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Painted graphics or vinyl? Not sure what it is!


I’m looking at this used Lexus LC500. I liked the car except couple of things. Previous owner install a clear bra on the hood: I did some googling and realized it can be easily removed. The second thing is more concerning. It has some sorta thin dual stripes with tiny lexus logo along the car on both sides. Previous owner probably thought it looks cute but I don’t like it. Salesman said it can be “buffed out”. I’m not sure he knows what he is talking about.

I did some research and it seems like if is vinyl graphics it can be removed but if it is paint it can’t be. My question is: how do I tell? Can you always tell by touching? Can it be removed if it is painted over?

Via cyberspace, I’m not confident that anyone could give you a 100% accurate answer, but the folks at an auto body shop could tell you for sure.


You might also do a web search for graphics and see if they show up. Also, if it is a decal, heat would proabably loosen the adhesive and you could move it around. I don’t think The usual hair dryer would do it. There are industrial air blowers that look like hair dryers, and maybe you could rent one. Try the hair dryer on high first, though, if you have one. It won’t cost more than about a half hour of your time.

The salesman might be correct or not . But why not make the removal of the clear bra and side graphic part of the deal. If you buy the vehicle and try and remove yourself and it turns out looking terrible how will you feel then ?


No matter what the stripes are made of, you might find that the paint underneath is a different color once they’re removed, unfortunately.


Either way you should just have someone do it. If it is vinyl it can be removed but you need some skill and materials to do it. Likewise if it is paint (doubtful) it can be removed but requires sanding and polishing. But if you can’t tell, you probably shouldn’t tackle it.
That clear film can be a mess taking off too.

The Kit i’ve found uses 3M pinstripes with a vinyl logoJPG

I would encourage you not to remove that clear bra. I declined it on my '07 Acura, and I regretted it badly for the next decade. I was constantly touching up the hood. Modern hood shapes put that paint right in the path of anything kicked up by the gravel truck in front of you. And unless you’re a whole lot more skilled than I am, the touchup spots will always be noticeable.

I had a clear bra put on the Acura’s replacement the day I bought it.

I would only have a good body shop handle the removal of either the bra or stripes. You mess up, you have to live with it or pay big $$.

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Stop at your local body shop. I am sure they give you an answer for free.