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how do i remove truck curtain vinyl?


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Post Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:30 pm

how do i remove truck curtain vinyl?

I've been asked to do a tractor unit (Iveco) nothing too big just the firms name and phone No's. The customer has already stripped off the old lettering and is going to "T-Cut" the whole unit before the new stuff is applied.
The guy has asked me how he can remove the existing vinyl lettering from the (curtain sider) trailer, as it still has the old owners name and loads of other info on it. I'm hoping he doesn't want me to do it as it's got a lot of writing on it at present. He doesn't want it re-done though, just left plain. Has anybody any tips on how to remove this stuff?

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Post Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:07 pm

I wish I could be of some help here!
I know all about removing vynull, but NOT off a curtain-sider!
We don't have em here.
I bet Rob will know what to do.
Good luck.

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Post Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:47 am


Heat gun, Blade to remove off paint,

I find unleaded petrol works great to remove any residue left

Simon :D

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Post Sat Sep 11, 2004 2:59 pm

make sure you dont light a ( oh i swore ) up if your using simon's method :lol1:

otherwise brake cleaner from auto stores shifts old glue etc really good and safe .
regards phil

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Post Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:42 am

i havent stripped a truck curtain before mate, well i have, but it wasnt truck vinyl. it was banenr vinyl that "we" applied by mistake & had to strip and re-apply with truck vinyl.
truck vinyl is far stickier than banner vinyl & i can tell you stipping the banner vinyl after applied a few months was bloody hard :-? :o
the vinyl comes away in small bits.. seldom do you get a large bit of in one go.
if starting the truck, have side one facing the sun as it rises, by the time you get to the other side the sun should be hitting that side. if the sun starts to go down and your far from finished, chuck the towel in for the day. the vinyl is not budging!
use a heat gun all the time doing this, seems the only way to soften the vinyl and glue. avoid using a blade to move the vinyl. it scrapes the curtain and could cut/slit the curtain.

the above is a very labouring way to do it, but probably the way your customer will do it if he is doing it himself.
if you are doing it, try getting hold of "liquid vinyl remover" its a paste that you paint on with a brush, onto the surface of the letter and leave it for a short time. the vinyl starts to bubble up and soften allowing you to peal the letter off. i used this many moons ago on reflective, from memory its was slow, but easier to do. (easier on the fingers for a start :wink: ) anyway, its best to check this can be used on a curtain first, as the curtain is similar type material to the vinyl.. so could cause problems, if you see what i mean. best check...

i cant remember where i bought my paste back then. i think it may have been "autac" but they dont exist anymore.
i am almost positive i seen the same or equivelant in the grafityp magazine a few weeks ago. ide give them a try...

both the above methods will still leave gum/glue on the curtain.
i would try tar & glue remover. (most car valet suppliers sell this by the drum, very cheap.
smear/spray this over the area and leave a couple of mins.. then smear again and this time start to rub it off.. a plastic razer or lil chizler dragged across surface should remove the glue. when doing this keep wiping the blade on a paper towel and continue. once all off, wipe down with meths...

try sampling any chemical you use on the curtain in a corner first. some chemicals can leave smear marks that dont come off.

one thing to check and just thought... check its not INKed on! if this is the case you could just wash it off with a thinner. (again check in corner) you simply wash it off.. need a couple of rolls of paper towel for that and a can of thinners.

to some it up mate.. give it a miss if you can.. if not try the above but charge by the hour. i know many will say similar to what i have for removing, but in reality you wont know what will work best till you try it on that actual truck. :wink:
Last edited by Robert Lambie on Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:22 pm

Hi Steve,

Mongrel Job that you have ahead of you.

Wax and grease remover is one of the best products, as robert said, most car accessories stores sell it, or paint suppliers stock it also. It is cheap by the drum, and you'll use heaps of it.

Another product that we use here is based on oranges. It is excellent for this style of work. It is called break up and a description can be found here

It is made here in OZ, but I think they have distributors in other parts of the world. Certainly worth an enquiry. I have been usung it for years, striping glue from buses, trucks and glass.

Otherwise, wax and grease remover is my next choice.

The problem with fuel is that it can become impregnated in the vinyl, and it can also cause the side to fail.

Sorry I can not be of more help. Personally, I'd be charging a high hourly rate, so as your client decides to do it :)


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Post Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:31 pm

liquid vinyl remover


We sell a range of chemicals for the sign industry one of them being the liquid vinyl remover that Rob is talking about. Brush on leave for 5 mins and plull of with ease

Regards Adrian


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Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:10 pm

Hello steve,
If its anything like Avery's Signflex Curtain vinyl you'll have no chance getting it off, unless you light the petrol :lol1: What you could suggest is painting over it with Sericol ink.

Vic (:)

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Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:27 pm

no i would not go down that road with the vinyl ink!! :o :o

patchy & horrible especially if colour does not match up, and you will still see the old lettering (glue left behind) :D

as rob mentioned, cellulose thinners, and plenty of it and rags, always worked for me!! :P


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Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:56 pm

Hi all, thanks for the advice.
Once the guy realised I might actually "charge" him to do the stripping he went very quiet and I haven't heard from him since. It was defiantly vinyl and not ink on the curtain, I tried to get a finger nail under a corner of the lettering and that stuff was not going to give up without a fight.
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