When it comes time to update your logo or other brand elements, you will also need to remove the car wraps from your vehicle and replace them with your updated design. By taking this step, you ensure that you present a cohesive brand image and allow for instant recognition by your customers. If the wraps are not too old, the car wraps on your vehicle can often be easily removed using basic hand tools. You can complete this task on your own or have a professional go through the following steps for you.
Gather Your Tools and Supplies
When all goes according to plan, you will only need a few tools to remove the car wrap from your vehicle. Before you get started, make sure you have these tools on hand:
- Plastic razor blades and holder
- Heat gun
- Adhesive residue remover
- Heavy-duty paper towels (like WypAlls) or cloth towels
- Cleaning solution like 91% alcohol
- Goggles, gloves and ventilation mask
- Patience (and lots of it!)
With just these items, you should be able to loosen and remove the vinyl wrap and fully eliminate any adhesive residue that remains.
Use the Best Practices in Removing Vinyl Car Wraps
You should plan to work in small sections as you remove the wrap since you have to heat up the surface before pulling at the vinyl. On warm days you can work in the sunlight which can be warm enough to keep the vinyl soft and easy to remove. Working slowly allows you to address any issues that may come up, such as the vinyl ripping into small pieces rather than coming off in a large sheet.
While working on removing the wrap, remember to move slowly and to use lots of patience as you pull to prevent tearing. As you pull the vinyl away, hold it at a 45 to 60-degree angle to avoid putting excess stress on the material.
Only attempt to remove vinyl car wraps in an area protected from cold weather. You can make your project go much more smoothly by washing and drying the vinyl before you move forward onto the next steps. Always wear your goggles, gloves and ventilation mask to protect yourself from exposure to dust, debris, and chemicals.
In extreme cases, you may have to remove the vinyl using a rubber stripping wheel attached to a drill motor. This will remove the vinyl and will not harm the paint UNLESS the paint is old and sun beat.
Loosen the Wrap with Heat or Steam
You will need to pick out your first section and warm up the vinyl with a heat gun. This makes the vinyl material more pliable and loosens the adhesive underneath. Once the wrap feels hot to the touch, you can move onto the next step of lifting and pulling. You may need to go back and forth between the heating and lifting steps to cleanly remove each piece of vinyl.
Gently Lift and Pull
Once the wrap is sufficiently heated, you will need to lift an edge to start the removal. If you used a primer to seal down the edges of each vinyl section, it may be difficult to get under the edges with your fingernail. You can use a plastic razor blade to gently peel up these difficult edges.
Once you have an edge peeled back, firmly grab it and gently lift to pull the piece off the surface of your vehicle. Make sure to maintain an angle of fewer than 90 degrees to keep the vinyl material from splitting apart. If you feel an increase in resistance, go back to using the heat gun to loosen the wrap before resuming the pulling process. Repeat for all panels before moving on to cleaning up the adhesive.
Clean up the Adhesive
With the removal of the vehicle wrap material, you will be left with a coat of adhesive on the surface of your paint. Thoroughly heating the vinyl before pulling it away can help reduce the amount of adhesive left behind, but it cannot fully eliminate it.
You can remove this remaining layer by applying a chemical adhesive residue remover. We use something cold Rapid Remover in our shop but an over the counter option is cold Goo Gone. While continuing to work in small sections, spray the entire surface of the body panel with adhesive remover, and then wait one minute. Use a plastic razor blade to scrape the adhesive away before wiping up the remainder with a paper towel. Repeat this process until all of the adhesives is gone.
Know When to Bring in a Professional
The quality of your car wrap and the installation techniques used both contribute to the ease of its removal. If your car wrap will not come up at the edges or peel up in one piece, you may benefit from professional assistance. Experts can use special tools and techniques to fully remove the vinyl when it will not come up as expected.
Ready to Update Your Car Wrap to Reflect Your New Brand Presence?
With the removal of your old car wrap, you make room for an updated wrap that reflects your new brand presence. At Accurate Signs, you can find your ideal car wrap design and even have it installed. You can trust that we will bring your branding vision to life with custom-designed decals and vinyl lettering. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Accurate Signs today!