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Old 27-10-2015, 12:37   #1
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lettering takeoff, Imron paint

time to change the painted on name on my s/v....the painted on name is over the Imron topside/transom paint.
I am inclined to use easy off, anyone have experience doing this?
the reason I am asking is I don't want to mess up the 7 yr old imron under the name...which is excellent shape...not keen on using acetone...perhaps too strong on the imron..
I plan on using quality uv vinyl lettering for new name...once I get this old name off...!
thanks for informed suggestions/experiences...
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Old 27-10-2015, 12:42   #2
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

Imron is really tough stuff, but I'd try lacquer thinner, you may be lucky and the old name is lacquer, but idea being start with the least strongest stuff, then escalate.
I think lacquer thinner is kinder than Acetone and I have no idea about oven cleaner.

You sure the old name isn't vinyl by chance, might get lucky?
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Old 27-10-2015, 13:14   #3
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

If they are hand painted letters, I think they use a lettering enamel. It should soften with lacquer thinner. I spilled a can of contact cement on an Imron paint job once. It cleaned up with no problem
Oven cleaner is a caustic soda that eats organic things and oils. Probably no organic stuff in LPU but maybe in sign painters enamel?
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Old 27-10-2015, 13:16   #4
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

thanks,...the old name is paint...not vinyl...ugghh
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Old 28-10-2015, 08:39   #5
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

7 year old Imron is indestructible.Use anything you want to remove the lettering except for aircraft paint stripper.Best is to use a rubber wheel stripe and letter removal tool on a electric or air drill.You can buy them at auto paint/body stores.Just dont bear down to hard or you will burn the imron.
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Old 28-10-2015, 10:07   #6
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

I tried to remove painted on letters. Nothing worked. Since the letters were on the side, I put a fender there, and let friction have a try. After several years...YEARS...the old name is mostly gone, or at least illegible. Sold the boat before completing the job.

On a previous boat, removed old vinyl letters. Tried oven cleaner and several other harsh chemicals. But the letters had been on for over a decade, and were resistant to my efforts. Eventually I used a broken piece of plastic and scratched the letters off. Took hours and hours. Left a bit of a mess too. There was also a large yacht club logo sticker on the transom...nothing would get that off, even my plastic scraper. So I left it on to get some reciprocal privileges at other clubs.

I love putting on new lettering. The fonts and colours available are just great. Makes the boat look wonderful, and everyone finally knows your boat name.
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Old 28-10-2015, 10:11   #7
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

The good thing about Imron, is you can sand buff and polish it to like new if required ... Kinda like gel coat. However it must be thick enough!
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Old 28-10-2015, 10:23   #8
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

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. However it must be thick enough!
That is the rub so to speak. A properly done LPU top coat is pretty thin. I was under the impression that you don't rub/buff LPU. All the solids in the paint are on the surface so when you buff you wear them off. You get a shine after buffing but you have damaged the surface and it will always need polishing in the future.
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Old 28-10-2015, 10:33   #9
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

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That is the rub so to speak. A properly done LPU top coat is pretty thin. I was under the impression that you don't rub/buff LPU. All the solids in the paint are on the surface so when you buff you wear them off. You get a shine after buffing but you have damaged the surface and it will always need polishing in the future.
I don't know if Imron is the same as most LPU, I don't think so... it's very hard. I had my 44 footer (my avatar) painted with Imron. After the painting you can imagine my dismay when I saw the painter "boarding" some areas of the new paint! He spent hours doing that and polishing and it was superb!
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Old 28-10-2015, 10:45   #10
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

In the aviation painting world, Imron is a rather low quality paint It's solids content is low compared to something like Sterling. or Awlgrip.
Like you say, some Imron might not be a real LPU. I have heard it called a "modified enamel". It's common to add urethane activator to regular synthetic enamel to get more shine and gloss and hardness.
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Old 28-10-2015, 10:48   #11
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

From memory,..... Imron dates back to the 1970's. It was developed as a chemical resistant and very hard no buff paint for aircraft and industrial use. It is very brittle and chips easily.

It oxidizeses very slowly and lasts many years. The oxidation can be buffed away but color sanding and polishing is not for the faint of heart. It was not designed for this.

Modern polyurethanes are very different. They are flexible and easily color sanded and polished. And do not require a flex agent when painting rubber car bumpers for instance.
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Old 28-10-2015, 10:53   #12
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

Yeah, tough stuff.... let's face it, even just rain, at 600 mph is pretty abrasive! Dust or dust and rain has got to be even worse on paint at that speed!
I found my Imron very resistant to abrasion and scrapes... much better than the "peel" I've seen on LPU painted boatsides sometimes. I painted the mast on that boat with Sterling... wow that stuff is really brittle and hard... even compared with Imron.
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Old 28-10-2015, 11:18   #13
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

[QUOTE=Cheechako;1948321h Sterling... wow that stuff is really brittle and hard... even compared with Imron.[/QUOTE]

Picture cutting the paint around hundreds of screw heads with a razor blade so when you remove the screw, the paint does not crack away from the skin.
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Old 28-10-2015, 11:19   #14
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

Use Oven-cleaner-spray but try on imron first
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Old 28-10-2015, 11:23   #15
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Re: lettering takeoff, Imron paint

15 year old Imron on my boat. Not painted by me and the prep was inadequate so it will chip off too easily. Otherwise still looks good.

Last January I used a razor blade to peel off a color sample to match with a can of Brightsides for touchup. Got lucky with Flag Blue, so I rolled and tipped the beat up and name removed stern and touched up the rest. Thus postponing a topsides repaint for a while longer.

To the OP, you should be able to remove the name with an appropriate solvent without removing much if any Imron. Let's hope it's sign painter's enamel for easiest results. Try fast enamel thinner first. Then fast lacquer if that doesn't work.
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