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Old 01-13-2015, 11:39 AM   #1
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Question "Ghosts" of old decals...how do we get rid of them

We have our first A-Class motorhome...a 2003 Fleetwood Bounder 35R. "Big Bertha" is wonderful and we are hooked!

The shiny ghosts of the decals from the original owners can still be seen...especially on a sunny day.

There is the map outline (the one that shows states visited) near the entry door and a very large message on the upper back of the RV...clearly stating their name and a religious message and symbol.

I can live with the map outline. The one on the back is the issue. We have no issues with anyone else making a statement in this manner but it is not something we would do and we would like to remove, mask or clean it away.

Question is...how do you get rid of what looks like a high gloss leftover after someone removed the decals. My husband tried rubbing compound, by hand but that really did not do anything.

I have even thought of trying to put something over it...but I don't want to ruin the lines of the coach.

I am open to any suggestions. I will email a photo to anyone who would like to see what I am talking about but do not want to post it on this forum, since the name is clearly visible.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:52 AM   #2
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I would do the Zep floor coating treatment which involves scouring the coach with Bar Keepers friend. The appropriate amount of scrubbing in that area will obscure the area and then the Zep will make it shiny again.
Search for it on this site.
I did my whole coach and it looks great!


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Old 01-13-2015, 12:26 PM   #3
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Yeah sorta what rssnape said, but Bar Keepers Friend is a little aggressive. I'd try some rubbing compound by hand and a wheel buffer only if necessary. Then a good car wax to bring the shine back.

I had "Island Time" decals on the front and back of the Green Machine when we bought it. I was okay with the name, but the DW said it needed to go. I took a heat gun to the vinyl and did the above (hand rubbing only). 20 minutes, All gone!
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:52 PM   #4
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Almost impossible to get rid of the "ghost." I've heard of a product called "Ghost Away," or something like that, but I've never used it.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:27 PM   #5
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I removed all my decals and have the same problem. I am going to machine buff it and if it comes out ok then I will do the Zep deal. If not I will repaint the ghost areas or maybe the coach.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:41 PM   #6
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"Ghosts" of old decals...how do we get rid of them

I used an electric buffer heavy duty one. And it took it right off but you have to do the whole area because you will have a bright spot. I had the same decals on my 03.


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Old 01-14-2015, 09:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Almost impossible to get rid of the "ghost." .
Yep, because all the surface that was NOT covered by the decal has faded, and what WAS covered is still the original unfaded color & finish.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:36 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone...Just to make sure we are all on the same page:

We are talking about the shiny leftovers of decals on the original finish of the coach that were left after someone removed old decals. We are the third owners of the coach, the 2nd only had her for less that a year before us...so these decals were probably on her for about 9 years.

Your recommendations are: Compound or Bar Tender products to clean the entire area and the Zep Wax to bring the whole area back to shiny, thus hiding the ghosts.

I have the spray Bar Tender cleaner...but there is also a liquid cleanser...is that the one? Also, is the Zep wax liquid or paste?

We live at an altitude of almost 8K'...so we will have to thaw out a bit but this could be a great project for the DH on our first long trip in April...a week long dog show that he would love to miss

Thanks again...

Bernie
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:38 PM   #9
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The Zep high traffic floor finish is not a wax but a clear acrylic. The process outlined on this site uses bar keepers friend to scrub the old wax etc of and give a mechanical adhesion. I used the powder in the shaker can with a sponge. It is also recommended to do a final wash with trisodium phosphate. The bond on that first coat is crucial. It takes 4-5 coats to give a great look.

Don't use rubbing compound if you intend on using Zep!


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Old 01-19-2015, 07:16 PM   #10
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If you existing finish still looks good, I would be extremely leery of Barkeeper's Friend or any similar cleanser powder. It is very coarse and will scratch, and once you use it there will be little alternative but to layer on a shine with the Zep, cause you will have removed your existing gloss forever. BF is great for removing heavy oxidation, but if there is only a slight difference between the shiny ghost areas and the rest of the finish, I would stick with an automotive or marine polish, once that is rated for restoring finishes or removing oxidation. Basically you want to polish up the rest of the coach to look as good as the ghost spots.

Try the BF in an unobtrusive spot if you like, but I wouldn't use it unless your present finish is already very dull (heavily oxidized).
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:45 PM   #11
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Your could go real aggressive and use wet dry sand paper. I had to do that and went all the way up to 2000 wet paper then finished with 3M compounding and electric heavy duty rotary polish wheel. when done it looked great. We use Pledge floor finish and are happy with that product rather than zep. Use a micro fiber flat wand found at HD or Lowes.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:28 PM   #12
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I used Griot's Garage polish with their Orbital polisher and pads. Using the three polishes really made the coach shine.
I finished the polishing with Meguiars Flagship Premium Marine Wax.
BTW, I did use the wet sanding that ladagobago suggested to blend the darker edges around the ghost. Just polish area when finished.

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Amazon.com: Meguiar's M6332 Flagship Premium Marine Wax - 32 oz.: Automotive
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFChap View Post
Yep, because all the surface that was NOT covered by the decal has faded, and what WAS covered is still the original unfaded color & finish.
Yep, exactly right. Even if you remove the shiny coating the fading will still be present as it's in the gelcoat. I'm not sure anything can remove that thoroughly.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:41 PM   #14
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The only thing 100% is paint or another graphic large enough to cover the ghost.
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