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Wet Sanding, how much is too much?

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I’m finishing up on removing the tribal decals. The Wakesetter letters came off super easy and the 3M Cutting/wax stuff is doing a nice job of making the ghosting go away. There really wasn’t a ton of ghosting anyway.

Here is the question, the Wakesetter “logo” on the middle is a bit of a different story. Because on that the background sticker and the raised decal both touch the gel, where the raised logo touched it looked like it discolored the clear coat. it is kind of tough to see because of the metal flake, but if you do look straight on you can see it.

I started with 1000, then 1500, and polished/waxed to see if that would help. I think it might have helped a bit, but not enough. 

so my question, how much is too much and how do you tell? I cant tell if the adhesive has discolored the clear coat all the way down or not. 

I have read you can get pretty aggressive, but I’m a bit nervous. I have a torq 10fx and have only been running it at 1500rpm. Thanks! 

The first pic is what I ended up with after about 20 minutes of 1000, to 1500, to polish/wax. The second is where I started.



Edited by rakr
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Most gel is sprayed 20-30 mills thick.  A mil is about the thickness of a sheet of paper.  The clear coat over the metal flake may be a bit thinner, so be careful.  Once you sand through the clear to the flake the surface will not feel as smooth.  Sorry, I can't think of a better solution for resolving the color difference other than perhaps carefully installing another decal over the top, or keep sanding and take a chance it will need to be resprayed.  If you have a good local fiberglass shop, have them take a look at it and see what they think.

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@csleaver, it is super smooth still. With that knowledge I might go a bit more aggressive. I’ve been taking my time and checking. The “smoothness” check is a good point. 

thank you. 

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Metal flake is a tough one. If you go through the clear gel coat, you will ruin the look of the flake and it will need to be professionally repaired. You can go pretty far, but do it a little bit at a time.

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I don't think there's any way you are going through the clear coat with 1000 grit and higher paper.

Are you sure that the problem is where the decal once was?  I would think that the problem is everywhere the decal wasn't, and the clear coat has yellowed a bit.  Have you worked on the areas around the decal also?

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One thing to keep in mind is that decal glue will often discolour the  surface it is placed on.  My Zodiac (Bonbard AX1 actually) still has the mark where the  item tag was.  PMO.

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