View Full Version : Removing protective paper from old Plexiglass?

John McClanahan
03-21-2010, 10:26 PM
I have a chance to pick up on some aged white plexiglass that still has the protective paper on it. Needless to saw, the paper is stuck to it. Is there anything that will make the paper release? I would like to use it to practice on with my CNC router.


David Fairfield
03-22-2010, 8:04 AM
Try Goo Gone, let it soak in a while. It doesn't release the paper but it softens the adhesive so its easier to peel and scrape off.


Joe Pelonio
03-22-2010, 8:50 AM
I've not had luck with soaking, it has made a mess because the paper deteriorates but the inside part against the acrylic is plastic so the liquid never reaches the adhesive. I have used a heat gun (carefully) or hair dryer and it helps some but it's still a chore.

03-22-2010, 10:51 AM
I had luck in using a Hair dryer and heated up to loosen the glue

Richard Coers
03-22-2010, 11:53 AM
I've had pretty good luck with WD40. You just have to be patient, and let it work.

John McClanahan
03-22-2010, 10:31 PM
Well, most liquids don't penetrate the plastic membrane, as Joe pointed out. A blow drier is slow. I have a hotter heat gun I will give a try.


Mike Chance in Iowa
03-23-2010, 1:03 PM
I haven't had an opportunity to try this, but applying steam to the backing might remove it. I have an old steam machine (it is NOT a carpet cleaner) that I have used to remove all sorts of wallpaper and sticker residue over the last 15 years. Now that I think about it, I have used it to clean all sorts of plastics and other items that regular hard-core scrubbing could not successfully clean. (hmmmm.. I may need to dig it out from storage and test it out on some engraved products....) Anyway, you would need to be careful. I have melted a few things over the years but they most-likely had vinyl on them. BTW. The steamer is a household cleaning machine and not strong enough to steam clean an engine.

John McClanahan
03-24-2010, 11:03 PM
Followup. I used a heat gun set at around 500 degrees to warm the paper. It was slow going and the plastic membrane peeled off in small pieces. I did a 24x28 piece on one side to practice on. I mostly learned its not worth the time and effort!


Mike Null
03-25-2010, 7:28 AM
I've tried and failed with all of the suggestions above and more. DNA works as well as anything but don't expect miracles.

John Noell
03-25-2010, 3:04 PM
Just curious - what kind of protective paper do you have there? I mostly see a thin white paper here (not plasticy at all) but some of the USA imports have a brown paper with a plasticy coating. Here in the tropics, removal of both kinds often is difficult. There is no obvious adhesive with the white paper and it either falls off before use or sticks like paint. Hot soapy water seems to work as well as anything when it sticks.

John McClanahan
03-25-2010, 6:54 PM
Mine had brown paper with a very thin plastic layer that contacted the plexiglass. Wetting the paper just makes a mess and doesn't penetrate the plastic layer. Dry heat seemed to work the best.


Bill Cunningham
03-25-2010, 10:36 PM
I have some here I picked up someplace.. It has brown paper on one side, and white on the other. The white side is printed with the text informing you that that side is the abrasive resistant side?? I've never seen two sided acrylic before..and it is acrylic, not polycarb. I assume it's treated with something, or somehow to prevent scratches

John Noell
03-26-2010, 12:23 AM
"Acrylic Sheet AR is a continuously manufactured acrylic sheet which utilizes the proprietary 3M 906 abrasion resistant coating on one (AR1) or both (AR2)."

Bill Cunningham
03-27-2010, 8:19 PM
Ahh Cool.. Thanks John... This is just some stuff that I picked up someplace. I previously didn't know you could get acrylic with a abrasion resist on it.. I'll have to test a piece, and see how resistant it is..

Dan Hintz
03-27-2010, 9:48 PM
If it's the same stuff DeGussa sells, it's pretty damn amazing stuff. They include a piece of steel wool in the sample pack, and it takes a real beating without showing signs of haziness or scratches.

Bill Cunningham
03-27-2010, 10:32 PM
It must be the same stuff they use to coat eyeglasses to keep them from scratching.. Looking at my reading glasses, it only works for a while:confused:

Clarence Miller
03-27-2010, 10:44 PM
Have you tried putting a wet rag on the paper and pressing the rag with hot clothing iron? Steam may release it. Getting the adhesive residue may require the use of an ammonia based cleaner but I have used WD40 for the residue of labels before. I don't know how WD40 will react to plexiglass.

Ed Mihalack
03-28-2010, 7:34 AM
I've tried everything and baby oil and window cleaner to remove it worked for me. It takes some time, so let it soak in.

Phil Thien
03-28-2010, 10:43 AM
If these are larger flexible pieces, how about bowing them and holding them in a clamp for a day or two. Perhaps that will help break the bond.

I'd try protective coating on the concave side first.

Tim Baude
05-25-2010, 10:53 PM
I had some pre cut acrylic to put over photos and the paper was taking forever to get off....so as per usual, I put off the job because it was bothering me. We have had several 80 degree days and I sat down tonight figuring I had a long night ahead of me peeling paper...lo and behold both sides peeled off in one pull. So my thoughts on getting the paper to come off easliy is procrastinate until you absolutely have to do it and hope for some real hot weather.....

Pete Thomas
06-01-2010, 10:11 PM
Hi John, you might want to try this product, it's called Maskoff. I have used in the past with good success. I got mine at a local plastics distributor in the area. With a quick google search I found this site.


Be sure to let it soak into the paper for 10-15 minutes.