How to remove paint protection film from a car

June 30, 2023

How to Remove Paint Protection Film from a Car

The benefits of paint protection film (PPF) are well documented. However, even though great-quality PPF lasts for many years, not many people understand how to remove it. 

Perhaps you’ve bought a used vehicle that’s already got it installed. Maybe yours has seen better days. Or, horror of horrors, it’s been inexpertly applied and ruined your car’s aesthetic appeal. Whatever the reason, if your ride has PPF, at some point it’s going to need to be removed.

The following is the step-by-step guide to doing it safely…

The 1, 2, 3 of PPF Removal

  • How to remove paint protection film from a car: step 1
  • How to remove paint protection film from a car: step 2
  • How to remove paint protection film from a car: step 3

How to remove paint protection film from a car: step 1

The first step to effective PPF removal is to give the car a good wash and dry. This will ensure no grit or debris on the surface will inadvertently be transferred to the paintwork during the removal process.

If possible, move the car to an inside environment, meaning that no environmental contaminants can land on the vehicle as you’re removing the PPF.

How to remove paint protection film from a car: step 2

The removal process involves applying heat to the surface of the PPF. This loosens the sticky bond between it and the paintwork and allows you to peel it away. A heat gun is the best way to do this, but you can—at a push—use a hairdryer or a steamer.

  • The PPF should be removed in stages—remember that it was applied in separate pieces that were cut to size. 
  • Start by warming the edge of one panel. Apply the heat for around 30 seconds until it feels warm to the touch. Use your fingernails to see if you can gently peel away the edge of the PPF, applying heat as you do so.
  • Continue this process over the whole PPF-covered areas.
  • If any areas of PPF are proving tricky to remove, you can add a little adhesive remover. Give it a few seconds to seep between the paintwork and the film. Then you can continue with the gentle process of heat application and easing the PPF away.
  • Continue until all the PPF is removed.

How to remove paint protection film from a car: step 3

Once the paintwork is free from PPF, you’ll then need to remove every last bit of the adhesive residue. Do this with a dedicated adhesive removal product—one that’s marketed as being able to remove fuel stains, tree sap, tar, grease, oil, etc.

Don’t rush this element of PPF removal. If you fail to get rid of the last traces of adhesive, then contaminants will stick to the paintwork and might even bond there for good. At the very least, they’ll take a good amount of work to get rid of them later.

Once finished, give the car a final good wash and chamois dry.

Auto SuperShield Offers the Ultimate PPF Removal and Installation Service

While a conscientious DIYer can effectively remove PPF from a vehicle, there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a laborious process. The potential for paintwork damage is also high.

That’s why so many people leave it to the experts at Auto SuperShield. Not only is the process one of our bread-and-butter services, but we’ll also install a beautiful new replacement that showcases your pride and joy in its very best light.

Or perhaps you want to upgrade to ceramic coating…? It’s a wise move and one that many people are taking. 

Discover more about the wonders at and call us today to discuss the options.


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