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Removing Decals & Stickers

Many times our Scottys come with all kinds of stickers and/or decals attached that we don't want to keep. Some of them may be 40+ years old. These suggestions come from group members - many thanks for your contributions. Use the suggestions at your own risk - the NSSO is not responsible if you damage your Scotty's finish.

Alex says: I removed numerous camping stickers (3 x 9) fairly quickly including the adhesive left behind. A heat gun $9 from Harbor Freight took each one off in their entirety in about 20 seconds each. Again, a followup with with the waterless creme wax
removed the adhesive as quickly.

Alex added: even a low end heat gun is considerably stronger than a hair dryer. They generally have two speeds and attachments that direct the heat in different patterns. If you turn the heater to hi and hold it 3" from the paint it will blister the paint in a heart beat. You apply the heat on the low setting moving in and out and about the decal. You will know when the sticker is ready to peel off because you can lift the corner with your fingernail. If it won't lift, more heat. It is a gradual technique. Once it starts to peel just pull it off. If it starts to resists - more heat. The adhesive will want to cool and harden again because you are applying minimal heat. Works very well on bumper stickers, car stickers, etc. You apply enough heat to soften the adhesive not melt the paint. But remember what I said you remove the sticker. In other words you are separating the decal from the adhesive. Much of the adhesive will come off with the decal. Don't try to remove the rest of the adhesive with the heat gun. Then you will be asking for trouble. The waterless wax (turtle wax will work) breaks the bond with the adhesive and the paint or metal and it slides right off. Ever try to tape something that has oil on it. Same effect. I prefer not using chemicals on paint as it has a tendency to dull the paint. So don't be afraid of the gun. Just apply the heat as required. Now with respect to the hair dryer. Hi temp setting and do the same thing. It will take a little longer but will work. If I were you take your hair dryer and try it on an old bumper sticker. A good test would be on an old license plate with the year sticker. They have a little stronger adhesive but can be taken off easily with heat. Hope this helps.

Christi says: You can buy (paint store) Xylene (use a mask to avoid breathing the fumes). Spray it on, let it soak in and then try a hairdryer with a sharp plastic scraper or putty knife, and fingernails. It should come off. Spray the Xylene in and blot it with a paper towel to help it soak in. Do not use paint thinner or acetone as they can remove the paint too.

We steer away from heat guns when dealing with vehicles or anything with paint underneath the decals you want to remove. We've found it can damage the surface. A hair dryer held fairly close seems to work best for us.

Nancy says: I have a heat gun and used it to soften that black tarry gunk previous owners had used on the roof seams of my Scotty. Once softened, I scraped it off using a plastic putty knife. I don't think my hair dryer would have heated that stuff enough to do the job. For removing decals, I would use it (very carefully) too as it does get much hotter than a hair drier. BUT, if I did not already have the heat gun, I would use my hair dryer. As Alex and Christi say, it will do the job and why rush out to buy something you may never need to use again. On decal residue, I use Goo Gone.


National Serro Scotty Organization | Delton, Michigan 49046