How to Remove a Car's Pinstriping

by Michael G. Sanchez
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There are two common types of pinstripes: painted and tape. The first step in removing them is to be sure which type your vehicle has.

Painted Pinstripes

Remove painted-on pinstripes using denatured alcohol. You can be purchase it at most hardware and home improvement stores. In addition, you'll also need the following equipment: a spray bottle, tape, paper towels and two small cotton towels or rags. First, make sure the surface of the car is clean and free of dirt, grime and other debris. Fold the paper towels and tape them over the pinstripe. Fill the spray bottle with denatured alcohol and then spray it on the paper towels. Let the wet paper towels stay on the pinstripe for five to 10 minutes. You may need to spray on more denatured alcohol, as it dries rather quickly. Remove the paper towels. Moisten one of the cloths with more denatured alcohol and rub the pinstripe with it in a circular motion. The pinstripe will begin to come off in chunks and pieces. Finally, wipe the area where the pinstripe used to be with a second, water-moistened cloth to remove any remaining residue.

Tape Pinstripes

There are a few different common methods for removing tape pinstripes. The 3M company makes a drill attachment called the 3M Stripe Off Wheel. Just attach it to nearly any plug-in or cordless drill, turn on the drill and touch the wheel to the pinstripe. Other methods include using a heat gun or hair dryer to heat up the pinstripe's adhesive so you can pull it off, and using plastic razor blades to carefully scrape off the stripes.

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