How To Remove Reflective Vinyl & Adhesive

A Letterville Step By Step
How To Remove Reflective Vinyl & Adhesive                               By ChrisLovelady

One of the struggles with removing reflective material from vehicles is that it leaves the silver and adhesive on the vehicle. I have found that this mult layer is very difficult to remove with the traditional method of Rapid Remover as the silver blocks somewhat the penetration of the fluid to the glue level requiring multi application and scraping to get down to it. In the mean time there is remover all down the side of the vehicle and a huge puddle on the ground and ultimately you step in it and track it all over. I discovered the technique on hot afternoon and by accident as I was removing the reflective vinyl some masking tape got stuck to the silver/adhesive layer. In my frustration I ripped of the tape and off came the silver AND the adhesive in one pull...much to my surprise I tried it again and it WORKED! Hot damn I realized I had something here! So here is how I do it.

First remove all the graphics and don't worry about what is left behind. sometimes a heat gun or when there is no electricity we use a propane torch, can help soften the graphics for easier removal...you know the one that has a trigger so you can light it and when you let go the flame shuts off( at the chain hardware stores for about 40$, worth every penny).

After all the graphics are removed apply 3" masking tape. I have found that the cheep stuff works the best. Place it over the silver and adhesive. If you have long stripes then a horizontal application will prove best in a faster removal.

Once the tape in applied go over the silver and adhesive, with a squeegee applying firm pressure over the tape. In a lower temperature environment apply heat to the tape and re-squeegee. What I have found it’s that the adhesive of the masking tapes makes a bond with the adhesive on the vehicle.

Now...at a sharp angle pull the masking tape off
lifting the silver and adhesive with it. You will be surprised at how this comes off in one sheet!!!...it is amazing and after the all the adhesive is off there will be a little residue and dirt layer at the edge of where the graphics was. You can then spay a light layer of Rapid Remover on the vehicle and it will remove this edge grime and adhesive that was not removed with the tape. Using unprinted white paper towels degrease with Rapid Prep and a final cleaning with Rapid TacII and you vehicle is ready for the auction or a new application of graphics.


I hope this helps and I am sure this can speed up your removal of reflective graphics from a vehicle surface. I have also found that this will work on the removal of adhesive on regular graphics as well.

Chris Lovelady
Vital Signs
Tallahassee, Florida
Email Chris

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