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Old 02-13-08, 03:05 AM   #1
relyt
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Best way to remove clearcoat without removing the paint underneath?

I have a frame that I want to get the clearcoat off of in a few places, in order to remove some really ugly decals. I want to be able to remove the clearcoat and the decals, and not damage the paint.

Should I just use really fine sandpaper and be really careful? Are there chemical strippers that I can put on that will eat just the clearcoat but not the paint?

I don't want to remove all of the clearcoat on the frame, just the stuff over the decals so I can get the decals off. Ideally I would repair the clearcoat in those areas afterwards, but I'm not sure it will be a big deal if I don't.

The frame is aluminum.

Any ideas?
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Old 02-13-08, 05:32 AM   #2
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With all the angles and corners on a decal, I doubt you could be that carefull. If the clearcoat was enamel and the paint lacquer, I suppose you could remove the clearcoat but I doubt that would be the case. I think you are out of luck. Powdercoating is not all that expensive, many threads going on that subject.
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Old 02-13-08, 07:47 AM   #3
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Agree with jack. The color coat is usually quite thin and the clearcoat is thick, so it would be very difficult to get the clearcoat off without damaging the color coat.
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Old 02-13-08, 07:57 AM   #4
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cover your stickers with more stickers
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Old 02-13-08, 08:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by nitropowered View Post
cover your stickers with more stickers
There is a good chance that you won't be able to get the sticker off even if you did a perfect job of removing the clearcoat. They aren't normal stickers (usually).

Live with it or powdercoat.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:24 AM   #6
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I cover scratches with reflective tape. After a few years the bike can look a lot like Eddie Van Halen's guitar. Safe at night too.
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Old 02-13-08, 09:24 AM   #7
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9 times out of 10 there is no clearcoat under the stickers (they apply the base, then the stickers, then clearcoat away), and removing them will damage the basecoat underneath, so you will NOT get a "transparent repair" so really the only choices you have are:
1) live with the ugly stickers
2) cover the ugly stickers with better looking ones
3) remove the stickers and re-paint the bike

I have tried for YEARS to do what you are asking, and only in a few cases where the stickers were on top of the clear did it ever work. (I'm a professionally trained autobody technician=20+ years)

sorry for the hard news
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