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Removing ToughStuff Paint Protectors

#1 User is offline   Daless2 

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 07:31 PM

Removing Tough Stuff Paint Protector Products

When I wanted to test what happens when the Tough Stuff Paint Protectors were removed from a Jeep, Hellbender agreed to replace any product I removed while doing this test, provide I would share all the info, good or bad on the forums. (Watch out for this guy, he is a risk taker! J)

I’ll tell you, I have to tip my hat to Brad.

This is a brave man and clearly someone who believes in his product.

In hindsight I think he knew there wasn’t “risk” in this, simply because he knew how the product would perform; and now I do as well.

During this effort I managed to take my Door Protectors off, and learned in the process a few small tips I would like to pass on. Perhaps you may find them useful.

Bottom line – There was no damage, of any kind, to the paint or finish on my Jeep as a result of having the Door Protectors in place and then removing them.

Here is a picture of my driver side door after I removed the Door Protector. The paint and finish are every bit as good as they were prior to their installation.

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Tools I used

Here’s a picture and a list of the tools I found most useful to remove the Door Protectors and the residual adhesive that remained on the paint.

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70% Isopropyl Alcohol
Paper Towels
Duck Tape
Hair Blow Drier

The Peeling Process

Please note, while I do have a commercial grade heat gun, I did not use it in this effort. The product instructions say you can use a hair drier so that is what I used. I would imagine a heat gun would only make this process faster.

The first thing I did was to try and pull back the Door Protectors from the door without using any heat. This was difficult to do.

I would imagine I could do this if I wanted to take all day, but I didn’t have the time. In truth I wanted to see just how “sticky” this stuff was. (It does stick!)

I’m impressed. Especially considering this door sat in direct sunlight for more then three (3) hours on a 90+-degree day.

I borrowed my daughters hair drier and asked her for her help. She took all the pictures while I did this two-handed operation. (Brad, there is nothing in your instructions that says “Two Hands Are Required” I guess it is implied?” J)

Following the instructions I heated one corner of the Door Protector with the hair drier for about 15 seconds. Then I was able to lift and peel back on the edge.

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Heat folks, is definitely a requirement to get these things off.

As long as I continued to apply the heat from the drier (setting on “high”) I was able to “peel” the Door Protector right off without any trouble.

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As you can see, removing the paint protector is destructive to the protector. The product instructions do indeed tell you this. So please don’t expect to take them off and reuse them. It won’t work.

As I peeled the paint protectors off I found about ½ of the adhesive stayed on the back of the Door Protector, and the other half remained “stuck to the paint”.

Here you can begin to see what I am talking about.

See the Adhesive on the door?

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Here is a photo of my door after I peeled the paint protector completely off.

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As you can see there was more then a little bit of adhesive that still needed to be removed.

Notice the “voids” in the glue pattern in the picture above? (Toward the left)

Being this was an experiment on how to best remove these things I played around a bit with the hair drier.

The spots with the least amount of adhesive are in those areas where I lingered for a bit longer in applying the heat from the hair drier.

Once “really hot” I pulled the paint protector off at a 90-degree angle to the door. This clearly removed more of the adhesive from the door during the “peeling process” then any other technique I tried.

Heat is your friend folks, at least on this project it is.

The Adhesive Removal Process #1

Ok so now I knew what was in front of me.

The Mission – Remove the residual adhesive that was stuck to the door without causing any damage to the paint on the door.

Once again, I experimented with a few different ways of doing this with the hope of finding the best way (at least for me) to get the adhesive off.

I worked in the area behind the door handle surround first. It looked like this when I started.

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Following the product instructions and Brad’s recommendations I poured some Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol) onto a paper towel and soaked the adhesive with it.

The alcohol does indeed “cut” the adhesive, and with a little elbow grease you can remove most of the adhesive this way..

I then took a small piece of the “paint protector” I just removed and folded it over, sticky side out. I used this to kinda “blot” the remaining adhesive off the door.

Here is a picture of what things looked like after the alcohol and just before I started to “blot” with the old paint protector material.

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See those big globs of adhesive? They do indeed come right up this way.

It appears to me, removal of the paint protector products does indeed work as advertised.

The Adhesive Removal Process #2

Never being one to accept the status quote (That’s my way of saying I know I am a bit eccentric), I figured I could come up with a better way of doing this. And I did! At least for me.

I figured if a little alcohol and the old “sticky” side of the recently removed paint protector could take the adhesive off easily, imagine what I could do with my favorite stand by, Duck Tape!

I covered the adhesive on the door with a couple of strips of Ducked Tape, making sure I pressed it down firmly as I went along.

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Then I simply pulled the Duck Tape off, slowly at a 90-degree angle to the door.

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This folks, worked so well I stopped experimenting. (Why mess with perfection, right?)

To remove the few remaining adhesive balls from my door I took a small piece of Duck Tape and rolled it up into a little ball, sticky side out. I used this to blot them off.

All in all, it took ½ the time to do the large area in front of the door handle using the Duck Tape technique, then it did to do the small area behind the door handle using the alcohol method.

I completed the removal by washing the door area down with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol and let it dry. Then I inspected the door very carefully.

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I could not detect the slightest damage to the door or the paint that wasn’t there before. (Jeep Pin Striping).

For what my opinion and word might be worth, I am satisfied that these paint protector products can be put on, and at some point in time, taken off if you want to, without any adverse effects to the finish on my Jeep.

I would however understand that the finish on my Jeep was in excellent order, but for the typical scratches before I put these on. I would not expect the same results, when taking these off if the finish were badly chipped, oxidized or rusted. In truth I don’t know what would happen then.

Also, I do not have any idea what the results would be 5 years down the calendar either.

Passenger Door Time Trials

Once I perfected this (Hummer me) I figured I would time how long it would take to do this using the Duck Tape method on the Passenger Door Paint Protector. Start to absolutely clean door took 37 minutes.

I hope some will find this useful information.

Please have a great night. I plan to,


Edited to fix the typo's that I could find

#2 User is offline   John 

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 03:31 PM

Great writeups, as usual Frank. John

#3 User is offline   Daless2 

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 09:42 PM

Thanks John,

Most of what I do isn't high tech stuff, nor significant engineering, but I do enjoy sharing my limited experiences.

In truth its a great feeling to learn that some folks find a few things I dabble in useful.

Have a nice eveing,


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