The Best Way to Remove Body Side Molding & Adhesive

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Things You'll Need

  • Hair dryer

  • Glove

  • Adhesive remover

  • Plastic putty knife

  • Clean rags

  • Polishing compound

  • Soap

  • Water

  • Bucket

  • Sponge

  • Automobile wax

Remove body side moulding from a vehicle without damaging the car's appearance.

Someone might wish to remove body side moldings on a vehicle for any of a number of reasons. For instance, as the molding ages, it can fade or discolor. Body side molding attached with adhesive can start to separate from the vehicle. You might think the molding is detracting from the vehicle's overall appearance. Molding is easy to remove.

Step 1

Place vehicle in warm area. If the temperature is cold outside, place it in a garage. If the temperature is warm, the work can be completed outside. The body panels of the vehicle should be as warm as possible.

Step 2

Heat one end of the body molding with a hair dryer until it is hot. Lift the end of the body molding with a gloved hand. You might need to use a plastic putty knife to start the lift. Slowly pull the body molding off the panel of the vehicle by pulling it back over itself and away from the vehicle. Pull steadily and evenly with one hand while continuing to apply heat with the hair dryer. Continue slowly until it is completely removed.

Step 3

Remove any remaining adhesive, which might be attached to the body panel after the body side molding has been removed. Pour a small amount of adhesive remover onto a clean rag. Apply the remover to the remaining adhesive, allowing it to soak in. Carefully and slowly scrape off the adhesive using a putty knife.

Step 4

Remove scuff marks left by the earlier process. Place a small amount of polishing compound on a clean rag and rub it into the area where the molding used to be. Use a circular motion and continue until the area starts to shine.

Step 5

Wash the vehicle with clean soapy water, using a sponge to remove all remnants of the polishing compound and adhesive remover. Allow it to dry.

Step 6

Polish the entire area in which the compound was applied. Place a small amount of car wax on a clean cloth and apply it to vehicle in a circular motion. Allow it to dry for five minutes. You will see the applied wax start to become opaque, with a white haze. Using a circular motion, remove the wax with a clean cloth.


Always wear gloves when heating the body side molding or using adhesive remover. Use caution when scraping adhesive from the body panel surface. Damage can result to the painted car surface even with a plastic putty knife.

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