Decal Removal Before Paint Prep - Fiberglass RV
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-11-2010, 06:46 PM   #1
Trailer: Bigfoot 13.5 ft
Posts: 88
Decal Removal Before Paint Prep

Do I need to remove the decals on my Lil Bigfoot before beginning the sanding prep work for painting? I found many good posts on how to remove decals but wondered if it would be possible to simply sand them off. Will this grind decal adhesive into the surface, thus leading to problems with the prime/paint job? I am fairly certain that my decals are well beyond the point where heat will do the trick of removing them; they are one with the gel coat.

Carl G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 01:09 AM   #2
Senior Member
Raya's Avatar
Trailer: 1974 Boler 13 ft (Neonex/Winnipeg)
Posts: 3,008
I would guess they would gum up your sandpaper.

I would probably try scraping (razor blade or plastic scraper), heat (heat gun or hair dryer), or something like a 3M "stripe off" wheel. The Stripe Offs work amazingly well.

People also use Easy-Off oven cleaner to take vinyl names off boats, masking off runoff areas and rinsing afterward.

Raya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 06:54 AM   #3
Senior Member
Mark Shaffer's Avatar
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 16 ft Custom Deluxe Deluxe Side Dinette
Posts: 314
You definately want to take them off prior to prep. My 1985 Burro decals were cracked and dry rotted, but came off easily with a heat gun, but be careful with the fiberglass. I also used the 3-M wheel as Raya recommended, to remove the excess glue residue and small portions of decal that tore while pulling it off. You will have to block sand the area where the decal is so that you will not see evidence of it after the paint. I had to primer seal and block sand several times to remove all traces of the decal. The original gell coat weathers and looses thickness, but where the decal is, the gell coat is at its original thickness and after painting, you will see the outline of the decal if you do not properly prep this area. If you are replacing the decal, then you don't have to worry about it as long as it is the same decal style and size.

Mark Shaffer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 03:58 PM   #4
Commercial Member
Robert Johans's Avatar
Trailer: 1988 Scamp 13 ft and 1982 Perris Pacer 13 ft
Posts: 822
I'll jump in...

The decals on my '82 Perris Pacer were so dry they sanded right off no problem. But, I was planning on a new paint job, so the entire shell got a good going over as part of the prep.
Robert Johans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2011, 04:34 PM   #5
Trailer: 1986 19 ft Bigfoot
Posts: 76
This might be a little late to help, but I will post my experience anyway. I am currently removing the striping and decals from our third Bigfoot and have done it the same way every time. I use a plastic putty knife - must be plastic and a blow dryer, not a heat gun. The heat gun could potentially be too hot for the fiberglass gelcoat, so I stick with the blow dryer and it works great. I usually work right end to left end, as I am right handed. Once I get the edge or end lifted off a little, it is easy for me to hold the blow dryer in my right hand while simultaneously lifting the striping/decals with my left hand. I have found that this saves my left hand from getting in the way of the heat from the blow dryer quite so much, but it definitely gets a little hot from time-to-time.
FredericL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2011, 10:11 PM   #6
Senior Member
Name: Brayden
Trailer: Boler
Posts: 144
Or you could use a strip eraser wheel
In all bodyshops use them to take decals and stripes off
Without hurting the clear
Available at any AUTOBODY supply store
Siris is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
decal removal Ricky 4 Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 10 01-06-2009 08:19 AM
Cleaning/prep before re-caulking? Mel R Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 8 08-16-2008 05:59 AM
Paint Prep Tirah Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 25 08-06-2007 01:00 PM
Decal Removal Chris Seddon Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 13 04-19-2006 09:27 PM
Paint removal Legacy Posts Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 1 04-27-2003 08:52 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:21 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.