Project XK: Dealer Sticker Removal

I’ve been meaning to remove the dealer advertisement from my Commander since the day I bought it. Somehow, though, I consistently forgot about the matter unless it was pouring rain outside. It’s not that I didn’t have a great experience at Auction Direct, or that I don’t wish them well as a company. I just don’t like the look of the sticker. Here’s a file photo of my vehicle featuring the offending blue monstrosity of a sticker on the tailgate:

Blue sticker + Red vehicle = Blech.

Doesn’t look good does it? And of course the day I took that picture I didn’t think about it.

Ah, but today I saw a sticker removal thread on, an owner forum that I haunt now and then under the name “El Cid.” Reminded of my own annoying sticker and noting that it’s a fine day outside, I headed out to de-sticker my XK. Here’s how I did it:

Tools needed:

  • Hair Dryer. It’s very important that you also have a means to plug it in. A lot of folks forget that. Yes, I had to borrow one (see personal picture at top right of this website).
  • Sticker Peeling Device. In my case, I used a plastic panel puller and my thumbnail. Do not use a razorblade or anything else that will scratch the paint. Seriously, don’t be stupid.

Step 1: Power up the hair dryer. Put it on “high” and start heating the sticker.

Don’t go too crazy here. We’re not boiling it off or anything. Just keep a steady flow of hot air on it and every now and then take a stab at …

Step 2: Using your designated Sticker Peeling Device, gently try to push up a corner of the sticker.

If it won’t budge, go back to Step 1. If it does budge, wedge it up until there’s enough for you to grab onto. Then start pulling.

Dealer Sticker coming off and tools to enact same.

In my case, the dealer sticker was really a bunch of little stickers, so this peeling step took a bit of time. If you’re lucky, you’ve got one big ol’ sticker and things will go quickly.

Step 3: Get the Goo Gone.

If you weren’t over-hasty in your urge to peel, there won’t be too much sticker gunk remaining on the paint, but odds are there will be at least a little bit. Squirt a little bit of Goo Gone on a rag — it won’t need much — and circle it around where the sticker was until it’s clean. Then wash the area with soap and water. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt the paint to leave the Goo Gone residue on there, but I wouldn’t chance it.

Sticker removed, awaiting the Goo Gone.

Step 4 (optional): Put on a new sticker.

I didn’t put it in the same place, obviously, but since I was doing sticker work I thought I might as well put on one, too:

El Cid!

As I said above, “El Cid” is my name on the Jeep forums of the world. The name is doubly appropriate, I think, since “El Cid” is the nickname of both The Citadel and the medieval badass who is now the national hero of Spain. Of course, it’s quite possible that many of the forum members instead just think my name is Cid and I’m from Puerto Rico or something.

Anyway, this sticker is cut out from a larger Citadel sticker that I found on sale. The actual sticker features Big Red, the Citadel flag, but the red contrasted with the red of my paint.


  1. i love your informative posts.

  2. You clearly use the word "informative" more loosely than I do.

  3. maybe i should call them "descriptive"?

  4. Pingback: stickers

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