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Pinstriping was quite popular just a few years ago, but they are no longer so popular now. You may need to remove pinstripes from your vehicle for aesthetic reasons. Maybe there was a time when you loved the pinstripes, but now you want them removed. In this post, you will learn how to remove pinstripes without damaging paint. 

Before we start discussing the issue, let’s clarify that removing pinstripes is not an easy deal. If you do not know the right way to do it, chances are that you will mess up. Your goal is not to remove the pinstripes while keeping the car’s paint intact. Read on to learn about a few ways to remove pinstripes from your vehicle.

Use a heat gun or blow dryer

You can easily remove pinstripes with a blow dryer or heat gun. Take a blow dryer, switch it on, start with the edge of the pinstripe and then gradually go to the other end.  Due to the heat, the pinstripe will become loose. To do the job, you can use a heat gun in the same way.

Once the heat has loosened up the pinstripe a bit, you can peel it using a sharp edged, plastic tool. That tool can be a plastic knife or a plastic scale. Use it carefully and make sure you do not end up damaging the paint.

Do not leave the heat source in one spot. It may lead to the damage of the car’s paint. While suing the heat gun, check multiple times to see if the pinstripe has become soft. Continue doing this until you have completely removed it.

Use an electric drill

If you are wondering how to remove pinstripes without damaging paint, here is another way to do it: use an electric drill or Dremel. But, to remove pinstripes, you are going to need an additional tool—a disc especially designed to remove pinstripes. Do not use any other disc. This method can give you quick results.

Before you start actually removing the pinstripes, you have to clear the car’s surface. Make sure there is no dust or dirt. It must be done to secure the car’s paint. To loosen up the pinstripes, use a blow dryer first. Once the pinstripe is loose, use your electric drill to remove it from your vehicle.

Use volatile rubbing alcohol

This is the easiest way to remove pinstripes from your vehicle. After applying the solution, wait for some time while the adhesive loosens up. And when it is loose, just peel it off. Wear hand gloves when doing it.

Never keep volatile rubbing alcohol within the reach of kids. These liquids are highly toxic, and consuming them can be fatal. Wash your hands thoroughly after using the solution.

Residue removal

Once you have removed pinstripes, you may notice residue left behind. To make the spot clean, now you have to remove the residue. There are many products that can effectively remove the residue while keeping the paint intact. 

“Goo Gone” is one such product, but there are some other products that work well. Use a clean cloth to wipe the surface. To keep the paint shiny, you can use a car wax. If you want to learn how to remove pinstripes without damaging paint, you must also know how to remove residue of pinstripes.

Stubborn cases 

There are some stubborn cases when removing pinstripes is hard. You can not just peel it away. Woodgrain & Stripe Remover is a product from 3M, and this product, as the name suggests, is especially designed for this purpose. This aerosol product works by loosening the glue and softening the vinyl.

Do not overspray when applying this product, because overspray will loosen vinyl roofs and rubber gaskets. To get it done smoothly, you must know how it can go wrong.  

Pinstripes are of two different varieties: tape stripes and painted stripes. You can easily remove tape stripes with the methods mentioned above. In some cases, you may even get it done with the edge of your credit card.

But when it comes to removing painted stripes, the process will not be so smooth. In some cases, it may not be possible to remove pinstripes without damaging the paint. “Stripe off Wheel” another product from 3M, and this product is especially designed for this purpose.

Stripe off Wheel is intended for stubborn pinstripes. It contains polyurethane foam, and it is used with a hand drill. Stripe Off Wheel works just like a rubber eraser. The process of application is very easy. You just have to press it lightly on the pinstripes. 

The adhesive rolls up, the vinyl crumbles, and what you have left behind is a smudge. Although the product is easy to use, you have to be careful about two things. first, you have to make sure that there is no dirt on the panel. And second, when using it, you have to touch the pinstripe lightly.

To remove the remaining adhesive, use a citrus cleaner such as Goo Gone. The solvent will take some time to work. If you rush the process, you may end up scratching the paint. Then use swirl mark eliminator or any mild polishing compound. This compound is used to remove minor scratches. To give the panel a shiny surface, use a cleaner wax.

Another technique

If you want to learn how to remove pinstripes without damaging paint, here is another simple technique. This is a technique used by many auto mechanics. Take a large plastic bag. Slitting it open, make it a single large panel.

On your back window glass, spray a little water. Put the bag on the window and make sure it temporarily sticks to the window. Spray some ammonia on the tinting film. It will soften the adhesive in about 15 minutes. Then just peel off the tint. Use Goo Gone or ammonia to remove the remaining adhesive.

Additional tips

  • Do not use a very sharp object such as a razor or knife to remove the Pinstriping. If you do so, you may end up scratching your paint. A plastic cutter or a credit card can be used. Do not try to loosen the entire pinstripe at a time. Start with one end and then go forward.
  • “Stripe off Wheel” is a product from 3M, and this product is used as an attachment to an electric wheel. This disc-sized product is especially designed to remove Pinstriping.  You can use this product to get the job done quickly.
  • If you use rubbing alcohol, the adhesive will not soften up very quickly. So it is important to be patient when you are removing pinstripes. With a soft cloth, rub the alcohol a bit harder. When one end of the pinstripe begins to pull away, rest assured that the entire pinstripe will come out.

If you really want to know how to remove pinstripes without damaging paint, try the techniques and see which technique works. However, the technique will depend on the type of pinstripe you want to remove.

In some cases, it may not be possible to remove pinstripes without damaging paint. But if you follow the instructions properly, hopefully you will get satisfactory results. Be patient and get it done as smoothly as possible.

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