Removing lettering - SailNet Community

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Old 02-08-2008
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Removing lettering

I have some lettering on the transom that is painted on the hull. Anyone know a good way of removing? I've heard oven cleaner, but I think that would be a bit harsh. Open to suggestions.
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Old 02-08-2008
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Oven cleaner works

hurricanesailing, and will do no dammage to the hull. How long has the name been on the boat? If it has been on a long time, you might see a ghost image after you remove the paint, and you can actually feel raised spots where the letters were. To remove it you will have to sand until it is just barley visible. Don't sand to far or you will go through the gelcoat. Just go far enough, to the point where it is something you can live with. Remember, you are going to put new lettering over it. Also keep in mind, eventually the ghost image that left will fade out in about 10 to 20 years
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Old 02-08-2008
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Yes, oven cleaner works...but you'll regret it.

Best bet is to go to a local sign supply dealer (find in yellow pages) and buy a small spray bottle of "Rapid Remover'. The manufacturer sends dealers samples in spritz bottles free for asking. However you get it, it's absolutely the best product available. If you're going to apply vinyl lettering, get a sample of 'Rapid Tac', while you're at it; makes application a dream. You can reposition the design for a brief time before it sets.
Howard Keiper
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Old 02-08-2008
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It really depends on whether the lettering was painted on or is vinyl. Also, it matters if the hull is painted or gelcoat. Oven cleaner works fairly well, but can damage a painted hull.
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Easy Off

Hello,

My second boat came with the name painted on. The name was 'Electrowax' I had no idea what it meant, hated it, so it had to go.

I first tried automobile compound. Did nothing. I then tried acetone. Again, nothing. After searching the internet, I tried Easy Off oven cleaner. It worked very well and did not damage to the hull (original gel coat). There was a slight ghost outline of the old letters. I just ignored them, put on my vinyl letters, and that was enough for me.

My new boat had vinyl letters. They came off easily with a heat gun.

Barry
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Easy off works like a charm on gelcoat.
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Old 02-08-2008
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When removing the 18 year old painted-on, home-port lettering on the port & starboard sides of my last boat, I used Easy-Off - as recommended by several posters on two different boating forums.

It did work, but required three to four separate applications to remove all traces of the dark blue paint on the white gel coat - even when allowing up to 10 minutes time before removing each application.

I replaced the paint with computer-cut vinyl lettering, but - in the right light and at the right angle, a trace of the raised areas could be detected where the old letters were. In hind sight, wet sanding, compounding and polishing the area before applying new letters, would have had perfect results.

The new owner from the Chesapeake though, will have an easier job if he uses the hair-dryer technique of vinyl lettering removal.
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Easy-off removes paint.....Be aware that if you have a painted hull, that goes also! On gelcoat, you can use easy-off, but not on paint. Wet sanding has the potential of cutting thru the gel coat between the letters before the lettering is gone. Therefore it is safer to remove the painted letters with Easy-off (or liquid Drano - same stuff) and wet sand afterward to remove the ghost (which exists because the sun attacks the hull but the paint protects it!) Remember to wear rubber gloves; both easy-off and Drano are strong caustics. and will remove skin also! On a painted hull, the only good way is to sand off the name and repaint the hull! Vinyl letters are much more forgiving, they can be removed with heat.
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When i used the easy off I did also use 800 grit wet sand paper. I forgot to mention that. There was trace lettering at first, but after a good washing all was gone.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAGTIMEDON View Post
Easy-off removes paint.....Be aware that if you have a painted hull, that goes also! On gelcoat, you can use easy-off, but not on paint. Wet sanding has the potential of cutting thru the gel coat between the letters before the lettering is gone. Therefore it is safer to remove the painted letters with Easy-off (or liquid Drano - same stuff) and wet sand afterward to remove the ghost (which exists because the sun attacks the hull but the paint protects it!) Remember to wear rubber gloves; both easy-off and Drano are strong caustics. and will remove skin also! On a painted hull, the only good way is to sand off the name and repaint the hull! Vinyl letters are much more forgiving, they can be removed with heat.
is that true even of awlgrip? I'm facing the same problem of painted name on awlgrip.
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