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It’s not odd for us to see trucks whiz past us with vinyl lettering on it. Some of which could be a quote they like or showcasing a company or brand. And despite it being so common, it does make me wonder, what happens once they don’t need the truck? Do they sell them off as is, do they discard the trucks, or do they switch up on the lettering?
Vinyl Decals have become an incredibly popular tool for businesses all over for various purposes including brand recognition, promotions and more. However, it isn’t just businesses that have begun to use vinyl lettering. Things such as funny one-liners, caricatures, or the state they live in have become a thing you get to see on most vehicles. While some of this can end up looking a tad bit tacky, people seem to enjoy the freedom to customize it any way they can.
Most of the lettering we often find on vehicles happen to be vinyl. So before we even get into how to remove the lettering from your trucks, let’s look at the different types of adhesives that most use.
What Can I Use To Attach Lettering To My Truck?
There are various reasons for vinyl lettering to be used on certain vehicles, while most of the time it is for work. The other times, it can either a joke they, the city they live in, quotes, names or more. But each time we see any of these, they’re either perfectly stuck on, chipping off in certain places, or completely chipped off. But if you’ve wanted to get these pieces of vinyl on your vehicles then here’s what you need to know!
There are a few kinds of glues that could alter your vinyl’s appearances.
Decals or Vinyl Stickers
These happen to be of the most common kinds of vinyl used for lettering. Even though these are a whole other category, the cheaper vinyl is usually used for this – making the adhesives a lot hard to remove.
These may seem like the kind you wouldn’t want to use, but these might be the best out of the rest.
Even though decals are a fan favourite, many truck owners aren’t too fond of removing adhesive vinyl. And to avoid that, various companies opt for static cling vinyl. But are they beneficial?
No, they aren’t. Unfortunately, not only does it not stick to metal, but it also doesn’t bond enough with the glass to stay on once the vehicle is in motion. And it can be a negative, especially when you have tinted windows. While these might be the easiest to remove, they wouldn’t stay on long enough for a drive around the block.
These happen to be the cheaper kinds of vinyl. Not only does the adhesive come off with great difficulty, but these are the most resistant types of vinyl to remove. And despite different companies using different types of vinyl – based on quality, adhesive, and more, there are a few pieces that do come off with ease. However, if you’re not up for spending a lot of time on removing your lettering, these wouldn’t be the best choice.
There are more stubborn types of vinyl like an engineer reflective grade vinyl. While it will look and feel good on your car, it won’t come off as easy. If you apply the heat method, it will come off in smaller bits – almost like chipped nail polish. And while the glue will come off with the glue remover, it’s far more time-consuming and grueling. And you would always have to consider the after-effects with vinyl like this.
And while each of these has its pros and cons. It seems easy to line and apply them to your car. But what happens if you decide to sell the vehicle, or have to get rid of it? And while it might seem easier to sell it along with the lettering, selling it without is a lot better for all the parties involved.
So how do you get around to doing that?
Slow And Steady Wins The Race
It’s so easy to over-complicate the simplest of things, like removing vinyl lettering from your vehicle with ease. Now one of the simplest methods would be to peel off the vinyl. However, you can only do this once you apply enough heat to it. As soon as you see enough vinyl to grab, slowly peel it off while rolling it close to the surface, this way you won’t have to start over again.
But if it happens to be more than lettering. All you have to do is warm the edge of the graphics enough to slowly pull and roll it away from the vehicle. Keep applying heat to the resistance area if it gets difficult to continue.
That’s The Spot
It may seem like an incredibly daunting task, especially when you’re trying to take it off without damaging and affecting the body and paint. But believe it or not, it is incredibly easy to do it, once you know where to start.
By picking a spot, you can warm the vinyl using a hairdryer or a heat gun on low and eventually move it to high. Once it is heated enough, you should be able to carefully lift the edge off with the help of a craft stick or a razor blade.
Scrape It Off
If you think it’s over once the lettering is off, then you’re wrong. You will find a few small pieces and glue still stuck to the surface. So how do you get those off?
All you have to do is warm those pieces again using the hairdryer and carefully scrape those off with a razor blade or a craft stick. Once you’ve got most of the glue and the bits off, use the most powerful cleaner you can find at the hardware store and clean the adhesive residue. A clean rag, a bit of the cleaner and the residue should be gone. However, turn the rag to avoid spreading, and once you’ve got it all, you can rinse it with clean water.
Buffy The Vinyl Slayer
Many think that it’s almost impossible to get rid of old lettering. Especially if there are ghost adhesive remainings, tan lines, or the vehicle happens to be a dark colour. But you can get rid of it. You have to be a lot more careful. All you have to do is carefully buff out any of the adhesive, but make sure you don’t buff any colour out.
Why Should I Get Rid Of The Lettering?
Vinyl Lettering help define your vehicle and alter the appearance depending on how you want people to see it. Many being business vehicles like delivery services, postal services, and official. However, it is common to have certain types of vinyl like bible quotes, inside jokes, or even your name on the vehicle.
That doesn’t seem like much of a problem. It shouldn’t be while you still own the vehicle. However, when the time comes to sell it off or get rid of it for whatever reasons, no one would want to see your personalized vinyl on it. That is unless they’re buying the car for it.
But the best option in most cases would be presenting your car as a blank canvas to let the next owner decide what they want to do with it.
Should I Never Apply Vinyl Lettering To My Vehicle?
It may seem like a lot of work, but they can be worth all of that. Regardless of how much space they take up, they are always worth the time and effort. Especially if the way they turn out the way you want.
However, some pieces of vinyl wouldn’t be as easy to take off. Full vehicle body vinyl or cheap pieces of vinyl that seem to stick to your vehicle like its life depends on it can be incredibly hard to take off.
That doesn’t mean that you should refrain from getting it. What you can do is invest in vinyl that isn’t cheap, and research well before getting any of it on your vehicle. Along with that, you should also look into mild glue removers that could help reduce the amount of work you put into getting rid of your vinyl whenever the time does come up.
The Easy Guide To Getting Rid Of Vinyl Lettering
We have already offered the steps in this article, but if you’ve somehow skipped all that we’ve said, here’s a step-by-step guide.
- Pick a certain spot on the vinyl, most preferably a corner. Apply a good amount of heat to it until you see it slightly lifting.
- Once you have enough of the vinyl to grab onto, pick it up, roll it a little and pull towards the rest of the vinyl.
- Keep applying heat occasionally to avoid it from tearing or sticking to your vehicle.
- Once you’ve got most of it off, apply heat to the bit that is still stuck to your vehicle and scrape it off with a razor.
- Apply some mildly strong cleaner on a clean rag and gently rub at the adhesive left behind, occasionally changing sides to avoid it from spreading.
- And finally, rinse it off with some clean water.
You finally have a vinyl-free car with no damage.