Customizing cars has always been a great hobby for people. In more recent years, the use of vinyl decals has become a popular way to customize vehicles without the commitment of a paint job. Among those decals, carbon fiber has become popular as a way to not only protect your vehicle, but also give it a brand new look. While many have covered the basics of how to install carbon fiber, very few think of the removal process, so we’ve decided to cover it for you here.
Whether the material has faded, ripped, or you just decide you want to change things up, you want to be sure you are careful when removing any decal so as not to damage the paint job underneath or leave sticky residue. The key to decal removal is patience. The process is not very difficult, but will take time so it’s best not to rush so you can avoid any accidents.
Much like the application process, it is best to start with heat. Most professionals will use a heat gun, but a hair dryer will suffice if need be. You need to work in sections when heating the decal, it’s pointless to heat the whole space up as you won’t be able to work fast enough to remove the entire thing before it cools down. Heating up the decal helps to soften the adhesive making it easier to remove. However, be sure not to overheat as it can make the adhesive too sticky, making more work for you in the long run.
Once you have heated up the decal, start in a corner spot and gently begin peeling back the decal. You can typically do this with your finger nails, but you can also use a plastic scrapper or old credit card if need be. DO NOT use metal; this will damage the paint job underneath. Smaller decals may come off in one peel, but for larger spaces, you will need to work at it, and it may rip off in spots.
When peeling, be sure to work at about a 120 degree angle, meaning pull the material backwards towards the remaining decal. Keeping the material at a low angle will reduce the amount of tension on the vinyl, making it less likely to tear in the process.
Once the decal is removed, you may notice there is some sticky residue left over. Many stores offer products that are specifically made to remove this residue, but be sure not to use harsh chemicals as this can cause damage to the surface. After removing the sticky residue, wipe the area with a mild soap and water to remove any remaining residue and be sure to let the surface dry completely before installing another decal.
Hope all these tips and tricks make for an easy removal process!