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Whether upgrading your current van signage or removing graphics from a second-hand purchase, there is a method for removing signage from vehicles quickly and cleanly. Keep reading to find out how...
1. Find yourself a blunt plastic scraper (something that won’t damage the paintwork underneath the graphics) and a hair dryer or heat gun*.

2. With the hair dryer on, heat a small area of your signage to gently melt the glue beneath the vinyl. The area should not be so hot that you cannot touch it, if the vinyl is too hot it will stretch and tear rather than coming off cleanly. This is not a big issue but means it will take longer to finish the job, and no one has time for that.

3. With a patch of vinyl now heated, use your plastic scraper to push up an edge so there is enough to grab and pull. If the vinyl is at the right temperature, you should be able to gently pull off a decent chunk.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 till all your graphics are removed.

What if there is an outline left behind?

This will be one of two things, either residual glue left behind or ghosting. The first one is an easy fix; after you have removed the graphics, take a micro-fibre cloth and some tar and glue remover, then buff the area and any outlines should disappear.

If, however, this is an older van and the graphics have been in place for quite some time, what you could be left with is ghosting. This is where the graphics in place have protected the paintwork on the vehicle in comparison to the paintwork that was left uncovered and has faced the elements (sun, snow, rain, hail, mud and everything else). The paintwork that is revealed after removing the graphics can have a noticeably more vibrant colour than the paintwork that was uncovered.

9 times out of 10 this will not be the case, if you have been unfortunate in these circumstances, there are three options you can take. The first will be to use tar and glue remover on the area, if this doesn’t do it, you can use T-cut to obscure any harsh lines, although this is a last resort. The best option (which may have been your plan anyway) is to have new signwriting put on your van and this should cover any noticeable colour differences.

At the end of the day, all cases will be slightly different, so take time and make sure the removal is done properly (this is of the utmost importance when it comes to leased vans). It is a labour intensive process (taking anywhere from 1 -3+ hours depending on how detailed the signwriting is). If you don’t have the time to remove the graphics from the whole van, you can take it to any car valeter or specialist car wash and expect to pay anywhere from £100 - £200 to have it professionally removed.

If you’re having a hard time deciding what signwriting you want, take a look at our gallery of graphics and wraps or give us a call and we will run you through options that are in your budget. Call 01268 247 010 or email basildon@signs-express.co.uk

*We do NOT recommend the use of a heat gun by non-professionals as you risk burning and blistering the paintwork on your van. This damage is non-reversible.

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