Suggestions how do I remove old cracked vinyl wrap

dasigndr

New Member
I have been asked to remove this old wrap from a van and it is all cracked and weathered to say the least!
I would like to know if there are any tricks or chemical products that would make this vinyl removal easy?

I do have an MBX tool but am hoping there is an easier way!
And I do not want to start pushing a razor blade scraper down that will most definitely scratch the surface, though I know it will need a new paint job anyway!!
Any help or direction is greatly appreciated!!
 

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Billct2

Active Member
You can search on here for this subject and you will see tons of different suggestions. We will only do removal on a time basis and decide the method once we start working on it. The method varies depending on how it comes off. But mostly I tell the client to get it done at a body or detail shop because we hate doing it.
 
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GAC05

Very Active Member
Think you are right about the paint being toast under that.
Vinyl is too far gone to come off with a heat gun or torch.
I have been asked to remove this old wrap from a van and it is all cracked and weathered to say the least!
I would like to know if there are any tricks or chemical products that would make this vinyl removal easy?

I do have an MBX tool but am hoping there is an easier way!
And I do not want to start pushing a razor blade scraper down that will most definitely scratch the surface, though I know it will need a new paint job anyway!!
Any help or direction is greatly appreciated!!

Might try a steamer if you have one or can get a rental.
Second option would be chemical.
Vinyl off will turn the material and adhesive into snot that can be scraped off with a plastic squeegee.
If you can't get that go to Home Depot and get some citrus based wood stripper.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Citrist...rnish-Stripping-Gel-Non-NMP-HCSG803/307416113
Trick with the Vinyl off and stripper is to leave it on the surface for just the right amount of time. It needs to stay long enough to soften up the vinyl but not so long that is starts to dry up and do nothing. Once you hit the sweet spot it will work pretty well.
Good luck
 
Yes the removal will cost more than a new wrap, don't be kind if you do quote. That will be hell removing that, my fingers are hurting just thinking about it!
 

MikePatterson

Head bathroom cleaner.
paint stripper and then send it our to Maaco for a cheap repaint then re-wrap it. Faster and cheaper than trying to save the paint.
 

Jester1167

Premium Subscriber
No matter what you charge it won't be worth it and there is bound to be some damage to the paint. I would leave it to the competition. Let them get bogged with 40 to 60 hours of labor and potential liability while you do something fun and profitable. Those are lose-lose jobs.
 

2B

Member
Find a body shop that has a sandblaster, strip it clean and then re-paint.

we have rented an industrial high-pressure cleaner before, cranked it to the max temp and pressure.
took HOURS and it cleaned the vinyl off, but it SHREDDED the vinyl and that was a total hassle to clean up the mess.


You can turn down jobs...... it saves your sanity
 

Hero Signs

If they let me make it, they will come
A sandblaster will run $500-700 in Houston area. I did one hone where we used vinyl off reflective (FYI vinyl off looses it's potency when exposed to air so you need in opened bottles) we laid newspaper to wick up the vinyl off and keep it on the van. Worked better than spraying it every 30 min.. so 30hrs into it. It was removed. Vinyl off all's destroys plastic light covers.

I opt for sandblasting your job
 

Jester1167

Premium Subscriber
Easiest way to remove old cracked vinyl wrap.


That is so ineffective compared to an MBX Electric Vinyl Zapper. I know an MBX isn't cheap but when you need one they are worth it, and on that hood alone you could save a couple of hours in labor compared to the drill attachments. Other factors; it's uncomfortable holding the drill for long periods of time, it gets really hot, you may burn up a battery or two from the constant high discharge...

Even with an MBX I wouldn't want this job. No matter how you do it, it will be a time-wasting mess and you will lose productivity for days after because your forearms and fingers will be shot.
 
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Andy D

Active Member
No matter what you charge it won't be worth it and there is bound to be some damage to the paint. I would leave it to the competition. Let them get bogged with 40 to 60 hours of labor and potential liability while you do something fun and profitable. Those are lose-lose jobs.
Truer words have never be spoken!
I would suggest a body shop, let the customer deal directly with them & then
price the vinyl & application... Stick to what makes a profit & don't waste your time on the other.
 

