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Help clear coat peeled off during decal installation

Discussion in 'Vehicle Graphics' started by shadi75, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. shadi75

    shadi75 owner

    Jun 4, 2009
    ontario, canada

    I had somthing happend with a customer that i never seen before.

    This customer bought a 5ft long decal from me, it was made with the orajet 3551 RA and laminated with the 290g, i also placed the installation masking tap so it very easy to install.

    now he claims that during the installation he peeled off one side to removed some bubble and some of the clear coat came off.

    My first question was how long you had the clear coat on, he said over 5 years, he as a 64 chevy show carthat he did a very expensive paint job on 5 years ago.

    Now i talked to oracal and they told me that his clear coat was proabably getting poor and that now way the adhesive would of did that .

    The other thing i want add is that the decal was made about 6 month ago and it was sitting in my office in room temperature all of this time.

    Let me know what you guys think.

  2. petesign

    petesign Very Active Member

    Feb 27, 2010
    Hoover AL
    Whenever I do vehicle spot graphics or wraps, I always tell my customers that I can't guarantee any paint or bodywork. I've seen bondo get pulled out of dents before.... if an aftermarket paint and body shop did the work on his car, there's no way you can guarantee their work was solid. His issue is with them, not you in my opinion.... getting him to see that is going to be an entirely different issue.

    He also did the install himself, so, you can't guarantee he didn't do anything wrong there either. The adhesive should not have pulled clearcoat off of his car if it was painted properly, taken care of properly, etc..
  3. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    I think I tell any customer that we are not responsible for their paint job. Of course we let them know that 99.9% of the time a factory original paint job in good shape will have no issues but I also let them know that 99.9% of non-factory paint jobs have substandard adhesion.
  4. Scott Reynolds

    Scott Reynolds Active Member

    Feb 5, 2005
    Clear released from the base? Show car? I have decades of automotive painting experience and would guess that the car was buffed thin. Very common with "show cars". What happens is, the clear is buffed too thin and the base coat will break down and or oxidize from the clear being too thing to protect it. Though cross linked, clear is still porous and will let in excessive UV and contaminants. Clear was too old and too thin. Customer should have let you install so it didnt need to be pulled back up to remove a "bubble".

    If you going to cut a car, you add extra clear so you still have the recommended mil coverage after you done buffing.

  5. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    While I don't think you are responsible, I think you are going to have a hard time convincing this customer of that. the way he sees it, his car was fine before, now it's not.
  6. shadi75

    shadi75 owner

    Jun 4, 2009
    ontario, canada
    thanks for your input guys.

    what made it worse was that he went to another sign shop and told him they never seen the oracal vinyl before and they only recommend 3M for vehicle graphics.
  7. k.a.s.

    k.a.s. Very Active Member

    Aug 8, 2003
    NE ohio
    My first question was, why is a guy with a show car that has an expensive paint job putting a big piece of vinyl on it?

    What does he want you to do? Sell him less sticky vinyl? If you had installed it you may bear some fault, but around here I am not liable for anything that a customer puts on.

  8. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    BS! This has nothign to do with oracal, 3M or any other bumper sticker type decals, its in the clearcoat. whoever painted may have possible not given the vehicle the required flash time between coats when painting. Or they may not have lightly scuffed the basecoat when painting the clearcoat, there is no telling.

    Stand you ground and make him realize its not in the decal, its in the finish. People always blame the last person that touched the vehicle, and although you didnt install you MADE the decal. what the hell did the decal say anyway? if he had a "show" finish on this vehicle he shouldnt have been placing a cheap *** decal on it
  9. Wiggum PI

    Wiggum PI Member

    Oct 3, 2011
    Melbourne Australia
    :goodpost: I know nothing about paint, but I've never seen a vinyl adhesive rip any coating off a decent paint job(unless it's aged), stand your ground I say.
  10. graphix45

    graphix45 Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    Eastern NC
    I'm 100% sure it's a problem with the paint. Even thought it's not recommended, I've lettered race cars and even a work truck or 2 that's only been painted a few days and even when installing stripes with vinyl and pulled off a section I've never had clear or single stage paint pull off. I think the clear was sanded and buffed until it's very thin and you can't tell by looking, but as soon as something hits it or you remove a decal...Opps!
    Also agree with k.a.s....why is he putting a decal on an "expensive" paint job? Probably wanted to cover up a problem in the paint. I get that all the time.
  11. g&eprinting

    g&eprinting Member

    Jul 21, 2011
    Everett MA
  12. 940AC

    940AC New Member

    Aug 20, 2012

    He's on the money with this response.
  13. Graphics2u

    Graphics2u Very Active Member

    Jan 31, 2007
    Not your problem! Any Body Shop worth their salt will tell you a stripe or graphic should not pull any properly done paint off.
  14. signgirl

    signgirl Member

    Sep 13, 2005
    I have always cringed when a customer brought something in that was not factory finished or something they painted themselves. Always told them I could not be responsible but luckily it always worked out!
  15. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Middleburg, Florida
  16. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    Not your fault, not your problem, the more time you spend trying to help the guy find a way out of his problem the more its going to look like you're trying to cover your *** and pass the buck.
  17. 2B

    2B Moderator

    May 5, 2011


    he installed also so who is to say he knows what he is doing,

    his problem and on to the next customer
  18. striper14

    striper14 Member

    May 23, 2003
    home alone
    Total blame on the installer...stickers are designed to stick..tell him to go visit his spraypainter, like he'd care
  19. Farmboy

    Farmboy Active Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Auburn, NY
    I've had clear coat come off a factory paint job. Luckily it was my shop van and we just put new graphics over it.
  20. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    Didn't seen this either until tonight (full moon and all =)... brought in a customer's van that had some yellow lettering on it that I need to remove. The van is a couple years old, the lettering was put on a couple months ago.

    When I started to pull off the lettering the first half of the letter "n" went off fine until *riip* and I held half a letter with a large flake of black, metallic paint stuck on it in my hand. Did use just a bit of heat gun (adjustable, put it down in temp), on a fair distance, just so you get your fingers warmed up or so to soften the vinyl, but absolutely not hot by any means, post-heating is far far hotter. Have removed A LOT of vinyl before and never seen anything like this.
    It ripped the paint off to the base coating.

    The lettering was cut by another shop in town and has white backing(?) for some reason, and I applied it this summer without anything out of the ordinary.

    What should I tell the customer tomorrow? I sent him an e-mail with the pic and asked him to stop by tomorrow so he could see it for himself since I don't want to risk anything more flaking off. It looks like a crappy paint job, but I doubt the car is re-painted. It's a Nissan Primastar btw...

    I don't think it could be my fault since I didn't pull hard at all, just used my fingers (no tools or cleaners!), pulled at an angle, didn't heat it up or anything, but to convince the customer about this...

    Attached Files:


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