Whether you are installing trailer graphics or doing a full wrap of a car or van, surface preparation involves a three-step process of detergent washing, solvent cleaning and a final wipe down with IPA. Read more
Overlaying VinylEfx® with Oracal Transparent FilmsThe colored films in the RTape Decorative Series VinylEfx® films are absolutely beautiful. The trouble is the dyes used in manufacturing the different hues are not durable outside. Dyes never are. So what do you do if you want a patterned metalized vinyl in blue or red or green? You could spray paint the VinylEfx® with a transparent automotive paint. But you better know what you are doing. If you don’t, the paint could adversely react with the vinyl, resulting in a failure. Edge curl is a common problem, when vinyl is painted over the entire surface of the film.
Here’s a better idea. Overlay the VinylEfx® metalized vinyl with a transparent film, such as Oracal’s 8300 Transparent Cal. I’ve used this transparent calendered vinyl several times. The films come in 32 outdoor durable colors.
How durable are these films? I overlaid two signs more than five years ago and the graphics still look great. Keep in mind that durability will vary depending on your climate and the nature of your application. In warm, humid areas, such as in Florida or Italy, you could lose a couple of years of durability. In the desert climates of Arizona or North Africa, durability could be reduced by as much as four years.
The transparent vinyls are very easy to laminate to the VinylEfx® films. I know that some sign makers are installing these vinyl films wet, but I really don’t see the need for any type of application fluid. Unless you are applying a huge sheet of film, I would only recommend dry application.
In the photo posted above, I first applied our small engine turn Durable Series silver VinylEfx® film. Over that I applied one of Oracal’s transparent blues. If you need an application tape to aid in the installation of the vinyl, I would suggest a medium tack tape, such as RTape 4050RLA. After applying the transparent blue, I then installed the numbers and painted the black shadow and the light blue outline. The finishing touch was to spray the surface of the sign with Frog Juice.