How to Remove Boat Decals
Saturday, October 10th, 2009
Decals can be removed from most painted surfaces. Ease of removal depends on how long the decal has been on the boat. The older the decal the harder it will be to remove. If the paint around the decal is faded you will still be able to see where the decal was after removing it because the paint underneath will not be as faded.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- Putty knife, kitchen spatula, or other blunt tool
- Hair dryer or heat gun
- Bug or tar remover or other cleaner safe for use on painted surfaces
Clean the area around the decal to remove dust, grime or slime.
Heat up the decal with a hair dryer until the adhesive starts to release. A heat gun can be used with extreme caution but be very very careful not to get it hot enough to peel the paint off. I perfer to use a hair dryer. It takes longer to heat but it won’t burn or strip the paint.
When the heat softens the adhesive you can begin to very slowly peel the decal off. Newer decals come off much easier and tend to stay in one piece. Old decals are very hard to remove and tend to come off one piece at a time. A blunt tool such as a dull putty knife or kitchen spatula can be used to gently scrape stubborned spots. Once the decal is started you can pry gently from underneath. Be patient and don’t rush it.
Use Bug or Tar Remover to clean off any sticky residue left over from the decal removal.