How to remove Painted Lettering

Without damaging the surface underneath!
Hand Painted Lettering Hand Painted Lettering Hand Painted Lettering
Hand Painted Lettering

How to remove Painted Lettering without damaging the underlying surface!

I get asked this question almost as often as I get asked " How much do you charge to paint my name on the side of my truck". So I guess , I'm the guy to answer this question. After all, I've been in this business for over 30 years!

Well first you will need to purchase a few small items from your local Hardware and Automotive stores.

  • You'll need a can of "Easy-Off" oven cleaner.
  • Bags of clean rags or wiping cloth ( make sure the material is absorbent)
  • A quart or a gallon of "Mineral Spirits" also known as paint thinner.
  • A can of "A-Jax" cleanser.
  • A bucket of warm water.
  • Rubber gloves (not thin surgical gloves)
  • Can of Rubbing Compound
  • A can of "Carnuba Wax" such as "Mothers wax"
First; wipe over the area with a wet cloth to remove some of the oxidation (if there is any).

Next: Take the can of "oven cleaner" and spray an ample amount onto a damp rag. Make sure you are wearing gloves!

Wipe over the lettering that is to be removed. Wipe only a 12 inch length at a time -- if it's a large area that you are working on.

Wait about 2-4 minutes then rinse with warm water. (WARNING: do not leave the oven cleaner on the surface for more than 5 minutes). It will eat through the lettering paint down to the surface that you are trying to keep un-damaged!

Repeat this process until about 80% of the lettering has been washed away -- before moving to the next 12 inch area.

Grab another clean damp rag, and empty a small amount of "A-Jax cleanser" onto it. Use this to wipe off the stubborn stains and specks of paint that were left behind. Use warm water to rinse.

After all of the painted lettering has been removed, wipe over the entire area with "Rubbing Compound" to even out the slight discoloration. This comes form the UV rays of the sun which ages the area around the lettering causing the paint to discolor. Wipe off the rubbing compound with "Paint Thinner".

Now all you have to do is wax over the entire area using the "Carnuba Wax" that you've purchased.
...and Wha-la -- it's all finished! That was easy wasn't it.

Hey, I recently removed lettering on a fleet of work trailers for a "Ceiling and Blinds" company, ERCO CEILINGS & BLINDS which had hand painted lettering on them for over 13 years. The owner wanted to change the entire layout and re - letter the vehicles. After I removed the lettering I used a multi - speed automotive buffer to buff out the entire trailer. They were going to send the trailers to a body shop first to get repainted. They were astonished when they saw their new trailers when I finished.

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