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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Removing painted letters
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Thread: Removing painted letters Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-25-2013 06:31 AM
djaustralia
Re: Removing painted letters

Please let us know how you get on mr club. Maybe some pics of the finished product.
04-23-2013 08:51 PM
Pegu club
Re: Easy Off isn't "Easy Off"

Quote:
Originally Posted by djaustralia View Post
Right you are. I was tired when I posted and negated to read properly. By 'admiral' you mean the wife...what rank do you hold then?
I'm the Captain, she is the Admiral...
04-23-2013 11:01 AM
djaustralia
Re: Removing painted letters

Instead of worrying about removing lettering and not damaging whats underneath, If it were me I could see myself biting the bullet and just scrubbing it with a scotchbright pad and nitrocellulose auto thinners, then sanding with 1000 or 1500 wet and then buff out and polish. If you screw up the 'tender' approach you'll probably have to do this anyhow! The thinners shouldn't damage too much (just leaving a dull surface) but with 'fresh' paint it has a tendancy to melt it to a point where it looks like it's had paint stripper on it. Thinners on old hard paint will just require elbow grease but it's impossible to know when to stop if your attacking multiple layers! If your dealing with paint coloured or a white boat have you thought about just sanding it flat and using long lasting vinyl stickers to cover it. This may not amuse the superstitious folk though!
04-23-2013 10:49 AM
djaustralia
Re: Easy Off isn't "Easy Off"

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrB View Post
The OP didn't mention the type of paint. My boat has the letters in "automotive" paint, according to what my wife was told to her by the previous owner of our boat. The EASY OFF approach with my letter's didn't work.
Right you are. I was tired when I posted and negated to read properly. By 'admiral' you mean the wife...what rank do you hold then?
04-23-2013 06:15 AM
downeast450
Re: Removing painted letters

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
I tried it all, oven cleaner, expensive pain remover, scraping, compounding etc.

Light wet sanding took it off in 5 minutes. What a collossell waste of time and money. Lol
Rob is right on! A da sander with 220. then 320, then up to 600 wet or dry hand sanded wet, then 3M finessit II using a power buffer. The buffer must be one that is limited to under 2000 rpm to keep things from getting too hot. The only risk is it will look better than the rest of the transom so do the whole thing. I just did this to a rolled on coat of high solids, 2 part urethane yesterday and it shines. I started with 150 because the surface was rough to begin with. Sanding is good! Go slowly with the coarse (220) grit!

Down
04-22-2013 11:30 PM
SloopJonB
Re: Removing painted letters

Oven cleaner (Easy Off) works extremely well, but only on sign paint. Other types of paint require strippers appropriate to themselves.

If it isn't sign paint, I suspect sanding & buffing would be the fastest & easiest.
04-22-2013 11:19 PM
scratchee
Re: Removing painted letters

I may be excommunicated for saying this, but I was in a hurry to remove an old name before re-launching my boat. I used some VERY course sand paper (not sure of the grade, but I'd bet I was the only one in the yard using it above the water line) with plenty of water, and removed the worst of it in a matter of minutes. The vinyl letters had been removed before sanding, but the gelcoat had a very obvious raised edge and discoloration where each letter had been. After sanding, the old letters were virtually invisible unless I stood at just the right angle to the sun, and even then it was just a matter of a different gloss where they had been.

I'm not suggesting a particular method as much as I'm saying that sometimes you just have to pick something that's effective and get it done, unless you're trying to win a boat show or something.
04-22-2013 10:15 PM
MIsailor
Re: Removing painted letters

Try a heavy cut rubbing compound on a buffer first. If that doesn't get it off then go the wet sanding route. Compounding by hand will probably not do it.
04-22-2013 10:11 PM
chucklesR
Re: Removing painted letters

If the paint has been there for a long period of time the gel coat around it will have oxidized and flaked away at the microscopic level.
What that means is you'll have a 2 millimeter or less 'bump' where the letters where that believe it or not will be visible.
Wet sanding with a long board is the only way to kill it/smooth it off.
04-22-2013 04:17 PM
DrB
How to prevent from Running/Drying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
easy off works.. but it takes more than 5 minutes... I remember doing that to a truck we had at a place I worked at. I think we would let it sit half an hour at a time
My boat name is on the transom. Putting a slight excess of EASY OFF, to allow it to sit for extend minutes, resulted in the material to slump and run down off the letters. I could soak a rag in it and adhere the rag over the letters, but I am worried with it sitting that long on the gel coat if that is good for the gel coat.
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