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Removal of vehicle wrap

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by kalvix, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. kalvix

    kalvix Member

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    Apr 17, 2005
    washington dc
    Good Morning All,

    I have a fun client who dropped off this car. He says he removed the film and left this reflective crap on the car and if we just easily remove it for him. Obviously he didn't steam it off. I wanted your opinion client removed some form of chrome off of his car and left this metallic and adhesive behind. You can see the matte red Chrome on the gas tank. Tried rapid remover to soften the adhesive little to no effect. Any suggestions on removing this crap?

    1) We did get a him to sign a waiver that if we removal all the paint it isn't our fault. did CYA

    2) We do have a hot steamer and pressure washer and was planning on trying this but wanted some chemical to soften up the adhesive prior to this. Suggestions?

    3) We didn't install this nor removal the film. Obviously someone used the WRONG film on this car. but he bought it cheap and now wants us to make it factory perfect. see point 1 for our stance.
     

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  2. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

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    That looks like a reflective wrap, good luck with removal... After about a year reflective just turns to shards.

    The adhesive on most reflectives are also super aggressive, you may want to try rapid remover misted on to the surface to help soften any adhesive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  3. Mike Sr.

    Mike Sr. New Member

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    Oh wow. I wouldn't even take this job, personally. This is going to be a nightmare to remove. As for softening it, if rapid remover doesn't work then maybe some steam and plastic razor blades to scrape it off. If there is still a layer of vinyl on top of the adhesive then rapid remover will do pretty much nothing. You need to get down to the adhesive layer. Good luck, you're going to need it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I'm glad there are people out there willing to take this on.
     
  5. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Acid dip or bead blast with walnut shells - then collect insurance money on the damage.
     
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 4
  6. kalvix

    kalvix Member

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    Apr 17, 2005
    washington dc
    The wrap was originally a matte red as explained. the client did NOT steam it when he removed it, and pulled off ALL of the vinyl leaving this. It doesn't look like Hexis or Avery Film, but left this adhesive layer with the chrome on top of it. When it warms up a little more this morning i'll send a guy out with a hot water pressure washer to see about removal... just looking for recommendations.
     
  7. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    Have you already agreed to take the job? I wouldn't touch this with a 10' pole. I've seen similar situations where another shop wrapped with calendared and it required a body shop to sand it off. This looks worse. I think your client is about to learn a hard lesson about why you don't go with the cheapest option.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Very Active Member

    Looks to me like it was a matte red chrome. I have no experience removing what is left, but I do know that the chemicals will have a hard time getting through the metalized layer to soften the adhesive. That doesn't look like fun...
     
  10. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

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    Personally, I would have passed on this project and sent them to an auto-body shop that does paint removal.

    that being said,
    • Sign a full discloser waiver and complete release of/for any issues that will come up from this removal
    • Charge by the hour + costs of materials used for removal
    • Ensure you have enough time and manpower to remove the material.

    Beyond that, good luck and hopefully they will realize and learn the issues of low balling the project
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    yeah, HARD pass.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    I wouldn't touch that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2018
  13. Brandon708

    Brandon708 Very Active Member

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    I would suggest this...

     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  14. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    Use a heat gun (I use a trigger ignite propane torch, but I don't recommend it because you can get into trouble fast...), and generally you can pull or scrape off the top plastic layer. For the adhesive layer that will remain, I've used Goof-Off, Goo-Goo, KrudKutter, etc. They all work to one degree or another. You must test the surface first, some of these soften the outer paint layers (it's generally controllable if you are paying attention). I recently used Rapid-Tac water based adhesive remover with good results. Ghost-Off is an interesting product I have used with success (something you may consider using after you've cleaned everything off).

    The basic technique is spray on (after removing the top plastic layer, and after testing), let sit for a few minutes, then use a sharpened squeegee or Li'l Chizler to scrape of the now softened adhesive. Use lots of paper towels to clean the crud from the blades. The process can take awhile - I've spent up 8 man hours (and I suppose it could be worse), but most cars and pickups can be done in a couple hours.

    The customer always wants to know how much this will cost. I figure, for regular vinyl and most vehicles, about 4 hours, plus $25.00 for supplies. I would add 50% for removing these reflective and specialty vinyls. I tell the customer if it takes less time (and it usually does once you get down to it), I will charge them less. I almost always end up charging them less. If it takes more time, I guess I'm stuck, but it hasn't happened very often.
     
  15. Modern Ink Signs

    Modern Ink Signs Premium Subscriber

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    Waukesha, WI
    Lots of patience, rapid remover and time


    Would NEVER have taken in this project. Let us know how it turns out
     
  16. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Member

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    I agree with many of the previous comments about being careful about taking this on. Many clients will scream bloody murder if you damage the finish on their vehicle. I would very hesitant, for example, to try to remove reflective graphics from a fire truck. Most firemen are obsessed with the look of their equipment, and will be hanging over you to be sure you do not put one tiny scratch on their finish. The good thing is most fire trucks are kept indoors, so removal is easier. The bad thing is if once you get into it, and you need to use solvents and tools to remove the old graphics, you may be stuck. I ended up rubbing the skin off my fingertips on a fire truck removal job I took on, only to have the client dis-satisfied with the final SignGold on black job because the paint had (barely) oxidized around the old letters (I hadn't discovered Ghost-Off yet). They ended up having the whole truck redone by Pierce (at an incomprehensible cost, but it was tax-payer money...).
     
  17. Michael Probasco

    Michael Probasco Specializing in Wrap Installs

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    Nov 20, 2018
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    Why don't you try a rubber wheel? I've removed plenty of metallic/reflective/etc. wraps, glues, etc.. I would just spray on , MIST ON,.. rapid remover, wait two minutes, MIST again, wait two minutes and i never had problems removing vinyl adhesives.. but dot reflective i found to leave the worst residue, and thats when i rubber wheel literally the glue itself and comes off every time with no problems. 17 years of wrapping and these two techniques never failed me. I kept soaking the adhesive in sessions until i could take my fingertip and scrape the adhesive off in one clear stroke. By that time the adhesive is quite transparent comparatively to the original state it was in before MISTING the dried adhesive.
     
  18. Big Will

    Big Will New Member

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    Nov 20, 2018
    Ellensburg, Washington
  19. KMC

    KMC Graphic Artist

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    we typically use rapid remover for most removal but we have ordered in this product before as we had a large job to do and rapid remover would not budge the 10 year old baked on vinyl

    just spray it right on top and wait about 15 minutes and the vinyl and glue comes off soooooo easy with a plastic scraper (and it also smells nice too)
    comes in multiple sizes

    [​IMG]

    http://www.citrus-adhesive-remover.com/bio-breakdown.html
     
  20. zspace

    zspace Merchant Member

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    Jul 9, 2013
    Houston, TX
    We’ve successfully stripped few hard to remove wraps with the Home Depot Citristrip product. We apply 2 coats to a 24x24 area about 15 minutes apart. After the second coat has worked 15 minutes we scrape it off plastic blades.

    It’s tedious and the goop that comes off will make a mess of your shop, but it is easier than heat and taking off confetti sized pieces. We haven’t had paint issues so far, but we don’t let it sit longer than the two coats and we clean off the residue immediately after scraping.
     
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