Have you ever seen the effects of outgassing paint on applied vinyl graphics? It’s not pretty. When the problem starts, it looks as if the surface of the film has had a breakout of severe acne. Tiny bubbles underneath the film grow until they merge together forming larger, more ominous bubbles.
For starters, it never hurts to visit the job site and inspect the vehicles. As you size things up, here’s what to look for:
- Which paint was used? Get the name of the paint manufacturer, the product series and any relevant product technical information.
- What is the condition of the paint job? In an inconspicuous part of the vehicle, check for paint adhesion using 3M Brand #610 Scotch Tape. In performing a paint adhesion test, apply a couple of inches of the tape to the painted surface and burnish down well. Then quickly jerk the tape off of the substrate at a 90º angle. If any paint comes off, you’ve got a problem. Either the paint has not cured properly, or for any number of other reasons, the paint adhesion is inadequate.
- Note: Older paint jobs can be a problem, too. On these painted surfaces, check for chalking, peeling paint, rust, etc. If any of these conditions exist, corrective action is required. And if the fleet owner is not willing to correct any of these problems prior to application of graphics, it’s best to pass the job up.
- When was the job painted? Just as inks are comprised of solvents, so are paints. Most paints such as lacquers, enamels and urethane cure after the solvent evaporates. Some paints, such as urethane, take days if not weeks to fully cure. This curing time varies depending on several factors. Some of these variables are the type of paint, ambient temperature and humidity, and the amount and type of hardener use.
Test, Don’t Guess