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Over The Network

Removing decals

We've seen an increasing number of questions about how to remove faded decals. Here are some methods that have worked for various forum members.

This method was offered by forum member joepalmersigns, a sign and graphics professional:

The best way to remove graphics is with steam. I have a commercial grade steamer but a deptartment store steamer will work as well. Get a plastic blade and steam the graphic to be removed. Start an edge with the blade and as you pull, keep steam on the area in front of the pull. 90% of the adhesive will come off with the graphic. Get a good adhesive remover and remove the residue adhesive.

Forum member Richard (rls7201) offered this:

I just removed the stripes on my 95 Bounder. A local paint store sold me a gallon of PPG DuraPrep Prep502 Fleet Label/Decal Remover. Works great. Paint it on, drink a little coffee and watch the stripe/decal wrinkle up and release. Then slide a putty knife under the stripe and lift it off. Paint it on again and the glue will come off with a light application of the same putty knife.

Forum member lezmark used this method:

After a lot of trial and error this is what i found works best and i was able to remove all the decals on the back of my coach in a couple hours.

I used a single edge blade, a can of bug and tar remover (yes, I tried goo-gone, goof-off, etc) and some rags. The rear of the coach was facing the sun so it was warm. I sprayed the decal liberally and then used the blade to slide under the decal. It seems to lubricate enough that the blade slides OK. Some parts of the decal were brittle and other parts I could pull with one hand and slide the blade under with the other.

The next part is just as much fun. Now there is the adhesive still stuck there (yes, the same adhesive that allows the curling in the first place). I used more spray and began sliding the blade to scape it off. You really need a rag that you can wipe this REALLY gooey, nose excrement-looking, slime and continually wipe the blade on your rag. It really did come off pretty easy! Just need some patience.

I then wiped down the residual small pieces of crud with a clean rag and more spray. The last thing was a wipedown wash with Spic and Span. I have to admit that I dreaded starting this (you can't stop midway after you decide it's a real bummer), and was prepared for the worst. It wasn't too bad. Let me add that the decals on the back were no more than 4 or 5 inches at the widest part. I think I will wait for the bigger ones on the side to peel more on their own...