Decal Removal

By AR on Oct 13, 2014

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While it’s a task most of us rush to get done, applying decals can be tricky. Less than careful work can yield crooked decals with creases and air bubbles. But, what about removing decals? When you peel decals right after they have been applied, they might come off cleanly. Decals that have been adhered for a while may be difficult to remove, coming apart incompletely and in pieces, or at the very least leave a lot of messy residue behind. Using certain solvents can work, but some can easily damage Lexan. Lifting the edge of a decal with a sharp hobby knife can work and often does, but you need to be careful to not scratch the body.

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The best way to remove a decal is to use heat to loosen the adhesive. The key is to use heat, but not too much heat. A hobby-grade heat gun can be used, but most get hot enough to damage the body (and your skin) if you’re not careful. A decent hairdryer actually works great for this. Rarely do hairdryers get hot enough to damage Lexan, but most get plenty hot enough to loosen the adhesive. When using a hairdryer, or any heat gun for that matter, turn it on and let it run. The wire coils inside take a second or two to heat up. Start with the hair dryer close enough to target the decal you want to remove, but not so close that too much direct heat is applied. Keep the heat source moving and only apply heat to the non-painted side of the body.

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If a small decal that is close to other decals needs to be removed, the heat trick may not work. You may have to go simple and use your finger nail to scrape the decal off. To remove the residue that has likely been left behind, use an ordinary cotton swab and a cleaner such as rubbing alcohol to target the specific area. A careful touch here will prevent damage to surrounding decals.


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