I once was shiny, but now I'm not.....

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Bones750, May 1, 2013.

  1. Bones750

    Bones750 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    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 hour....no 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.
    #1
  2. josjor

    josjor Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,023
    Location:
    The largest geological formation in the U.S.A.
    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 hell.......as 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?
    #2
  3. Bones750

    Bones750 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    No clear coat as I had the lettering applied about 8 years ago....strictly a vinyl transfer job.
    #3
  4. Tmaximusv

    Tmaximusv Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    952
    Location:
    Gateway to the Sandhills
    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 bi£€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.
    #4
  5. Bodwick

    Bodwick Odd Bod

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,272
    Location:
    Cloud Cuckoo Land U.K.
    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...

    :freaky
    #5
  6. Bones750

    Bones750 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    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.
    #6
  7. Bodwick

    Bodwick Odd Bod

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,272
    Location:
    Cloud Cuckoo Land U.K.
    Post a pic... Try the paint stripper. It doesn't go through the vinyl so doesn't effect the base and works very well.

    :freaky
    #7
  8. dwayne

    dwayne Silly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,614
    Location:
    wheelie in purgatory, Calgary
    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.
    #8
  9. kfsinc

    kfsinc Chaingolian Observer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,595
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, IL
    WD40? Pretty good at stripping many adhesives.

    kfs
    #9
  10. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,637
    Location:
    The Lost Coast of California
    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.
    #10
  11. Bones750

    Bones750 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    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.
    #11
  12. Switchblade315

    Switchblade315 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    6,017
    Location:
    personal hell
    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.
    #12
  13. DLFLHT

    DLFLHT I'm a little fuzzy

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    454
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Belt sander
    #13
  14. Bones750

    Bones750 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    Rubber wheel........I like that idea. Thanks.
    #14
  15. squish

    squish Out of the office.

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,466
    Location:
    Where the Ghetto meets the sea.
    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.
    #15
  16. Bun-bun

    Bun-bun Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    627
    Location:
    Norfolk VA, USofA
    If the problem is getting a solvent under the vinyl, try a wallpaper bug. It looks like a computer mouse, and has a couple of star wheels on the underside that prick the wallpaper (or vinyl) and leave dozens of tiny holes to let the solvent penetrate the vinyl.

    (That was pretty good, I was able to use "prick" and "penetrate" !)
    #16
  17. Bones750

    Bones750 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    Picked up a rubber wheel yesterday and that is working better than anything so far. Biggest problem with it is I'm having to run it in an electric drill due to location and the drill gets really hot after about 7-8 minutes of continuous use. I will likely use up the wheel on one side of the trailer and have to pick up another but they were pretty cheap and if it gets the job done, I'll be a happy boy. When I go back for the second wheel, I'll look for the 3M product as they make great stuff that works.
    #17
  18. Bones750

    Bones750 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    75
    Update: The rubber wheel did the job. Pretty much burned up an old junker drill and went through 2 wheels but got 99% of everything off. A few small traces around a couple of the seams where the vinyl seemed to be baked on from a combo of sun and hardware oxidation run-off but all in all, quite pass-able for resale purposes. Thanks to all for your comments and help.
    #18