You recently installed new tires on your vehicle but don't like the way the white lettering stands out. So now you want to remove the white text. But how exactly do you go about doing that? We researched some ways to remove white lettering on tires, and here's what we found.
The steps to remove white lettering on tires often depend if you're removing paint or custom stickers. Here’s a quick look at the process for removing this text from your tires:
Custom tire sticker removal:
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- Peel off the stickers.
- Remove the leftover pieces from the first step.
- Remove the adhesive from the tire’s surface.
Painted letter removal:
- Apply citrus strip on the painted letters.
- Scrape the paint with a brass brush.
- Wipe the residue with a microfiber towel.
- Continue removing leftover paint with a nylon brush.
- Clean the location with an all-purpose cleaner.
At first, these procedures may look relatively straightforward. However, one mistake may damage the tire. Continue reading as we talk about these processes in greater detail. We’ll also tackle another solution to hide the tire’s lettering.
How Do You Remove Tire Lettering?
In this section, you’ll learn how to remove white tire lettering based on the graphic’s material.
Custom Tire Sticker Removal
Perhaps you bought a second-hand tire but it has a custom sticker on it. If so, you can remove that custom graphic by following these steps:
What You’ll Need
- Trim tool
- Plastic scraper
1. Start Peeling
Use the rounded tip of the trim tool to start peeling the adhesive off each sticker. It’s a good idea to start on the edges of each letter, as it’s often easier than going for the broader areas.
Also, avoid using the sharp edge of the trim tool. Doing so may scratch or poke your tire, causing it to deflate.
2. Remove Leftover Pieces
Sometimes the stickers won’t come off completely with the trim tool. If so, remove the leftovers from the tires with the pliers.
You may also use the pliers instead of the trim tool. But the trim tool often provides better control than the pliers.
3. Remove Adhesive
Use the flat side of the plastic scraper to remove the adhesive left behind by each sticker. You can apply more pressure with the scraper than with the pliers or trim tool. But take note that it can be quite tedious to remove the adhesive from the rubber surface.
Optional Step: Use Sandpaper
You can use a 60- or 80-grit sandpaper to remove leftover adhesive that you found challenging to remove with the plastic scraper.
However, it’s important to pay attention to your sandpaper usage. Otherwise, the rough material may remove the traction in your tires, which puts you and your passengers at risk of on-road accidents and injuries.
You can also watch the video below to see a visual guide on the steps mentioned above:
Take note that the work needed to remove stickers from tires often depends on the material's dimensions. Check out our post on how wide tires are on average to help you gauge the effort required to remove tire stickers.
Painted Letter Removal
Before continuing this procedure, it’s important to note that you’re about to use fairly harsh chemicals. So make sure that you’re wearing safety equipment, such as nitrile gloves and safety glasses, to prevent these products from coming into contact with your skin directly.
Also, ensure that you’re working in a well-ventilated area. Aside from wearing a respirator or face mask, open the windows and turn on the fans in the area. Otherwise, work outside to avoid inhaling noxious fumes for extended periods.
After finishing the preparations, here are the steps to remove painted lettering from your tires:
What You’ll Need
- Citrus stripping gel
- Nylon brush
- Brass brush
- Microfiber towels
- All-purpose cleaner
1. Apply The Citrus Strip
Apply the citrus stripping gel over the lettering. Use a paintbrush if needed to spread the product to the desired areas. Then, let the solution sit for at least 5 minutes.
2. Scrape Off The Paint
With the brass brush, use a reasonable amount of pressure to get rid of the strip-covered lettering. It should only take a little effort with this tool to remove the paint. If it doesn't, you either need to let the product sit longer or you may have to apply more of the solution.
Don't worry if the paint-stripping solution isn't removing all of the lettering. Use the brush to remove as much of the paint as you can. Also, don't apply more force than necessary or you'll risk puncturing the tire.
3. Clean The Residue
Brushing the citrus stripper with the brass brush should leave behind residue. Clean this leftover with one of your microfiber towels. Doing so should also remove more of the paint from the tire’s surface.
4. Continue Removing Paint
At this point, some paint might still be in the corners on the outlines of each letter. Scrape that leftover paint with the nylon brush. Again, only apply the necessary pressure with this tool to avoid scratching or piercing the tire’s material.
5. Clean The Tires
Once you feel satisfied with the removal, clean the stripped location with the all-purpose cleaner. Use the nylon brush to remove any leftover paint and stripping solution from the surface. Then, wipe this solution off with another clean microfiber towel.
You may also check out this video to see a visual representation of the steps mentioned above:
You might also be thinking about replacing your old tires with white lettering with a set that’s devoid of graphics, particularly for your Mazda 3. If so, check out some of the best tires for that car for some excellent candidates.
How To Paint Tire Letters?
Aside from the direct removal of tire lettering, you may also choose to hide the design by painting the material. If you wish to proceed with this job, here are the steps to complete it:
What You’ll Need
- Braille pads
- Nylon brush
- Spray bottle
- Mild detergent
- Lettering enamel
- Small paintbrush
- Tire dressing
- Lay the tire on its side over a flat and level surface.
- Mix a mild detergent with room temperature or lukewarm water in a spray bottle. Then, use that to clean the tires.
- Remove loose dirt with the nylon brush.
- Scrub and remove as much paint on the white lettering as you can with a braille pad.
- Apply lettering enamel on the lettering with the help of a small paintbrush. Let the product dry before continuing to the next step.
- Spray tire dressing over the tire. You may apply this product liberally.
The video below will help you see this procedure in action:
Does Tire Lettering Last?
Tire lettering, particularly stickers, may last up to 1,000 miles under standard daily driving conditions. However, you might expect the lettering on tires to only last about 150 miles if used on a race track frequently.
However, some tire letter stickers can last up to 40,000 miles. This high-quality lettering may not even fade over time. But expect to pay more than what you’d spend to purchase standard tire stickers if you want to buy quality lettering.
How Much Does It Cost To Put Letters On Tires?
Professional labor costs to install tire lettering may range from $159 to $199 per set. Although car owners may choose to apply the lettering themselves, taking advantage of expert help might provide peace of mind and minimize the risks of errors.
Can I Spray Paint Tires?
You may spray paint tires, although it’s not advisable to do so because spray painting isn’t typically ideal for coating rubber material, especially car tires. If you spray paint tires, it might result in unsightly cracking.
Check out the video below if you find it interesting to see the results of spray painting tires:
Are Tire Letters Worth It?
It boils down to preference. Some car owners don’t mind the white lettering on their tires. On the other hand, certain members of the automotive community aren’t keen on seeing white letters on tires.
Remove white lettering stickers from your vehicle's tires by peeling them off their surfaces. On the other hand, use a reasonably safe-to-use paint stripper, like a citrus stripping solution, to remove white tire lettering paint. Otherwise, you may also choose to cover white tire graphics with tire dressing.