How to Change Vinyl Signs

How to Change Vinyl Signs

When it is necessary to change vinyl signs, the most obvious thing to do is take off the old lettering and replace it with new lettering. Sometimes that is easier said than done. Removing vinyl lettering from a surface can be an easy or difficult task, depending on how old the vinyl sign is, how sticky the vinyl lettering is and to what type of surface the letters are stuck. There are three different ways to handle changing the lettering on existing signage: cover it up, remove it or hide it.

Cover It

When a sign cannot be removed for one reason or another, one option is to cover it. If the new background can be placed on top of the old one, this is an easy fix. With a wooden sign, for example, simply nail a new one overtop of the old one. For a temporary solution on a glass front or door, hang a sheet or towel over the message. Be a little creative. Cover over the old message with a rectangle and use contrasting letters over the new background to make it looks like it simply stands out with importance.

Remove It

Vinyl custom signs look best when they are mounted on a new or like-new surface. When the existing surface is going to be used for the new sign, the old lettering should be removed. Gummy residue should be removed from the backboard. If the surface was painted and has faded, a fresh coat of paint is in order. Vinyl lettering will sometimes peel off without any trouble; other times it is nearly impossible. Use a fingernail or pliable plastic to loosen an edge. Peel back the letter by pulling it with the thumb and forefinger. Try starting with a corner. Do it slowly, keeping the pulled edge low and close to the surface for best results. If one edge gets stuck and tears, try starting again from another edge on the opposite side until the two sections meet and pull off together. Sticky adhesive can be removed from glass or metal surfaces with rubbing alcohol on a rag or cotton ball.

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Hide It

If the sign is very informal and what it says is more important than how it looks, painting over the old surface is an option. Up close, the old letter forms will still be noticeable and, in some cases, legible. From a distance, the raised lettering beneath the new message will be masked. When the message is on one side of a custom cut of backing, such as metal, cardboard or particle board, it may be possible to use the reverse side. Flip it over and see if this will work instead.