Instructables

Removing Bicycle Decals

Does anyone know of a good way to remove the decals from a bicycle, specifically a Mongoose Montana? On the Interweb, a lot of people say you can, but just as many others say that doing so will ruin the paint and mess up the clearcoat that is applied over the decals. Is there a way to tell if my bike has a clearcoat above the decals? If I can remove them, would heating them with a hairdryer aid the removal process? And the sticky residue - what's the best thing to get rid of it? Lighter fluid? Thanks!

I want to remove the decals off of my pacific fast and easy, going to repaint it this winter if ican.
George764 years ago
Hey just few days back, I came across one website http://www.decalstickerremover.com that provides decal remover tool. I had gone through the reviews of that product and many of the peoples had found it quite useful. I can certainly recommend you to check that product, may be it will help you to remove decals from your bicycle.
Bran (author) 6 years ago
Sah, no one has ideas?
chrisman27 Bran5 years ago
Hey hows it going. I am a auto detailer i will tell you the best way to do it is A: heat gun 19.99 at walmart heat the decal a little it does not take much then follow up with a plastic razor blade. Yes they make plastic razor blades. A few bucks a bag at autozone or something. If you want to be super careful B: Get a wheel eraser under 10.00 at napa i think is where i got mine you need a drill for it. it just is a circular eraser with a stem that you insert into a drill. spin it with the drill its as simple as erasing pencil. I like B myself. It's up to you.
I used a blowtorch to loosen up the decals on my new frame, then wiped off the mess with a little paint thinner.
Austringer6 years ago
My dad bought a pickup truck (Carter was president maybe - or maybe it was Ford) that had been owned by a home improvement contractor and had giant stickers for this business on its doors. He was told you could get them off with oven cleaner and it worked just fine. Stickers gone, truck still painted. That was several decades ago and the formulation for your paint and every oven cleaner now available may have changed, so if you try this, start somewhere you'll never see, like remove the kick stand and see if it takes the paint off the bit that it bolts to.
But if it takes the paint off there, then in 20-30 years he won't have a kickstand anymore. Rust.
Whatever you do DO NOT use acetone
Bran (author)  Gordon Freeman6 years ago
Paint remover? If so, that's what I'm going for.
LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Brake fluid to remove sharpie/ paint
Bran (author)  LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
So, when removing paint, will the fluid do it all, or will I need to sand, also?
LinuxH4x0r Bran6 years ago
I don't know about your situation, I just know it works on car paint.
NachoMahma6 years ago
. Close examination of the edges of the decals should tell you if they have been clear-coated. A magnifying glass may be required. . If there is no clear-coat over the decals then you have several options: 1) Apply heat (hair dryer, IR lamp, propane torch) and gently scrape off. Remove any residue with WD-40, lighter fluid, glass cleaner, &c (fine steel wool, if needed). 2) Very carefully sand them off with fine sandpaper, steel wool, abrasive pad, &c. 3) Saturate with WD-40, lighter fluid, glass cleaner, &c and scrape off. . . If the decals have been clear-coated, you'll have to remove/replace the clear-coat. No way around it. :(
Bran (author)  NachoMahma6 years ago
By remove the clearcoat, you mean sand or blast the entire bike?
NachoMahma Bran6 years ago
. Either. If you think you can patch the clearcoat, that would be easier than having to shoot the whole bike. A patch job is probably not something you want to tackle if you haven't done any spray painting. Not that difficult, but it takes a little practice. . I wouldn't recommend blasting - too hard to control how much material is removed. And sanding the whole frame would be quite a chore. . Same procedure(s) as on a car. Check out some of the automotive repair and/or classic car restoration sites. . If you have no experience with spray painting, so that you can patch the clearcoat, I'd say leave them alone. Hopefully, they are on top of the clearcoat, so you can peel them off.
Bran (author)  NachoMahma6 years ago
I'm fairly good with spray paint. Would patching the clearcoat entail masking out the surrounding area?
NachoMahma Bran6 years ago
. You will need to prep the area (good sanding with the proper grit), shoot some new clearcoat, then sand and polish it smooth. I guess, if you are real careful, masking wouldn't be absolutely necessary, but it will limit the area you have to sand/polish.
Bran (author)  Bran6 years ago
Thanks, by the way!
ledzep5676 years ago
im thinking get a double edge razor(the really thin, really sharp ones) and two small pliers. clamp in pliers on each dull end and bend razor to the curve of the tube and scrape.
gmoon6 years ago
WD-40 removes adhesive (sticky stuff) really well.
Bran (author)  gmoon6 years ago
Thanks, I'll be sure to remember that! The color scheme my bike has is black, blue, white, and aluminum. Sadly, the decals cover up where the black paint and the aluminum come together, so I'll probably just sand all the paint off and add a clear coat, so I have a plain aluminum bike. (*stops rambling*)
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