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  • whats the best way to remove vinyl?

    Posted by Phill Fenton on July 24, 2002 at 9:28 pm

    I have been asked to quote for a job which involves re-signing a number of vehicles 😀 , but unfortunately also requires that the existing signs are all removed first. 😥

    I have skimmed through all the current posts on removing vinyl (thanks everyone). But my problem is how to price removing the old stuff. In my experience, it usualy take a lot longer to strip off the old stuff, than to apply the new. I’ve always used a hair drier in the past but have never tried any of the power tools or chemical methods discussed. Just how effective are these really? Paul mentioned a chemical method that works, but how much quicker is this than peeling off using a hair drier?

    I don’t wish to overprice this quote – but neither do I want to land myself with a job that could turn into a nightmare If the vinyls won’t come off easily.

    What’s your advice please everyone?

    Phill Fenton replied 21 years, 10 months ago 6 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Andrew Blackett

    July 24, 2002 at 9:39 pm


    are we talking standard hair drier or decorating heat gun (the type you use to strip off paint and stuff) we have a B & D one that has a temperature dial that goes from standard hair drier right up to melt gloss paint of the woodwork of your doors.

    I’ve also tried the chemical, gel like substance, from grafityp. You apply it to the surface of the vinyl and leave it for a little while, when you come back it will of gone really wrinkly! peel it off and then you just have to remove the glue (which is the easy bit)

    Don’t know whether or not the chemicals are any better than just a heat gun though?

    The other thing I saw at this years signuk was those big electric rubber thingies that jag signs were selling, plug it in the end of your cordless drill and it blasts the vinyl off in seconds, from what I remember though you still need to remove the glue


  • Adrian Howard

    July 24, 2002 at 10:51 pm

    i have a tie up with a valeting company – i tell my customers we are signmakers and designers not cleaners and at our cost per hour, it would be unfair on them for us to strip there vehicle,and that vinyl put on correctly shouldnt budge easily…. the local valeters strip and clean the paint work, they quote seperatly – makes the quote less painful and we get 90% of the jobs, some customers strip a couple a letters and then ring the valeters….. i wouldnt strip if you can help it – damaged paintwork, not to mention burnt fingers and no nails left and your staff are happier

    ps if you tie up with a valeter dont forget your free valet every month
    for the new biz you are giving them….another perk for not doing the job


  • Judy

    July 24, 2002 at 11:21 pm

    Here is some advise I received recently concerning removing vinyl.
    Use a 4 inch wall paper razor with the long handle and hone it on
    a piece of glass. Then spray the vehicle or substrate with WD40. WD40 not only makes old vinyl less brittle but aids in removal of the adhesive. It also helps the razor to glid over the vehicle surface without gouging the paint. After all the vinyl is removed clean remaining adhesive with Rapid Remover (an adhesive remover).
    We used this technique on 2 plastic pan faces…worked like a charm! If you are not familar with the product WD40, I will explain in another post.
    I charge my regular hourly rate for vinyl removal. I agree it is best if your client takes care of the vinyl removal but that doesn’t happen very much in my business.

  • Steve Broughton

    July 25, 2002 at 7:00 am

    I will say this slowly for the hard of hearing “Go to DIY stores shell 20 quid and buy a steam wallpaper stripper it works a treat and with practice you can get the vinyl and glue off together no messy glue removal, it only gets to the boiling temp of water 100C, some of these paint strippers get to 600C, trust me it works also charge your hourly rate for removing it and cleaning up the vehicle.

  • Phill Fenton

    July 25, 2002 at 11:47 am

    Steve – I’ve just been to Argos and bought a wall paper stripper for £22 pounds. You’re right, it works a treat. I’d read this tip before from you and had intended trying it – thanks for reminding me. 😀

    Still not sure if I want to quote to strip the vehicles as well – but I suspect the company involved would prefer an all inclusive price to do everything.

    Adrian, I’ll try your approach. If the customer isn’t put off by paying signmakers rates for stripping vinyl I’ll probably end up doing it with the wall paper stripper. Still to quote the job yet so it may not go ahead.

    Pleased with the wallpaper stripper though – it’ll save time on lots of jobs.

  • Mike Brown

    July 25, 2002 at 1:05 pm

    Phill! – as I think I posted before, this one was new to me too when Steve(?) mentioned it…even though I’ve been at this for too many years now 😕

    as you’ve bought one now and it seems to do the biz’ – why not stick a quick piccie and a post in the tips and tricks section and perhaps even an example of it in use?…it’s just i think it’s a great tip and should be archived for others in future…

    more soon


  • Mike Brown

    July 25, 2002 at 1:07 pm

    no! – you needn’t do it twice…the above was just me havin’ a fit! 😉

  • Phill Fenton

    July 25, 2002 at 2:08 pm

    Will do Mike 😀

    Don’t want to steal Steve’s thunder – I’ll make sure I mention it was his idea 😀

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