View Full Version : Removing Pinstripes

11-12-2003, 01:22 AM
My 81 TR7 has very oxidized paint and this weekend I plan to take a power buffer & compound to it. It has some very nice aftermarket vinyl pinstriping which isn't going to survive the process.

Any tips on how to remove these without damage? Razor blade? Thumbnail? Grind it away with the compound? "Goo-be-gone" solvent? I've heard of special abrasives just for this but I'd appreciate any real-life experiences.

11-12-2003, 01:38 AM
A heat gun, or even Momma's hair dryer, will work quite well. Just heat the stripe area enough to loosen a bit with a fingernail, peel it up, and while maintaining a constant, even pressure, heat the area ahead of the portion that is already free, and it should peel right off.
I have to change graphics, numbers, etc. on my race cars quite often, and have found the heat gun to be the best method yet. I wouldn't try a razor blade, as no matter how careful you are, you are still going to nick the paint. Trust me on this one!
However, if it is an old, "baked on' stripe, 3M
makes a stripe removal wheel, that can be driven by a drill motor. It looks almost like a buffing wheel, but it is only about 3/8"-1/2" thick and made up of several individual discs, that feel "waxy". I've used these for quite awhile, and found them to be very effective. Used correctly, they won't burn through the paint, and only require a quick swipe with adhesive remover aferward to totally remove any residue.
I buy my stripe removal wheels at my local NAPA store, but any good automotive paint store or body shop supplier should have them on hand.
If you have trouble finding them, I'll be happy to get the 3M part number for you.

[ 11-11-2003: Message edited by: Bugeye58 ]</p>

11-12-2003, 03:57 AM
Excellent -- that's exactly the kind of thing I needed to know. There's a NAPA in town and I;ll check for those wheels if the heat gun doesn't do it. The stripes are quite old and very firmly on.

tony barnhill
11-12-2003, 10:27 AM
I took my 380SL to the dealer a short while ago to have them remove the old stripes....they used a "power eraser" for lack of other words or description....apparently its a standard tool for body shops..just erased them without damaging the paint...they waxed & if you didn't know better, you wouldn't know they were ever there.

Jim Weatherford
11-13-2003, 04:08 AM
Great info...

I've tried several of the methods mentioned, the heat gun is a "old faithful", the "Goo-B-Gone" or "Goof-Off" will also work, but be ever so careful and test it in a area normally not seen for pain and color fastness of the paint when this stuff hits it, remember we use "Goof-Off" is a industrial strength "Graffiti Remover", user beware.

When all else fails including the heat gun, (Iíve blistered paint and not been able to remove the intended decal), be careful. Iíve used good old "WD-40" to remove seriously stuck-on (sun dried) decals, it is tricky, it has to saturate (hey, itís a penetrating oil!) and isnít 100% effective, but it generally works, though slowly and then you have to remove the residue.

3M has several products that might make a trip to a auto paint specialty shop worth while to investigate options before you even begin.