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Removing decals

Old 11-09-2011, 04:36 PM
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Default Removing decals

I just bought a new used boat and need to remove the old owners nickname, I checked and know the lettering was applied as a sticker. Is removing it as simple as peeling it off the hull? Will there be glue residue and if so, what is best to remove it? Will there be an image left on the white hull once removed?
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:12 PM
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I removed the ones off of my boat with some citrus degreaser and a razor. Keep the area wet and the razor peals it off and there will not be any of the glue left when you finish. Quick and easy.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:37 PM
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I removed some by heating them with my wife's hair dryer while peeling them off
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by marker150 View Post
I removed some by heating them with my wife's hair dryer while peeling them off
This should work but we use a heat gun. Easy to remove once heated.
Follow up with goof off or similar to remove any glue residue.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BikinCO View Post
I removed the ones off of my boat with some citrus degreaser and a razor. Keep the area wet and the razor peals it off and there will not be any of the glue left when you finish. Quick and easy.
No after image left on the gel coat? This sounds too easy. Thanks
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:43 PM
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Heat gun with moderate heat.
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:19 AM
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I have watched people using a heat gun to remove decals and I have done it myself. What I see people doing wrong is, they heat a small area and try to pull the decal off. This takes forever and the decal often tears.

A better plan is to start at one edge or corner and heat an area a foot long or more. When the edge is loose enough to be pulled off, pull with steady force but keep heating further along the decal. If you find you're leaving adhesive, get it a little warmer, but don't burn the surface.

Acetone, followed by a soap and water rinse will remove any remaining adhesive.

If the decal has been in place for more than a year or so, there may be a "ghost" where the decal protected the underlying surface. You can't remove this ghost, it has been protected from exposure by the decal. All you can do is try to bring the surrounding surface back to new condition so it blends. Rubbing compound, followed by wax or polish may do this. If not, you may have to wet sand the area, cover it with another decal, or just leave it alone and let the sun blend it in.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by pjd196 View Post
No after image left on the gel coat? This sounds too easy. Thanks
Nothing but a clean hull. This is how I removed the old registration numbers and stickers.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I have watched people using a heat gun to remove decals and I have done it myself. What I see people doing wrong is, they heat a small area and try to pull the decal off. This takes forever and the decal often tears.

A better plan is to start at one edge or corner and heat an area a foot long or more. When the edge is loose enough to be pulled off, pull with steady force but keep heating further along the decal. If you find you're leaving adhesive, get it a little warmer, but don't burn the surface.

Acetone, followed by a soap and water rinse will remove any remaining adhesive.

If the decal has been in place for more than a year or so, there may be a "ghost" where the decal protected the underlying surface. You can't remove this ghost, it has been protected from exposure by the decal. All you can do is try to bring the surrounding surface back to new condition so it blends. Rubbing compound, followed by wax or polish may do this. If not, you may have to wet sand the area, cover it with another decal, or just leave it alone and let the sun blend it in.
This is the correct way to remove the decal. The trick is to keep working the heat gun aahead of what your pulling up. If they are real old its a slow process.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:50 PM
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West marine used to have a tool they would loan out. It was similar to a buffing wheel, but made of rubber disks. It is designed for this. It goes into a drill and removes decals without damage
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I have watched people using a heat gun to remove decals and I have done it myself. What I see people doing wrong is, they heat a small area and try to pull the decal off. This takes forever and the decal often tears.

A better plan is to start at one edge or corner and heat an area a foot long or more. When the edge is loose enough to be pulled off, pull with steady force but keep heating further along the decal. If you find you're leaving adhesive, get it a little warmer, but don't burn the surface.

Acetone, followed by a soap and water rinse will remove any remaining adhesive.

If the decal has been in place for more than a year or so, there may be a "ghost" where the decal protected the underlying surface. You can't remove this ghost, it has been protected from exposure by the decal. All you can do is try to bring the surrounding surface back to new condition so it blends. Rubbing compound, followed by wax or polish may do this. If not, you may have to wet sand the area, cover it with another decal, or just leave it alone and let the sun blend it in.
This man knows what hes talkin' bout.
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:00 AM
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Default Decal removal

Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
I have watched people using a heat gun to remove decals and I have done it myself. What I see people doing wrong is, they heat a small area and try to pull the decal off. This takes forever and the decal often tears.

A better plan is to start at one edge or corner and heat an area a foot long or more. When the edge is loose enough to be pulled off, pull with steady force but keep heating further along the decal. If you find you're leaving adhesive, get it a little warmer, but don't burn the surface.

Acetone, followed by a soap and water rinse will remove any remaining adhesive.

If the decal has been in place for more than a year or so, there may be a "ghost" where the decal protected the underlying surface. You can't remove this ghost, it has been protected from exposure by the decal. All you can do is try to bring the surrounding surface back to new condition so it blends. Rubbing compound, followed by wax or polish may do this. If not, you may have to wet sand the area, cover it with another decal, or just leave it alone and let the sun blend it in.
This is the best way to remove them but do be very careful to not overheat the gelcoat as your removing the decals.
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Old 11-14-2011, 03:06 AM
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hair dryer and goo off, careful if using heat gun.
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:55 PM
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Took the decals off over the weekend using the heat gun and razor blade method. Worked well but the image is still there. Is compound or wet sand the next step? Anyone have advice on how to wet sand properly?
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:50 AM
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I used this stuff to take the ghosts from the PO name.
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...out&part=15429
It worked AWESOME! But be aware, you WILL have a shiny spot. I ended up doing the whole hull to even out the color and knock off the gellcoat oxidation.
Now, like any compound you are opening up the gellcoat to the air, that means WAX, WAX, and more WAX. With an afternoon of work you can get rid of those decals, and make the boat look brand new all at once!

I am still trying to get a nice day to snap a couple pictures of my boat, the change is amazing.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:19 PM
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Be careful using acetone, in my experience in signs and graphics, I have found denatured alcohol to be a much less aggressive solvent that still removes adhesive with ease. Acetone is great on some surfaces but will literally melt other substrates. Also, don't buy the "crown" brand, it leaves a residue, Klean-Strip or Ace Hardware Brand are best
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildman_fab View Post
I used this stuff to take the ghosts from the PO name.
http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...out&part=15429
It worked AWESOME! But be aware, you WILL have a shiny spot. I ended up doing the whole hull to even out the color and knock off the gellcoat oxidation.
Now, like any compound you are opening up the gellcoat to the air, that means WAX, WAX, and more WAX. With an afternoon of work you can get rid of those decals, and make the boat look brand new all at once!

I am still trying to get a nice day to snap a couple pictures of my boat, the change is amazing.
What method did you use to apply and remove? Did you use steel wool or cotton pads? Machine or hand?
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:25 AM
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Acetone and a razor blade
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Old 11-23-2011, 04:39 PM
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I removed the existing vynal with a 3m squeege (or bondo spreader) and heat using the method described above. Then I used a clean Tshirt cloth to apply the material, let it sit a minute and worked 2ftX3ft areas and buffed off with the buffer. I had to touch up a few spots, but worked slow and it came out AMAZING.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by pjd196 View Post
What method did you use to apply and remove? Did you use steel wool or cotton pads? Machine or hand?
compounding a boat is best done with a good rotary polisher and the proper wool pad. Look for some you tube videos to see how it's done. I like Presta products. 3M is another good line. Never, ever, use steel wool on gel coat (unless you are trying to remove it).
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