Vinyl Decal Removal

Vinyl Decal Removal

Learn to remove vinyl decals and window stickers from your car safely. These tips will help you successfully remove your decal from your surface.


Note: In most instances, it is possible to remove vinyl lettering with no residual damage to the applied surface. While this is typically the case, different substrate materials can react in different ways, so if you're unsure of the resulting reaction, it's important to test an inconspicuous area of your surface before applying the following techniques to the entire area. The upside is that most surfaces, including vehicles, respond well to the vinyl removal technique outlined below, with no resulting damage to the surface.

When working with decals that have been in place for a significant length of time, there is the slight possibility that the paint around the decal will appear discolored or faded upon removal. Usually this only occurs in cases where the decal has been exposed to the sun for extreme periods of time. This significant sun exposure will result in a tan line effect on the surface whereby the unexposed area under the decals will appear nice and shiny next to the faded, exposed surface. This is mostly only the case due to the decal protecting the cars clear polish where the rest of the clear coating on your cars paint has worn down.

In the case of an old wooden sign, where the paint is already chipped and peeling, it is important to keep in mind that the paint will most likely peel off with the vinyl letters when you remove them.

The following step-by-step instructions provide a good basic plan for removing old vinyl decals, stripes, and letters.

1. Heat the surface of the decal with a heat gun. Then take a plastic removal squeegee or a decal lift stick and scrape vinyl from the surface. If the vinyl is old and brittle it will most likely come off in small pieces. For best results most customers find the Glass Scraper to be the best and easiest tool to use. WARNING: We do not suggest using this tool on painted surfaces. If the vinyl is not that old you may be able to pull it off in bigger chunks with nothing more than just a fingernail; no purchase necessary.
2. Once you have peeled all of the vinyl off, you will need to clean any residual adhesive off the surface with a product designed to remove adhesive without damaging the paint. We sell an adhesive remover fluid that works well for this purpose.
3. Clean the surface with soap and water then check to make sure there are no remaining pieces of vinyl or adhesive stuck to it.
4. At this point, you are done. If you intend to apply new vinyl to the surface, be sure to clean it thoroughly, then wipe it down with alcohol to ensure that none of the adhesive remover is left on the surface.
5. If you have any questions feel free to contact us here.