First, make sure the area around the emblem is clean by using a quick spray wax and microfiber towel. You’ll be leaning on the surrounding area and can possibly scratch the paint if excess dirt and dust is present. Please note that if the emblem is bolted to the car, today’s technique is going to be irrelevant, as simply unscrewing the bolt will release the emblem. Likewise, notice if the emblem is attached to metal or plastic, as plastic will require you to be more cautious with your heat gun. Next, use an industrial strength heat gun to slowly soften the adhesive tape between the emblem and the paint. This can damage your paint so proceed with caution and at your own risk.
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Use back and forth motions, never staying in one spot for too long. I leave my hand somewhere close to the area I’m warming up as a gauge for whether the paint is becoming too hot. If you can’t keep your hand on the surrounding paint, it’s too hot, and again, you might damage the paint, so be careful. Immediately after warming the adhesive, use dental floss or fishing line to cut behind the emblems, while trying to work the line as close to the paint as possible.
The ideal scenario is to remove the adhesive tape from the paint, while leaving the old tape stuck to the emblem, however, this is not always the end result, but going slow and rolling over the paint will give you the best shot for an easy cleanup. If the fishing line becomes stuck or too hard to easily move, gently reheat the area and continue to apply downward and horizontal pressure to the line as you pull it behind the emblem.
A slow, back and forth motion may helpful as well. Once removed, take care to avoid touching the emblem as it’s usually extremely hot and can burn you. If the glue remains on the paint, use an adhesive remover or solvent, such as Goo Gone or 3M Adhesive Remover, allow the area to cool and then wipe gently to allow the cleaner to dissolve the glue. On some cars with soft paint, a quick compounded polish may be necessary to reduce any emblem holograms or fine scratches installed by the removal process. Remember, when removing adhesive tape emblems, use the least amount of heat required to soften the glue.
The most common problem during these projects is paint damage from excessive heat on plastic or composite panels, so work slow and monitor your heat output. And be careful to avoid direct contact with hot surfaces so you don’t get burned.