Painted pinstripe removal instructions

My car had a pinstripe painted on and it most likely has been on the car since it was sold new in 2005. I bought the car in 2012 and the pinstripe just didn’t look good. I was hesitant trying to remove it because I read about the possibility of damaging the clear coat.  There also can be a difference of paint color that is underneath the pinstripe if the paint on the car has faded a bit over time.

The magic fluid to use is denatured alcohol which can be purchased at paint supply stores. From what I have read so far, this should be safe to use for all clear coats. I got it at Home Depot but also read that Walmart sells it as well. One quart was about $7. I read about using acetone, WD40 or even oven cleaner but denatured alcohol seems to be much safer. I got some of the alcohol on the black door handles and it didn’t stain them or had other negative results.

This will only work if the painted pinstripe is on top of the clear coat so applied after the car left the factory. There are also pinstripes decals and this method probably won’t work for those. Picture before the removal. It doesn’t really look that bad but I just don’t like it.

painted pinstripe removal 1

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You’ll need 1 quart of denatured alcohol, a spray bottle, tape, paper towels and a terry/cotton towel.

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Make sure the surface is clean because any dirt will probably cause scratches. Fold a paper towel sheet a few times and tape it on top of the pinstripe. Put the alcohol in the spray bottle and spray the paper towel, making sure it stays soaked for about 5 – 10 minutes. It can evaporate rather quickly (depending on the temperature) so you’ll have to repeat the spraying a few times. I used 6 sheets and re-used them when I was finished with a section.

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After about 5 – 10 minutes, take a terry towel and spray some alcohol on there. Start rubbing on the pinstripe and it will come off with moderate effort. Make sure to remove any residue because it will stick again after it dries. Without soaking it first, it will take a lot of effort and you may scratch the clear coat.

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I also used a wet cloth to wipe off any remaining residue. Almost done..

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All gone!

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You can only see where the pinstripe used to be when you know where to look and are very close to the car. It will probably be almost completely unnoticeable after a clay bar and wax, This may not be typical though. I think it all depends on the age of the car, quality and color of the paint so your results may be different. Try a small section first before you do the entire car.

Did this work for you?  Any tips, comments or suggestions to help other readers?  Please leave your message in the comments below.

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