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What about using a heat gun to remove the old vinyl name?
I assume that’s a generic question, as Denise has already removed her painted on name. I’ve found heat on vinyl to be minimally helpful. You can over heat and melt, which makes it more difficult.

My fav approach to removing vinyl is to use a plastic razor blade (they fit any razor blade scrapper). Get an edge up, grab it and peel.
 

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I would just add you're all lumping polishing with super fine papers in with sanding it's not quite the same because super high gloss requires some type of compound whether it's on paper or on a buffing pad. I've used papers up to 1500 grit with great results but not on large projects. I believe it's available up to 3000 grit.
No, this will not work with Awlgrip. Even using a gloss finishing compound on Awlgrip will dull it. Yes, they make paper with very high grit, and I have some at 5000, but it will still dull Awlgrip.

Mark
 

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We are off to the sailboat show tomorrow. If there is a vinyl lettering company I shall inquire as to the proper method of removing old vinyl.
 

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I've removed lots of old vinyl from boat hulls. If it has been on there long enough, the vinyl itself is very easy to remove - just lift and edge and pull.

The glue left behind, on the other hand, is a real PITA to remove. I like 3M adhesive remover, but that isn't a panacea. It takes several applications and scraping with a plastic blade to remove all of the sticky snot.

Mark
 

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I've removed lots of old vinyl from boat hulls. If it has been on there long enough, the vinyl itself is very easy to remove - just lift and edge and pull.

The glue left behind, on the other hand, is a real PITA to remove. I like 3M adhesive remover, but that isn't a panacea. It takes several applications and scraping with a plastic blade to remove all of the sticky snot.

Mark
I have removed vinyl lettering a few times on the transom. A heat gun seemed to help... glue left behind I think was removed with acetone... I also used some compound/wax. But I recall some ghosting... However... that seems to fade over time.
 

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I have removed vinyl lettering a few times on the transom. A heat gun seemed to help... glue left behind I think was removed with acetone... I also used some compound/wax. But I recall some ghosting... However... that seems to fade over time.
I started with acetone, but it just seemed to smear the glue around rather than lifting it more cleanly off. Ghosting can't be helped without a lot of work - it is raised gelcoat and often a different color because it didn't age with the rest of the boat. You can sand it back down even, but need to be careful not to also sand down the surround. Difficult to do well depending on font/graphic. If the new name/graphic is placed over the old, the ghosting is usually only noticeable in certain light angles.

Mark
 

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I got one of those for the last time I removed vinyl. It didn't worked all that well for me. It gummed up, smeared the vinyl, and wore down quickly. I spent a day getting half of one side off, then switched over to a plastic blade and adhesive remover and got the other half and the other side done in half a day.

However, mine was not the 3M brand, so that could be the difference. I've found that most 3M stuff really is better than others.

Mark
 

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I got one of those for the last time I removed vinyl. It didn't worked all that well for me. It gummed up, smeared the vinyl, and wore down quickly. I spent a day getting half of one side off, then switched over to a plastic blade and adhesive remover and got the other half and the other side done in half a day.

However, mine was not the 3M brand, so that could be the difference. I've found that most 3M stuff really is better than others.

Mark
My vinyl was old, sun baked, and cracked. I had a rubber wheel from amazon like the 3M. Think is was made by ABM. The plastic scraper would only take tiny dime sized chunks of vinyl off at best. The rubber wheel went to town and a few minutes and a couple of batteries on the drill later and the vinyl and all glue was off. There is still significant shadowing, but I hope to take care of that in the spring when I compound the hull. I think the efficacy of the rubber wheels depends on the condition of the vinyl. I tried it on a newer decal, and the vinyl came off more gummy and was not as efficient as the old vinyl.
 

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Stopped by the vinyl lettering booth at the sailboat show and asked how to remove the old lettering. Answer was hair dryer or heat gun and remove old glue with acetone.
 

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Stopped by the vinyl lettering booth at the sailboat show and asked how to remove the old lettering. Answer was hair dryer or heat gun and remove old glue with acetone.
Acetone works OK for removing glue, but trust me that a good adhesive remover will work better and be better on your hands and gelcoat.

Mark
 

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Acetone is a great solvent, but flashes off so fast that thick glue can be hard to pick up fast enough. Most adhesive removers are acetone based, but must have additives that buy you a tad more time.

I'd sooner use a hair dryer, if heat was really necessary. I found it was not, but not all vinyl is the same either. If you heat it too much, it gets mushy and smears. BTDT.
 
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