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MtHopeBay 04-15-2009 01:06 AM

vinyl letters/stripes removal
The question turns up from time to time and I read them to try figure it out. I had 4 boat-length 1" stripes, kind of multi-colored 4" wide stripe. I also had registration and name vinyl to take off but the stripe(s) were a real b****. It was all old and well adhered.

Here's the best way I found for a big job like mine and, I think, the easiest for a small job too. I used my old, but freshly sharpened, 3/4" craftsman wood chisel. It took a couple of days and then I had to take a couple of days off to recuperate before I started the other side. Then I decided to try one of my good wood chisels. The 1" one because I rarely use it on my wood projects. It was very sharp, you could shave wood with it, and had a perfect bevel. It slipped under the vinyl and peeled it off very smoothly but I had to be careful not to shave the gel coat, just like with a razor. I did the second side in half a day and was hardly tired. I then rubbed out and waxed the hull.

This was not a hardware store wood chisel, but a good quality one with a good comfortable handle. If you have a small job to do, the cheap chisel with a good edge would be an excellent solution.

ohaavik 04-15-2009 01:18 AM

I had to go through the same about 18 months ago when I bought Valkyrja. PO had a large logo on both sides of the stern as well as the name and hailing-port on the transom.

I used a travel hairdryer to gently heat up the vinyl and peeled it off using a plastic 'spatula' thingy...the ones you use for spreading putty etc. No scratches or other damage of any kind. Took some elbow grease, but once heated, the vinyl could be largely peeled off in large flakes.

Removing the residual adhesive was a heck of a job though. I tried everything, including acetone, until I hit on the idea of using 'black streak remover'. I sprayed it on and left it for a minute or two (can't remember the instructions on the bottle) and it came right off simply using the same plastic spatula-thingy. Then a generous scrub with nice soapy water and we were as good as new.

Of course, the gelcoat under the vinyl is lighter, but after a nice polish in the yard it's hardly noticeable.

MtHopeBay 04-15-2009 02:52 PM

sticky residue
the beauty of the wood chisel was that it took up almost all the sticky with the vinyl. I wiped with Goof Off after peeling the vinyl and it was done.

I tried heat but that left the sticky behind.

Faster 04-15-2009 03:14 PM

A while back I used the product "Aqua-Strip" to remove some old painted hull stripes - worked fairly well and as a stripper is safe for gelcoat. Coincidentally I found it was quite willing to soften and loosen vinyl decals as well... unfortunately I had not planned on that part :(

So that may be another option to try.

ohaavik 04-16-2009 01:49 AM

I have no confidence in my ability to handle a chisel - I am sure my middle school wood working classes are responsible for this :o The black streak remover worked a treat though but as with most chemical cleaning agents it will probably wreak havoc on paint and vinyl.

I have spent a year trying to find someone here in Singapore to cut the new name for vinyl letters to put on her, but business must have been too good and I couldn't find anyone. I guess I have to do it myself...

sailingdog 04-16-2009 06:40 AM

There's got to be a sign maker that can cut the letters for you. Singapore is a relatively modern citystate... look in the yellow pages for sign makers...

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