02-2013 12:28 PM

WD40? Pretty good at stripping many adhesives.


madeouttaglass 05-02-2013 04:04 PM

Try a few different carb or brake cleaners. Some work wonders. I once took shelter from a bad hailstorm under a big pine when my car was new. After the storm passed my car was covered in pine sap and needles. I tried everything under the sun to get it off gently with zero results. The only thing that finally removed it was acetone. 8 years later the car still looks like new.

Bones750 05-02-2013 05:06 PM

Thanks all for the many suggestions. I will have another go at it this weekend with some of the above thoughts. The adhesive is not particularly tough to dissolve, just getting the vinyl off to get it. There are so areas where a combination of weather and run-off from the hardware has alligator-ed it and you can't begin to budge it. I am in the finishing/coatings business as a furniture restorer and woodworker so I am aware of what the various solvent-type products will do. I am really hesitant to use acetone as the paint on the trailer is incredibly thing and it has scratched through in a couple of spots just from the heat off the heat gun. Gel or paste remover may work but is likely to be pretty tedious as well as it is going on a vertical surface. Vinyl guy was supposed to get back with me three days ago.....suppose that ought to tell me something there.

Switchblade315 05-02-2013 05:09 PM

go to your parts store and see if they have a rubber wheel that goes on a drill to remove pin stripes. it will eat the sticker off and not harm the paint.

DLFLHT 05-02-2013 09:42 PM

Belt sander

Bones750 05-03-2013 03:32 AM

Rubber wheel........I like that idea. Thanks.

squish 05-03-2013 07:25 AM

3M makes a product for the pro market that is targeted at vinyl and wood gran removal.
Search for it. It used to come in a white can with yellow lettering. It works pretty well on getting old vinyl and adhesive off.

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