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Blistering From Paint Mask Removal

Discussion in 'Dimensional Signs' started by debeer920, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. debeer920

    debeer920 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2011
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    Hey guys I could really use one help right now. I have done HDU signs before, I’m having some serious issues with paint blistering when removing paint mask l. I am in the process of finishing 2 6’x8’ signs. In the center of the signs there is a large crest that Im attempting to gold leaf but keep failing. I have attempted twice and failed both times. I primed the signs with fcs-88wb then painted the raised crest area with 1shot. I let the 1 shot cure for 48 hours the first time and 26 the second, before applying paint mask so I can paint on size. First attempt I used Avery paint mask and after removing it separated the paint and primer from the sign. I thought maybe averys adhesive was too aggressive so I tried oracles and it did the same thing. I degreased the surface before priming both times, sanded with 220, tack clothed and blew it out with air. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong? I share my shop with another business and they keep turning the heat down at night to 50 degrees I’m wondering if the paint is just not curing properly from the temp or if I’m just rushing it. The signs we’re supposed to be installed last week and I’m running out of excuses. Any help would be extremely appreciated.
     

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  2. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

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    I'm going to give you two pieces of advice based on my experience.

    1. Don't make signs this way. It seems like the smart way. Use one piece of material. Paint one piece of material. Use masking. What could go wrong? The answer is simple: This. Go cut the part out of another material (ACM, Acrylic, PVC, Aluminum. Whatever you think is best for the application). Paint it. Gold leaf it. Then glue it down. Building the signs in pieces and assembling after is just way easier and far less likely to have things go wrong.

    2. You're pulling the primer off so the primer is the issue. Could be the actual primer that's gone bad. Could be, despite your attempts, not applied correctly. The thing with HDU/PVC is it doesn't absorb paint. So all the drying needs to go one direction. So if it says "Dry for 4 hours" that means "Dry for 24 hours". If you're putting down oil or latex paint, you have to let the stuff dry a ridiculously long time. My gut says you let the one shot dry long enough but not the primer.

    Either way, paint the sign. Cut out the crest. Finish it. Glue it down. Move on with life.
     
  3. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I agree, the primer's not sticking, so despite your prep it's not clean enough, or it's not curing. 50 degrees isn't that cold, but it's also not great for curing so adding time to the process.
    I think the suggestion to cut the shape from another piece of material that doesn't need any priming like ACM then applying with vhb and adhesive will rescue this job, and the client gets a little more dimension. When you paint the ACM you can bring it somewhere that is warmer till it's cured, or have some gentle heat blowing on it with a portable heater.
     
  4. debeer920

    debeer920 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2011
    Berlin, New Jersey
    Okay I guess that’s the route I’m going to take. I’d feel most comfortable using 0.080 or 0.063 aluminum. Should I have it studded or glue straight to face?
     
  5. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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    I have had the same problem.The primer not sticking to the foam.Especially any water base primers.I use stik-tite for primer now and never have a problem .
     
  6. Chuck B

    Chuck B Member

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    Jan 14, 2018
    Richmond, VA
    Maybe not related to your challenges, but wanted to share since we're talking about paint. Haven't experienced this on the front end, but more so after the signs are installed (and exposed to heat/moisture) The Sherwin Williams paint I was using would blister and boil up after being in the field. Water based paints tend to stay soft after they're dry, so maybe the "rubbery" attribute of the paint allows it to expand when heated?

    To address this, I started using the Sherwin Williams DTM paint with success---it dries leaving a hard shell (much like enamel), but when mixing colors you still need to use traditional latex paints (DTM comes in black and white only). This seemed like a step in the right direction.

    But.....I recently had a colleague turn me on to PPG paints, and they are incredible. Their primer is called "Gripper", and their waterbased line that dries to a hard shell is called "Break-Through". The "Break-Through" can be mixed to any color (with all pigments being of the same compatibility. Been doing signs for over 20 years, and this is by far the best, most durable paint I've ever used---dries to a hard shell like enamel and lays flat on surfaces---never looking back.
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    If you tinted your size, you tinted far too much, unless you're just putting it on too thick. Also, are you waiting for the size to almost dry before lifting the mask ?? If so, you should remove the mask almost immediately. As for temperatures, 50º is fine, just not comfortable for you. I like the idea of gilding a separate piece and just putting it overtop. done this many a times.
     
  8. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

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    On something 1/8-1/4" thick, it would be VHB and glue. On 1/2"-1" thick, it would be studs, VHB, and glue.
     
  9. debeer920

    debeer920 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2011
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    When removing the mask I was doing it 20 minutes after painting. I will reduce the amount of tint on the next one
     
  10. debeer920

    debeer920 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2011
    Berlin, New Jersey
    My only concern with the VHB is it leaving a gap between the foam and aluminum
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    You're not using foam tape. It'll only be the thickness of a pubbie hair.
     
  12. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    you lost me at the glossy background texture. lol
    ....but +1 to making separate pieces for separate colors, whenever possible....without piling-on material costs, of course :)

    masking-off dimensional pieces is a PITA, and opens the door to misc. failures. individual parts assembled always has a cleaner-finish, and allows for quick&easy-fixes to mistakes along the way.
     
  13. Jean Shimp

    Jean Shimp Member

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    Oct 26, 2012
    jacksonville, fl
    We usually rinse off our HDU signs in addition to blowing off the dust prior to painting. Although HDU supposedly does not absorb water we wait 24 hours to make sure the surface is completely dry before painting. I like the idea of the separate panel for the gilded area. It just seems safer. We have yet to find a fool proof paint mask that is problem free. BTW - that's a really nice looking sign.
     
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