How to Remove Pinstriping & Old Stickers From a Boat

By Cynthia Measom
Speed image by jura from Fotolia.com

A boat owner may take the decision to remove decals or pinstripes from the outside of his watercraft for various reasons. Perhaps the stickers or stripes were cracking, peeling or fading. Or, maybe the owner doesn't appreciate the color or message displayed. Instead of frustrating yourself by spending hours picking and peeling the pinstripes and old stickers from your boat, utilize a household appliance to make the task easier.

Plug an extension cord into a nearby electrical outlet. Plug the hair dryer or heat gun into the cord's outlet, so that you will be able to reach the stickers and pinstripes on the boat with the appliance.

Place the heat gun or hair dryer on a low heat setting and hold the nozzle approximately 5 to 6 inches from the decal or striping. Basic heat guns will only have one heat setting that you can utilize. Touch the sticker with the fingertips to see if it is becoming warm. If it's not, you may need to hold the hairdryer or heat gun an inch or two closer, until the sticker becomes warm and pliable.

Grip the plastic scraper in your hand that isn't holding the heat gun or hair dryer, and place the edge at a 45-degree angle to the sticker. Gently lift the edge of the sticker with the scraper by pushing the edge of the tool underneath the sticker.

Use the scraper to loosen the sticker as you continue to apply heat with the heat gun or hair dryer. Turn the appliance off for a few moments and set it aside while you continue peeling the sticker with a careful, steady motion. If you are trying to remove a large sticker or a long area of pinstriping, you will need to continue applying heat to make the sticker becomes soft and pliable until you have completely peeled it away from the boat's surface.

Apply a quarter-size amount of a liquid adhesive remover to a soft cloth. Apply more remover to the cloth, depending on the size of the area that includes adhesive residue.

Rub the adhesive remover onto the residue with the soft cloth. Wet another piece of soft cloth with water and wipe down the area to remove any remaining cleaner.

About the Author

Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.