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Painted lettering rubbing off vehicle. What's gone wrong?

Discussion in 'Hand Made Signs' started by The Jackdaw, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. The Jackdaw

    The Jackdaw New Member

    Nov 6, 2019
    I am a beginner and my first lettering on a vehicle has gone badly. One-Shot paint and very little thinning with white spirit. No hardener used.
    Painted outdoors (9C/48F during the day) with very high humidity at night.
    After 4 days, the paint had a nice gloss (so I believed I gave it enough time to dry before nightfall) and appeared hardened however it can be rubbed off easily with a dry cloth.
    Is this due purely to the temperature/humidity of application or is there something else at play here?
    I want to make sure I learn what I have done wrong before trying to find a heated workshop and start from scratch.
    The van is a metallic silver and I made sure the area was clean and dry before starting.
  2. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Active Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    Normal, Illinois
    One Shot does not stick to modern vehicle finishes. Today most hand lettering is done with urethane paints applied on the base coat before the final clear is sprayed. Additives and adhesion promotors can be added to extend working time (urethane striping paints dry almost immediately; you must be fast) and help with adhesion, but you must experiment to come up with something that works for you and the specific finish you are painting on. Not for the feint of heart!

    You will also find the paint actually flying off your brush onto the surface (static) before you even put the brush down. Sort of like airbrushing with a striping brush and it can be difficult to control.

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  3. The Jackdaw

    The Jackdaw New Member

    Nov 6, 2019
    Thanks for the reply. Extremely helpful.
    You live and learn!
  4. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    I know a few pros still use One Shot but it is not what it once was. Before I stopped using one shot I was thinning with urethane reducer and using an automotive hardener in it but still the color did not last. You have to make sure your surface was squeaky clean also. IMO throw the one shot away and move to urethanes
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    One other thought, you shouldn't be lettering in less then 55° temperatures..... at least that was the rule of thumb years ago. If the high was only 55° it only got colder as nightfall came.

    If you had any pictures of it, it might help.
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  6. JWitkowski

    JWitkowski New Member

    Has the vehicle been waxed or had any other surface treatment? Cleaning the area to be lettered with a final wipe/silicone remover might be needed. Wiping technique plays a part, too. Cleaning by wiping in circles can spread any contaminating substance back over the area you are trying to clean.
  7. OddThomas

    OddThomas Adobo Creative

    Jun 3, 2020
    did you prep the surface properly so the paint got a good bite on the surface. as far as temperature the hotter the better, My buddy has a body shop and anything below 60f he has heaters to make sure the paint dries properly. If your painting in your garage, get a few heaters let them heat the room up and you should be fine. since the paint has already came off get off as much as you can. after resand the area prime sand again clean with alcohol wipe dry and ready to paint again, they have these 2k paint rattle cans that are awesome for a paint can job. so after you paint a few wet coats let it fully dry next day do the 2k coat. remember do not polish or buff after about a month since its colder in your area. so not wet sanding after your done with your clear coat and no buffing or waxing for a month. Good luck bro.
  8. MBurrell

    MBurrell New Member

    Aug 6, 2020
    Wow I didn't know one- shot didn't work on the newer paint. Check with one-shot. It has been quite a while since I've lettered a new vehicle. We put use a prep solvent from a body shop to prep surface Pre-Cleano was what I used it removes wax and silicone. They had a routine where you wiped on in a circular motion with one hand and followed up with a wipe off in the other hand before it could dry. There are liquid sanding products that soften paint for about 30 minutes that may help. Has you rub them on with a rag it starts to drag and that is your clue to move on or stop applying. Don't use the mineral spirits use there reducers. They have a cold and hot temp reducer and some other products. This is the old way to do it. There are guy doing Youtube videos find some and contact them for new ways to work the new vehicles. Good luck.