Preparing your Vehicle for Vinyl Graphics

Tips and tricks to consider on preparing your vehicle for long lasting vinyl graphics

I think its happened a thousand times. A company with a fleet of vehicles come to the shop to have vinyl graphics put on their truck or van and the whole vehicle is covered in filth. This might seem like not a big deal, but depending on how the vehicle gets clean to receive the vinyl graphics it could make a big difference on how long the vinyl graphics might last on your vehicle. You can help ensure that your vinyl graphics get the biggest bang for your buck by knowing a couple facts and a couple tricks to make your vehicle graphic install go smoothly.

No Dirt

This might seem obvious to you, but not cleaning your truck or van before you show up to the sign shop can be a huge time waster.  At Martin Sign Company we typically charge by the hour for installation. In order for the vinyl graphics to have proper adhesion the surface must be clean from foreign materials like dust and dirt. The surface must also be dry to the touch.

Foreign materials might include old vinyl graphics too.  Maybe you changed your logo, or you just bought a used van from another contractor and his name is still on it. Whether you take the graphics off, or your sign shop takes it off, the old graphics have to come off.  This includes the adhesive that is left behind.  I suggest that you use a sign professional for the take down of the existing graphics.  Sign professionals do it all the time and they will be faster and take better care of your vehicle than some one who has never done it before.

Paint Fully Cured

If your new vehicle just came from the paint shop putting vinyl graphics on your vehicle is not a wise thing to do until the paint job has fully cured. As a rule you should allow up to a full week to ensure that the paint job is fully cured. When paint is drying there is a process where the wet paint is out gassing, so by covering up a section of you uncured paint job with vinyl graphics there is a risk that the out gassing will cause not only the graphics to come off, but the paint as well.

You sign professional will not be able to tell you if the paint is dry.  You should consult with the company that painted your vehicle to ensure that the proper amount of time has passed after painting to ensure a properly cured paint job.

Remove All Wax Products

Sign shops who do vehicle installation will automatically use a cleaning solution on the vehicle to ensure that any wax product that is on the truck or van is removed in the area where vinyl graphics will be applied. Again vinyl graphics need a clean, smooth, dry surface to apply to and foreign matter like wax coats  will make the vinyl not stick or at least it won’t last very long. If you want to be double sure, when you go to the car wash with your van on your way to the sign shop, don’t use a wax cycle.

For all your fleet graphic needs Martin Sign Company can consult with you on the take down, the fabrication and the proper installation.  Contact us today!

By | 2018-02-21T20:08:14+00:00 March 14th, 2012|Contractors, How-To, Vinyl Graphics|0 Comments

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