How to Remove a Decal From Auto Paint

Use a hair dryer to warm the underlying adhesives.
dryers image by timur1970 from

When removing vehicle decals, they often end up causing unintentional damage to the underlying clear coat and paint. If you need to remove decals from auto paint, employ the proper strategy or you may end up with expensive repair costs. Select the proper tools and materials that will ease the removal process without marring the finish with abrasion scars.

Things You'll Need

  • Rags
  • Heat Gun Or Hair Dryer
  • General Purpose Adhesive Spray Cleaners
  • Terrycloth
  • Extension Cord

Plug a heat gun or hair dryer into an extension cord.

Warm the adhesive beneath the decal, using the heat gun or hair dryer. Maintain a 3- to 5-inch distance between the heating device and the decal, at all times.


Peel the edge of the decal, with your fingers, away from the car. Continue applying heat until the decal pulls away from the car.


Spray a general purpose adhesive cleaner onto a terry cloth. Use the terry cloth to remove any remaining adhesive from the car's finish. Massage in a circular, clockwise motion. Wipe excess adhesive cleaner from the finish, using clean cloth rags.



  • Read the label to ensure that the general purpose adhesive spray cleaner you purchase is manufactured for use on automobiles.