Tips & Tricks: Removing vinyl adhesive

By signcraft

Posted on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

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Getting the old vinyl off a signboard or vehicle is only half the story. Removing the adhesive can be more of an issue. To get the adhesive off, soak it with turpentine. Don’t just dampen it—soak it. If you can lay the signboard down, do that and pool the turps on the adhesive. If you can’t lay the job down, soak a rag and hold it on to the adhesive.

Then using the same technique as you used to get the vinyl off with the razor scraper (see “Tips & Tricks: More help on vinyl removal”) slice the adhesive off. It’ll come off like moist jelly. But don’t be fooled—usually only a portion has come off. It will try to fool you by looking as if it’s gone, but get a finger dirty and run it along, and the dirt will adhere to the adhesive.

You must repeat the soak-and-scrape thing, because the adhesive comes off in layers. Sometimes you’ll need to repeat the process several times.

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