Re: sticker removal before painting
A heat gun and 3-M adhesive remover has always worked well for me.
If you want to retain the original paint under the stickers you'll want to stay away from anything too aggresive to remove the goo left after heating the stickers. The 3M stuff seems to work best of anything else I've tried.
Age and Treachery Will Always Triumph
Over Youth and Skill & "Charlie Don't Ride"