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Need Help Window perf

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by MHester, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. MHester

    MHester Member

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    I've never installed window perf before, so I'm looking for some advice. Everything I've read so far states I should laminate it. The vinyl is going on 4' X 7' tall storefront windows (outside glass), so I've heard that laminating will make the project easier to install. I'm printing it on my HP latex, so it wouldn't need laminate I don't think, but I'm all for easy install, so I'll use laminate. But I'm curious about installing it dry method. I know this may be a stupid question, but why can't I wet install? Everything is easier wet, but why is everyone saying do it dry?? Thanks for any advice....
     
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  2. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    We made a couple of helpful install videos awhile back. Check these out, let me know if these helped you!

    - Overview
    - Install
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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  3. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

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    I think it depends on the job. I typically don't laminate storefront displays. Especially if they are only going to be up 6 months to a year. Anything long term will likely need laminate and simply to prevent cloudy-ness that happens when someone washes unlaminated perf. I think window perf is the easiest material to install, but it's also really easy to over work and stretch. Lamination does prevent that stretch, but you need to have a pretty solid squeegee technique.
     
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  4. MHester

    MHester Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I'm pretty handy with my squeegee technique, been doing it for over 3 years now. I think If I do a horizontal center hinge on the top 1/4 of the panel then work my way down from there hopefully I won't have much stretch. However, you make a really good point about scratching when it gets washed down. This is at a carwash site, and they'll most likely use a pressure wand to wash it down with....so it may be best to laminate it anyways. Any insight about the dry vs. wet application question? Why is no one doing it wet?
     
  5. MHester

    MHester Member

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    Thats very helpful, thanks for the videos. It's nice to know that the vinyl is forgiving and repositionable.
     
  6. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    We notice that when we laminate perf and try to do a wet application, the liquid captured in the "holes" turns the laminate cloudy and inhibits the view of those driving or inside a store.
     
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  7. MHester

    MHester Member

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    That makes total sense. Thanks for the tip :)
     
  8. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    I've been spraying mine with NAPA 8887 Cut-In Clear. Works well.
     
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  9. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I don't usually laminate either. Storefront displays are usually changed out every few years anyway. Its easier to install without laminate because you got holes everywhere! Try to avoid installing in direct sunlight, that can make it hard...do it at the coolest part of the day.
     
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  10. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    Does it add anything to to the overall color?
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    If you don't laminate perf vinyl..... isn't it like the ultimate perfect air egress vinyl on the planet ??

    We usually use a liquid lam, too.​
     
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  12. OPENSignsInc.

    OPENSignsInc. Member

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    I never do wet application. It reduces the adhesion during application and with all the holes even more so.

    We usually do not laminate, as one you would need to use a laminate with optically clear adhesive, and two if you do it wet, now all those holes are filled with water. The only way around this would is if it could be printed on regular vinyl and laminated and then have it perforated, but I've never seen anyone have that type of equipment.

    I also have been testing out using dirt-off window film solution (instead of just ipa) with a window squeegee (no paper towels last step) and it seems to make the perf really stick, if it's going to be long term or on a vehicle.
     
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  13. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    haha, awesome video, but the inexperience of installing is showing big time in that video
     
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  14. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    We're definitely not perfect, but the concept is the same. Haha, that's why we stick to the printing and let others handle the installs!
     
  15. signdepot12

    signdepot12 New Member

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    Laminating only protects the graphic from UV. If your going to laminate it you must use Optically Clear Perf Laminate or you wont be able to see through it. If you use laminate
    and were to use a wet application it would look like crap, water trapping and visible in the little holes. If you are not going to laminate it then it is the easiest material ever to apply dry.
    It's impossible to get bubbles because of the thousands of holes. Just tape the graphic in place, start in the middle and work your way down. By using a "BodyGuard" knife you can cut
    the backing paper at the shop in the middle without removing the backing paper. When you tape it up on the window just expose about 10" of adhesive at a time as you work your way
    down, super easy.
     
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  16. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Looks the same after spraying.
     
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  17. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    If laminated, I go dry. You can re-position fairly easy with lam. If not I do it wet to avoid any stretching/tearing and to be sure I can re-position. Never had a problem with adhesion afterwards. I install quite a bit of perf that I did not print as I have a nationwide company that I install for in my area. All their prints come from a union shop up north.
     
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  18. FASTSIGNS

    FASTSIGNS Member

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    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    to your recurring question about wet/dry:
    laminated perf always install dry - the moisture gets trapped in the little holes - always use optically clear lam
    unlam perf install wet - easy, very forgiving, movable
     
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  19. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    Although I might consider wet application on a hot window in the sun, I have never found a need for installing perf vinyl wet.
     
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  20. Signature Sign Guys

    Signature Sign Guys Member

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    I just recently did an install for 8 storefront windows and I did not lam the perf. To help with the instal on a hot day we masked the perf to help keep it ridged. made the install a lot easier and quicker. I did them dry and no issues. The only time I laminate perf is when it is going on a vehicle to stop water from collecting in the holes and making it impossible to see out, or we will lam storefront windows to help protect from vandalism.
     
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