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Jeff S

Removing old license decals

11 posts in this topic

How do I remove my old license decals from the boat without harming the paint?

Thanks for the help.

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A hair dryer will sometimes loosen up the adhesive enough to peel them off more easily?

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Just put the new one over the old one!No Hassle.

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I have to remove the license as well as the numbers, they have to come off. Will the heat from a hairdryer harm the paint? What would I use to remove any remaining adhesive residue left from the decals?

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Quote:

I have to remove the license as well as the numbers, they have to come off. Will the heat from a hairdryer harm the paint? What would I use to remove any remaining adhesive residue left from the decals?


I seriously doubt heat from a hair dryer would harm the paint. You may need a bit more "oomph" than that, say from a heat gun, and that CAN damage the paint if you are not careful.

For removing the old adhesive, try using charcoal starter fluid, or some of that citrus-based solvent. If you need to get more agressive, then move on to stuff like brake cleaner, carb cleaner, toluene, etc.

Always test the cleaner in an inconspicuous place first.

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It it's a metal boat then you can use a heat gun and keep it moving so you don't get too much heat. A hot hair dryer works good. You won't hurt the paint. Get the decal started using a plastic putty knife. The metal ones will scratch the paint. Once the decal is started use you fingers to pull the decal off - that alone will keep you from over heating anything. I use lacquer thinner to remove the remaining adhesive. The lacquer thinner won't leave any oil on the paint and you can put the new decal on without washing and drying it to remove oil left by other adhesive removers.

If it's a fiberglass boat DON'T use a heat gun unless you are comfortable with not over heating. Fiberglass will delaminamte and bubble if you get too much heat on it. Adhesive removal on fiberglass is the same as for metal - lacquer thinner or something like it.

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A heat gun will work better but don't get too carried away, let the plastic soften up and peel it off. Hair drier will work also, it will take more time but it's safer.

I just removed a complete business lettering from a truck yesterday using pressure washer, works slick but paint on a vehicle is different than aluminum boat

If it's fiberglass then don't worry, pressure wash it.

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Besides adhesive remover one of the better products I have used is bug and tar remover, pretty much the same product and very safe for paint. Just soak a rag and run it over the adhesive, let it sit for a couple minutes and hit it again if needed, comes right off.

If you use a hair dryer or heat gun, dont get things too hot or you will take the decals off in small chunks, just try to warm the decal a bit, it doesn't take much heat.

Mike

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Use the hair dryer to soften the adhesive which allows you to get the stickers off with a finger nail. Remove the remaining adhesive with a rag and some WD-40. Then just wash off the oil. This will not harm the paint and it will work.

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[Please read forum policy before posting again, Thank You]

You may want to check out "Goo gone". I have had good luck with it in the past, removing stickers and gummy residue. They have products that will not hurt your paint.

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Be careful with citrus based cleaners on aluminum boats. Took the stickers off with a hairdryer, then used citrus cleaner. The product dulled the darker paint on the boat. However, it did nothing to the white paint. It has worked fine on fiberglass for me.

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