Plastic Film Paint Chip Protection

This is not so much a tip as a word of warning

The guy next to me at the park I was in last month had plastic film applied to the front of his rig a number of years ago to protect it from stone chips (the same stuff they use on the front end of cars). As the stuff aged, it began to crack and eventually was nothing but a checkerboard of half- to three-quarter-inch squares.

In Florida, and maybe some other places, moisture gets into the cracks and mildew forms, so it was a pretty unsightly mess. Because of the checking, there was no way to peel the plastic off. He spent *many* days scraping off the film with a plastic scraper, then removing the thick layer of adhesive behind it with Acetone or Xylene. He tried a heat gun on it but it blistered the paint. He also tried a wallpaper steamer, but it was slower than the scraper.

I suspect that the formula for the film has improved since he had his put on, but if you have it and it starts to crack, I'd suggest removing it then, rather than later. If it's still in one piece, you could probably heat it a little with a hair dryer and peel it off in one sheet instead of spending a week hacking at it with a plastic scraper.

Thank you for visiting

  —  Bob Ray