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Thread: Vinyl Wall Lettering Headache?

  1. #1
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    Vinyl Wall Lettering Headache?

    Hey folks,
    I've been having difficulty applying vinyl lettering - mostly the larger fonts and/or graphics to our painted, smooth concrete interior that I have not experienced previously.
    The applied vinyl has just peeled right off on its own within 24 hours, sometimes landing on the floor, sometime dangling like an old sock on a clothesline.
    My supplier sent me a second set of vinyl which, although it held better, did begin to peel.
    The supplier claims nothing is wrong. But as I wrote earlier, this has not happened before in applying their vinyl products to the same area.

    I eventually solved the problem by using brushed on rubber cement in a "contact adhesive" way. That is, putting the cement on both surfaces to be glued, letting the cement dry and then pressing the two items together. This has actually solved my problem.

    Maybe my experience can help some one with a similar frustrating issue.

  2. #2
    Member Jamie Hascall's Avatar
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    We have had peeling problems with various types of paint and how long they have had to cure. I also believe that changes in vinyl specifications and age of the vinyl stock can make a difference. I don't have specific examples as our Graphic designers tend to also do the installation but I'll be happy to check and see what guidelines they have pieced together regarding brand, sheen, and drying time.

    Jamie Hascall
    Chief Preparator
    Museums of New Mexico
    Santa Fe

  3. #3
    try using a heat gun on it. it helps the vinyl to soften to match the texture of the surface, providing a better bond. The only time I've had problems with vinyl letters not sticking well is with highly pigmented paints.

  4. #4
    Member Jamie Hascall's Avatar
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    I talking with our graphics folks, they have been having specific problems with lettering cut from a newish product from Oracal called Exhibit cal (Oracal 631). It is a flat vinyl that comes in a great array of colors and sounds like it is easy for the graphics production shop to weed. he problem is that it doesn't stick well. For installation, they have been burnishing it with a very stiff bristled brush to get very intimate contact witht he texture of the paint. It helps the process but it still sounds like a real bear to get installed.

    Good luck,
    Jamie

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Hascall View Post
    I talking with our graphics folks, they have been having specific problems with lettering cut from a newish product from Oracal called Exhibit cal (Oracal 631). It is a flat vinyl that comes in a great array of colors and sounds like it is easy for the graphics production shop to weed. he problem is that it doesn't stick well. For installation, they have been burnishing it with a very stiff bristled brush to get very intimate contact witht he texture of the paint. It helps the process but it still sounds like a real bear to get installed.

    Good luck,
    Jamie
    So, you're saying you continue to use this Oracal stuff even though it's a problem?
    How on earth do you keep from ripping the vinyl when using a stiff bristled brush as a burnisher?
    I use 4 inch wide plastic/vinyl burnisher that our sign folks gave to me. We have no "Graphics Department"....unless you count me.
    My sign people also have just told me they are using Oracal.
    Hmmm. Verrr interesting, I say.
    =P=

  6. #6
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    I've been having the same problem with the Oracal 631 Exhibition Vinyl.
    This is what their website had to say about it:

    Extra precaution should be used when applying wall graphics to "Low VOC" or "Zero VOC" paints as these paints may exhibit lower adhesion levels.
    Allowing graphics extended time after application before removing application tape allows adhesive further time to create a full bond (up to 24 hours).

  7. #7
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    From my understanding there are three basic types of vinyl each with a different grades of adhesive. A temporary, which has the least agressive adhesive available, a mid grade and a permenant grade which is the most agressive. I attempted to use the Orical 631 once and will never use it again, it has one of the least agressive adhesives I've ever used and was the most frustrating vinyl installation in my 15 years of doing this. I switched to Scotchcal 220, which is a mid grade and have had great luck.

    Best of Luck,
    J

  8. #8
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    That's really interesting- we had a batch of vinyl lettering recently that wouldn't adhere enough to peel the backing off- we had 5 people working on a large multi-paragraph didactic having to hold each letter down with a blade individually in the minutes before the public arrived. I'd never seen anything like it, but if there's some correlation between a new vinyl and low VOC paints it's really important to know what to specify!

  9. #9
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    As I understand it, a lot of high quality paints have teflon in them so they are easier to clean. Unfortunately for us, this makes it more difficult for the vinyl to adhere to the wall. Maybe try some cheaper paint?

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