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HOW TO's - How to Remove Vinyl Graphics

The following article will help you remove unwanted vinyl graphics without leaving behind an adhesive residue. With this tutorial, you will be able to take off graphics from any surface, no matter how long they have been on.

1. Heat the surface. Using a heat gun (preferably), or a hair dryer, heat the graphics you wish to remove. Heating them will help make them softer and will allow the adhesive to release easier. This is especially important with older graphics as they become brittle over time.

2. Begin peeling vinyl with a plastic razor blade. Starting at an edge, slide your plastic razor blade under the vinyl until you have a piece large enough to hold with your fingers.

3. Once you have an edge started, pull by hand. Now you can begin peeling the vinyl with your hands. If the vinyl is fairly new, it may come off easily and in one piece. Most vinyl however, will break up into smaller pieces and you will need to pick at it with the plastic razor blade again to continue. If the vinyl is breaking frequently, try using the heat gun again to soften the vinyl.

4. Clean the adhesive. Once your vinyl is completely removed, you will see much of the adhesive has been left behind. You will need to spray this residue with a product such as "goo-gone" to soften the adhesive. Allow this to set in for a minute or so before scraping the adhesive. Take your plastic razor blade and scrape the adhesive. It should come off in a jelly-like consistency. Be sure to remove ALL of the adhesive.

5. Clean the adhesive remover. Once you remove all the adhesive, you will need to wash the chemicals off that were left behind. It is very important that you get all of the chemicals off as vinyl will no longer stick in that area if you wish to replace your graphics. Use a spray bottle with a soap and water mix and wash an area larger than your old graphics to ensure that you clean the area entirely.

Tips and Tricks
When removing vinyl graphics from glass, all of the steps are the same, but a paint scraper can be used instead of a plastic razor blade. As long as you are sure to use a brand new razor blade in your scraper, this can cut down on removal time dramatically. It should also leave behind less adhesive than using a plastic razor blade. This method should only be used on glass however, as a paint scraper will scratch and gouge most other surfaces.

If your graphics were applied to a painted surface, you may still see the outline from your graphics as the sun will have faded the paint, while the vinyl has protected the paint underneath the graphics. This is perfectly normal and, over time, this effect will fade and blend in with the rest of the paint.

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