SeeEmWhyKay

Print Plug & Pigment Procurer
My wrap installers' hands are too precious to have them strip off old wraps. I don't even offer the service, I usually point them in the direction of the local "fleet clean" company who uses a high pressure acid solution wash to remove graphics from vehicles. For lets say, a sprinter van, it's going to cost them $200 bucks as opposed to 30 plus man hours at $70 an hour in shop. No brainer.
 
This is becoming more common as printers opt for the cheaper liquid laminate solutions on horizontal surfaces. Once the vinyl has become "spider-cracked"(split into less than 1" pieces that do not touch), we no longer consider it to be vinyl and more aggressive methods are tested for best final results. This is the time too confront the client and define their goals. Are they selling and want to just de-identify? Trade in? Re-wrapping? Junk yard? This helps to establish parameters for collateral intent (budget vs appearance).

If cost is the priority, we apply heavy duty paint remover then pressure wash away(*Suitable PPE should be used as well as designating a safe work perimeter). If appearance is the goal, we attempt our blast method first where we utilize a 7000 psi cold water pressure washer with a custom hand piece and harness, experimenting at proximity and angle for the most economical results. Sometimes a combination of less caustics chemical (example:CitriStrip Safer Paint remover) and pressure blasting will yield the best possible result.

If the client asks how this can be avoided in the future I always give them my 5 rules decal installation.
1. Use 3M Hi performance Vinyl; Control tac preferred
2. Other than Reflective EZ, never install reflective or metallic vinyl without a standard hi performance vinyl backing.
3. Have vinyl removed/replaced before warranty expires or when vinyl begins to crack.
4. Never install vinyl on after factory paint before full cure.
5. Always use a sheet laminate when;
(a.) installing on vehicles that are washed with caustic cleaners
(b.) prone to scraping from tree limbs or brush
(c.) applied on horizontal surfaces
6. Use 3M Hi performance Vinyl; Control tac preferred
 

Jester1167

Premium Subscriber
This is becoming more common as printers opt for the cheaper liquid laminate solutions on horizontal surfaces. Once the vinyl has become "spider-cracked"(split into less than 1" pieces that do not touch), we no longer consider it to be vinyl and more aggressive methods are tested for best final results. This is the time too confront the client and define their goals. Are they selling and want to just de-identify? Trade in? Re-wrapping? Junk yard? This helps to establish parameters for collateral intent (budget vs appearance).

If cost is the priority, we apply heavy duty paint remover then pressure wash away(*Suitable PPE should be used as well as designating a safe work perimeter). If appearance is the goal, we attempt our blast method first where we utilize a 7000 psi cold water pressure washer with a custom hand piece and harness, experimenting at proximity and angle for the most economical results. Sometimes a combination of less caustics chemical (example:CitriStrip Safer Paint remover) and pressure blasting will yield the best possible result.

If the client asks how this can be avoided in the future I always give them my 5 rules decal installation.
1. Use 3M Hi performance Vinyl; Control tac preferred
2. Other than Reflective EZ, never install reflective or metallic vinyl without a standard hi performance vinyl backing.
3. Have vinyl removed/replaced before warranty expires or when vinyl begins to crack.
4. Never install vinyl on after factory paint before full cure.
5. Always use a sheet laminate when;
(a.) installing on vehicles that are washed with caustic cleaners
(b.) prone to scraping from tree limbs or brush
(c.) applied on horizontal surfaces
6. Use 3M Hi performance Vinyl; Control tac preferred

I know guys that have high-pressure steam rigs purpose-built for removing old cracked liquid laminated graphics. They are set up to do large trailer fleets. My understanding is that they remove 53' trailers in hours with it. I would hate to be the guy that had to pic up all the vinyl pieces...
 

Notarealsignguy

Active Member
That is how we get it off but it leaves the adhesive then we have to go back with rapid remover, maybe we are doing something wrong? It will take off paint that isn't adhered well which is fairly common. You also have to be careful to not hit plastics and weather stripping (an idiot employee figured that one out for me)
 
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