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How do you remove adhesive from painted surface??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by straightaxle65, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. straightaxle65
    Joined: Oct 13, 2007
    Posts: 532


    I have a few old gas and oil signs that look like someone had put a decal over them at one time. The adhesive residue has become hard over the years and I was wondering if anyone had a way to get this crap off without damaging the paint? These are painted and not porcelain.
  2. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,879


    goo gone! Maybe a little heat too to break it up.
  3. wbulick76
    Joined: Oct 30, 2007
    Posts: 31


    3M makes a really good adhesive remover as well. Works really good.
  4. Hope that helps, TR

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  5. GaryB
    Joined: Dec 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,529

    from Reno,nv

    try some WD-40 takes off most all adhesives,not sure about the hard ones.won't hurt the paint
  6. Big Bad Dad
    Joined: Mar 27, 2009
    Posts: 317

    Big Bad Dad

    x2 on the WD 40:)
  7. heres what a body guy told me, I would be really apprehensive about doing it, but just a little lacquer thinner on a rag, as he puts it he used it to take some traded paint off a car finish, but too much will soften the finish. so might wanna look into that...
  8. The absolute best stuff I've ever used to remove adhesive is PURE CITRUS AIR FRESHNER sold at Home Depot. Google Pure Citrus Air Freshner first, it's sold in a 7 oz spray can, works awesome, and it smells great. Won't hurt paint. :D
  9. If it's really hard, a razor blade will scrape most of it off. It is a above the surface, and when done at the proper angle will do a good job.
  10. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,276


    I wouldn't venture the laquar thinner, that'll soften damn near anything (& everything). I've had good luck with Goo-Gone & WD. That citrus stuff sounds worth a try. I have used L thinner when a repaint was in order anyways.
  11. I would stay away from the fore-mentioned thinner and razor blades. Use WD40 (or some petroleum based spray stuff), Goo Gone, or Citrus cleaner. I would soak it and leave it on for a few minutes. Gently use a plastic scraper. Repeat.
  12. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693


    Zippo lighter fluid - used it for decades and it will not damage paint. Just soak some on a piece of cotton wool if you need to be really gentle - makeup remover pads work good too, or pour it on direct and let it soak intp the glue and paper residue, then wipe gently....
  13. Yes, 3M General purpose adhesive remover. Can't remember part # though. Excellent stuff. It is a product you should keep in every shop.
  14. Lift Off(at market or hardware store) and Bestine(at a real art supply store).
  15. TerrytheK
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 900


    Another recommendation for 3M General Purpose Adhesive remover - Part #8984. If you give it time and work with it, I've never had any type of adhesive (dried or otherwise) that this stuff won't remove.

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  16. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,175


    Try Avon Skin So Soft. sometimes it works sometimes it dosen't.
  17. TubT
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 63

    from Texas

    The easiest thing I've ever found is ether starting fluid. Won't touch paint.

    By the way, that starting fluid is also the easiest, fastest way to remove oil and grease from upholstery of all kinds.
  18. All the tips are excellent except any paint thinner.......I wanted to add a quick tip for removing large decals as I remove a lot of postal decals on postal trailers and other USPS trucks. This works great if you want to save time. I use a retractable razor scraper with a fresh blade......."tan" the back side by drawing it back on a flat piece of rubber, just like the old straight razor barbers used to do before a shave, this will prevent any gouging on the paint surface. Next spray some Spray Nine or on the decal for a lubricant, approach the decal with a slight angle and two hands on the scraper and only remove half the size of the razor blade at a time, the adhesive will remain and you have to use the mentioned methods to remove that. It will take a lil practice to get it down but it is a time saver....I can strip a trailer in less than an hour. A lil off topic for the adhesive but those bases were covered. Just tryin to help.:)
  19. mixedupamx
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 513


    if your really concerned about the paint try wetting a paper towel with mineral oil, put it over the spot and cover with plastic to keep it from drying out. My wife uses transdermal Fentanol patches for her cronic pain cond. and when we change them they leave alot of adhesive goo on her skin so I remove it with mineral oil. alchohol , nail polish remover and etc. stung her too badly so we found that the oil was gentle enough and might work for your sign but its not fast,might take some time to work.
  20. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,276


    Zippo lighter fluid = Naptha. Cheaper to buy Naptha by the quart at the hardware, fwiw.

  21. i just bought some of this stuff last week to help me remove some old dried cracked stripes the previous owner put on my 72 f100 i also used a eraser wheel to get them off heres 2 pics and yeah i know the truck is o/t this is just for demonstration first pic is before second pic is after i have to buy another eraser wheel to do the passenger side

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  22. blucar
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 118


    I have used WD-40 for many years to remove all kinds of adhesive... Masking tape, decals, etc.. WD-40 will also usually remove 'Marks-Alot' from painted surfaces... I recently had a guy 'tag'... graffete.. the side of my enclosed car trailer... I removed the Marks-Alot/felt writer with WD-40 then applied polish... Not a mark left on the paint...
  23. 1gearhead
    Joined: Aug 4, 2005
    Posts: 465


    WD40, it works for me!!
  24. BigDrag
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 297

    from Milwaukee

    X2 on the Bestine....a.k.a. rubber cement thinner. Let it soak in and soften the gooh.
    Ronsonol lighter fluid or WD-40 in a pinch.
    I'd try a spot test first.
  25. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,216


    RM-900, PPG's DX-440 and most similar wax and grease remover/prep solvents will remove just about anything from tar to dried adhesive without damage.
  26. choptup 49
    Joined: Aug 8, 2011
    Posts: 70

    choptup 49
    from so-cal

    Put a lubed condom on your finger. Rub it and the lube will loosen the adhesive.
  27. XXL__
    Joined: Dec 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,007


    mineral spirits
  28. RagtopBuick66
    Joined: Dec 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,182


    Here's one I haven't seen yet, but I have sworn by it for years... Rain-X will remove sticker adhesive from anything from painted surfaces to soft plastic windows. It has never damaged any paint on any of my vehicles, and it's a great excuse to go ahead and do your windows while you've got it and the paper towels out anyway.
  29. Blue
    Joined: May 31, 2001
    Posts: 202


    Have you tried a little heat from a hair dryer or a heat-shrink heat gun? Take care if you use the latter because they put out quite a bit of heat. You'd need to hold it further away than you would with a hair dryer.
  30. mrnatehate
    Joined: Apr 23, 2016
    Posts: 4


    i just laid some decals
    they were the type that have the second sheet of sticker
    when i pulled off the top layer i'm left with a ton of adhesive from that protective layer
    planning to clear coat over the stickers
    what are my options here?
    i don't wanna harm the decals i laid down
    and i dont want any funky effects in my clear coat
    help me out guys

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