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Removing Painted Lettering:

Any of our Cleansers may be used to SAFELY remove painted lettering from gelcoat or inflatable boat fabrics without damage to the underlying surface (as opposed to using a regular paint stripper). We have had most experience with ISLAND GIRL Pink™ Cleansing Lotion.  However, NEUTRAL CLEAR™ Cleanser-Conditioner  is more potent and has been used repeatedly to remove painted lettering from a  Thunderduck™ racing inflatable boat (Randy Helms Racing, Alameda CA) without altering color of the underlying vinyl fabric. In each case, water is used to inactivate the cleanser. Then wipe dry. before repainting with different lettering.

If NO new  lettering is being applied, seal the surface, as appropriate with SILKENSEAL™ (on inflatables), or MIRROR HARD Superglaze™ (gelcoat or other hard surfaces).


General Principles:

When using ISLAND GIRL® Cleansers on fiberglass, we say that care should be taken not to allow the cleansing product to get behind adhesive vinyl stripes and lettering. This is because the the cleansers soften the adhesive. Of course this property can be deliberately used to help remove remove vinyl stripes and lettering and to clean up the adhesive residue from already removed stick-on vinyl lettering or stripes.

Removal of Lettering and Tape:

Soak the exposed edges of the stripe or lettering with one of our Cleansers. We suggest NEUTRAL CLEAR™,since it is a little more potent than ISLAND GIRL Pink™ If the vinyl has been in place for very long, then the adhesive will have completely dried out and soaking for several hours may be necessary.  Then pry the edges up and apply more cleanser. If necessary, a heat gun can be used to "crinkle" the vinyl so as to make it easier to pry off.

Removal of Adhesive residue:

By whatever means the tape has been removed (heat gun, “eraser” with power drill)   remaining adhesive residue is easily removed by soaking with the cleanser. It becomes like mucous and can just be "rolled off" with paper towel. Unlike solvents such as acetone, our cleansers will not flash off quickly and will not damage gelcoat or two-part LPU paint.. This method also applies to masking tape residue. However, for Duct Tape adhesive residue, we have found that our cleaners are less effective than WD40.

Blending Color of gelcoat after vinyl decal (etc) removal:

The gelcoat that had been under the removed vinyl lettering or stripe has been protected from the elements. Unlike the surrounding gelcoat, it will therefore appear brand new. It is obviously important to make the surrounding gelcoat look similar in  appearance.

In several cases, we have found that the use of our Cleanser-Conditioners, as described HERE restores the color of the surrounding gelcoat to that of the gelcoat that had been protected by the decal. The main reason for such success is the ability of our products to  "draw up" and remove the deep-seated chalk and grime that had discolored the old, exposed gelcoat.  Under normal circumstances, use of harsh abrasion is NOT necessary.  [remember, use SEA GLOW™ for white, blue, red etc; NEUTRAL CLEAR™ for brown, beige, black or any other color]

This use has been shown by direct experience with a light blue Hobie Cat and a fawn-colored trailerable sailboat., plus input from several customers. In some cases there may be a physical "step" due to wearing away of the surrounding gelcoat by repeated compounding over the years. In such cases, wet sanding and compounding might be necessary to remove this step.  Another reason for removing a superficial layer of gelcoat is surface fading of the surrounding pigment in the gelcoat (e.g. red going to orange).