Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How long to cure fresh paint before applying vinyl?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Stephenedwardgraphic, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. I've got a van that I'm going to be putting Oracal 751 on. The van was in an accident and is currently at the auto body shop being fixed and repainted. Once the auto body shop is done how soon can I apply the vinyl. I want to make the sure the paint properly cures before applying the vinyl.
  2. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    heck i've been told that car paint jobs take up to a month to stop outgassing.
    our paint, however, its ready for vinyl application the next day.

    should ask the guy at the autobody shop what he recommends. and let your client make the call on whether or not to rush the application.
  3. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    They apply factory graphics hours after painting vehicles.

    Two local body shops have me do replacement sign work for them.....I'm usually called in for installation the day after they paint, usually installing while they reassemble the vehicle.

    Put hood stripes on my Jeep the day after it was painted, no problem and came off just fine four years later.

    Ask the body shop guy what he thinks. Paint has come a long way since the days of waiting six months to letter on it.

    Mike is right, though. Let your client make the call. They'll almost always tell you to go ahead and do it anyway but at least you'll be able to say to explained it to them if there ever is a problem.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  4. petepaz

    petepaz Major Contributor

    Feb 14, 2007
    should ask the guy at the autobody shop what he recommends. and let your client make the call on whether or not to rush the application.

    that's what i would do, they should know their product but i have been told in the same situation 1-2 days was fine (that was from the autobody shop that did the repair) and didn't have any problems
  5. klemgraphics

    klemgraphics Active Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    We operate a body shop also and do installs the day after pulling it out of the booth. This is not recommended by the paint mfg(they say 30 days) but we have never had a problem.

    Especially if they are baking it and using a quality paint you should have no problems.
  6. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    What Mike said.
    I do a lot of work directly for the body shops and they usually bring the vehicle the day after they paint it.
  7. Rydaddy

    Rydaddy Member

    Feb 23, 2010
    We tell our customers 5 days after being painted. I have had them in the shop when we could still smell the paint.
  8. S'N'S

    S'N'S Active Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    I do all the work for local panel shops here and if the paint is 2k and has been oven baked you can apply vinyl straight after its cooled down. NEVER had a problem. If your worried at all, wait for a day.
    Backyard paint jobs are a whole different story.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. fastmax

    fastmax Member

    Dec 18, 2015

    i liek your advice but i do remember something about no aftermarket paint jobs being under warranty for 3m or avery
  10. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Connecticut, USA
    Have them sign an authorization form that says you recommend a 30 day period for paint curing and they accept responsibility for anything sooner than that. I've had masking tape peel the paint off of a repaired truck door that was freshly painted. If it's a full body paint job by a reputable shop then you stand a better chance but if it's a partial body repair you never know what kind of paint job you are dealing with.....better safe than sorry.
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Great answers, but y'all missed the main reason for waiting. It's all in the prep work from the body/paint shop. If they're like Maaco. it's likely you'll need 3 months to wait and pray.

    If the car was prepped correctly, tacked and painted properly, but not baked, I'd say wait a week to 10 days. If it was baked a day or two should do it.
  12. spectrum maine

    spectrum maine Member

    Nov 1, 2012
    biddeford, maine
    depends on the paint & how it was done. a spies-hecker or ppg job done in a heated booth should be good to go the next day. a omni job done in a garage might need a week.
    i always cup my hands over the paint job & use my nose. if it still stinks.....wait
    • Like Like x 1
  13. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

    Apr 17, 2012
    If it's a Maaco or other cheapo paint job, wait as long as possible. If it's a professional body shop, and they actually did a proper R/R with clearcoated paint job, you're good to go when they hand over the keys.
  14. boxerbay

    boxerbay Active Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    Darkside of the Moon
    I see eggshells in your future. lol.
  15. Joel golden

    Joel golden Member

    Feb 1, 2017
    We did a bus 2 days after being painted last summer...came back with some areas that the vinyl pulled up the paint in the cold weather(it was heated in). Adhesive stuck really well to the paint, paint didn't stick as well to the bus. Client failed to tell us it was just painted
  16. TXFB.INS

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

    Jan 5, 2012
    Lone Star State

    good to know on the sniff test.

    we always have them sign a waiver about repainted vehicles
  17. signbrad

    signbrad Member

    Jun 15, 2014
    Kansas City
    Many body shops install vinyl and are familiar with how much wait time is needed. We usually ask their recommendation.

    When we do the painting, with Matthews Acrylic Polyurethane, the wait time varies. When the weather is hot and we use fast reducer plus Accelerator in the paint, vinyl can easily be applied the same day. Using other speeds of reducers, you can still apply vinyl the next day as long as you add the Accelerator. Without Accelerator, Matthews recommends waiting a minimum of 72 hours, and in cold weather sometimes longer.

    I expect most polyurethanes to be similar, though I don't know if any body shops use a product that is the equivalent of Matthews Accelerator.

    Brad in Kansas City
  18. Frank Linson

    Frank Linson New Member

    Sep 30, 2016
    San Luis Obispo, Ca
    Ok, all you 'next day application guys', who I used to also be. We had a van painted with Glassurit white basecoat/clearcoat. It was December 2007. That January we were asked to do a frisket (Hexis grey paint mask film actually) which we have done often, for an airbrush artist to apply fancy paint. The guy applied the first of 3 masks to do a base color, this on sanded clear. (Remember it was December on the Central Coast of California, bitter cold at 48 degrees at night and 65 degrees day time.Brrrr!) So I get a call the painter can't get the mask off the vehicle. My son and I go over to see what he's talking about and Holy Crap! I can't get it off either. The adhesive had crosslinked to the clear coat and it took two of us all day to remove the 2'x4' mask from the paint. I called every vinyl rep and paint rep I could find and, yep, you know, "Oh, I never heard of that!" so beware of applying too quickly to fresh paint, a permanent decal may degrade from outgassing, or a temp one may never come off. Oh, Ive switched to 3M yellow paint mask but have never had the same job come up again. Maaco? Yeah, Sherwin Williams Industrial enamels. (Tractor paint), no thanks.
  19. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    Adhesive wont crosslink to paint, it may stick, pull it off whatever but its not crosslinked. The problem you had was that it wasnt cured at all, clearcoat is catalyzed and isocyanates stop working around 65 degrees. So the paint shop screwed up, they should have never sprayed it when the temperature was going to fall below 65, the tech sheets say this as well. We apply decals the following day, never have issues. Factories apply adhesives same day or day after. Caterpillar and john deere dont have parking lots full of machines sitting for a week waiting to apply decals. Its a fallacy much like if you wax a new paint job it will seal in the solvents and ruin it. Detailers polish and seal paint the day theyre painted. The solvents are out fast, if they werent youd see little bubbles that look like sand which is solvent pop. The solvents are gone before the paint hardens on the surface. Synthetic enamel takes longer to dry yes but if you cant put your finger nail in it its fine.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Malardalensbildekor

    Malardalensbildekor The Boss

    Jan 26, 2017
    minimum 3 weeks, if you put it earlier it might become problem with paint reacting to the sticker and you get an effect that the paint swell up, not nice when removing the stickers.
    if your in a cold place of the world you might want to wait longer.

Share This Page